Maryland Department of Agriculture Welcomes New Key Staff

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 18, 2023) ~ The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has appointed two new key staff members, Martin Proulx and Harrison Palmer. Secretary Kevin Atticks announced the appointments on October 18th, 2023.

Proulx has been appointed as the State Value-Added Agricultural Specialist, a new position created by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2023 Legislative Session. In his role, Proulx will provide information and technical guidance to Maryland farmers and agricultural stakeholders regarding value-added agriculture. He brings years of experience in agricultural development and community sustainability to the position, including a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Frostburg State University. Prior to joining MDA, he served as the agriculture business development manager for Charles County Economic Development for 6 years.

Palmer has been appointed as executive secretary to the Maryland Agricultural Commission, the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board and the Young Farmers Advisory Board. In his role, Palmer will staff and organize meetings and tours, elicit feedback from board members on department policies and provide grant funding for fair activities. He also administers the Century Farm program and Governor's Agriculture Hall of Fame program. Prior to his new role, Palmer served as a soil conservation engineering technician at the Prince George's Soil Conservation District for 5 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in agricultural and environmental technology with a minor in leadership in agriculture and life sciences from North Carolina State University. Outside of his work at MDA, he owns and operates Palmer Farms, a hay and straw operation.

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Secretary Atticks expressed his enthusiasm for both appointments: "Martin and Harrison are fantastic additions to our team...Their strong agricultural backgrounds will make them effective leaders in the department in addition to being effective in getting things done on the ground for the benefit of the agricultural community and consequently, all Marylanders."

Martin Proulx is a Charles County resident who is also a graduate of LEAD Maryland Class XI. Harrison Palmer is currently a fellow of LEAD Maryland Class XII who previously served as vice president of Prince George's County Farm Bureau where he organized their first annual Farm & Family Day event.

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