Each year, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED) partners with Frederick Magazine for Frederick’s Top 50 publication. The 2022 issue, released in January, features Frederick’s Top 50 Under 40. Homegrown Frederick wanted to take a similar approach and highlight the young entrepreneurs and leaders in the agriculture and craft beverage industries. The Homegrown Frederick magazine, released June 1, announces Frederick County’s Top Young Agricultural Professionals. Each week we will be highlighting these individuals so you can get to know them better.
Allison Stewart, 31, owner and operator of Deer Run Farm in Emmitsburg, is named one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. Deer Run Farm is a Red Angus beef, Berkshire pork, and Heritage chicken operation that has been in the Stewart family since 1996. In 2014, Allison met Josh Stewart, her now husband, and began helping on the farm. She dove right into the family business introducing retail beef sales, establishing the chicken hatchery and expanding the operation to include pork sales. Allison recently helped Deer Run Farm secure funding for a no-till grain drill through the Frederick County Agricultural Innovation Grant. With the purchase of this drill, Deer Run Farm can be converted to a no-till operation to better protect and conserve the soil, the Chesapeake Bay and other natural resources. With this, they have also created an opportunity for other farmers to rent the drill and do the same.
Allison is extremely proud of the success of the chicken hatchery. Deer Run Farm is the only hatchery in the United States to regularly test and maintain a disease-free poultry operation. She has expanded the business over the past five years to include shipping hatching eggs, day-old chicks and started birds nationwide. Allison’s greatest business accomplishment is the growth of the hatchery. She has helped the hatchery expand from hatching 3,000 chicks in its first year, to over 10,000 chicks hatched in a year. She says, “Having grown our customer base to support that kind of growth has been humbling.”
Recently Allison was named one of the Top 10 Farmers on the Rise by Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit. She is an active board member of the Frederick Farmer’s Cooperative, secretary for the Mid-Atlantic Red Angus Association, and a member of numerous other regional and national organizations. She says her father has influenced her most in her work with his saying “No matter what you do, do it with all your heart.” She said, “It’s something I always consider no matter what I am doing because you never know who’s watching.”
We are proud to honor Allison as one of Frederick County’s Top Young Ag Professionals. The full list can be found here. It is safe to say the local agricultural industry has a bright future ahead with young leaders like her at the helm. Be sure to congratulate Allison on this well-deserved accolade!