Charles A. (Chuck) Hoober of Elkton, Md., and the Mark Urian family of Clayton were honored at the Kent County Farm Bureau annual banquet held Sept. 30 at Felton Fire Hall.
Chuck Hoober, director of customer satisfaction at Hoober Inc., was the 2019 recipient of the KCFB Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award. Through his high school and college days, Chuck worked in all areas of the family business. Following graduation from Messiah College, he worked in service management at the Intercourse, Pa., location.
In 1989 Chuck became the store manager for the Middletown, Del., location until he became corporate sales manager in 2006. When leadership of the company transitioned to the third generation in 2012, Chuck, Scott Hoober and their brother-in-law, Rod Lefever, became partners in managing the company. In 2018, the company brought in a new president and CEO, and Chuck became director of customer satisfaction.
Chuck serves on the Lancaster County Agricultural Council Board, Messiah College President’s Leadership Council, and is involved with the Cecil County and New Castle County Farm Bureaus. In 2005, Chuck received the State of Delaware Distinguished Service to New Castle County Agriculture Award.
The Hoober family has been instrumental in bringing key products and innovations to Delaware farmers. For more than 30 years, Chuck has worked directly with farmers and brought their concerns, challenges and ideas to major manufacturers. He has helped bring about product improvements and innovations geared to help maximize farmers’ productivity. His involvement in the agricultural community helps bridge the important gap from the farmer’s needs to the farm machinery that is produced to serve those needs.
Chuck and his wife, Diane, have three children — Eric, Rachel and Marisa. Chuck’s faith is also a critical part of his life; he actively attends The Town Church in Middletown, Del.
The Urians were named KCFB 2019 Farm Family of the Year. Mark’s parents, Charles and Mary Urian, bought a farm outside of Clayton, Del., in 1962 to pursue their dream of farming. They built a new house there for themselves and their four children — Jane, Betty, Charlotte and Charles Mark. Charlie put in a large garden and planted corn and soybeans on the farm the following spring. He farmed while continuing to work at what was then Clements Supply Company in Clayton. They later added a small herd of beef cattle.
After Charlie’s sudden death in 1976, the family chipped in as much as they could, but they ended up leasing the ground after young Mark farmed it during his last two years of high school. After a few years, Mark married Sandy and soon a new generation of Urians would grow up on the farm — Jacob, Amanda and Rebecca. Mark worked for various employers over the years including Shadybrook Farms, Hoober and Atlantic Tractor, while running the farm in his spare time.
Mark and Sandy have both had health setbacks over the last couple of years, but with Jacob’s help they continue to run the farm. They grow corn, soybeans and hay.
Jacob and his wife, Melissa, are currently working to grow the beef operation. Jacob has been diligently working to pick up more ground the last few years and helps his uncle farming whenever possible.
Mark and Sandy have done their job as farm parents to raise their children to love God, agriculture and life! All three children have been involved in 4H, FFA and Farm Bureau. Amanda is raising her own family in Nebraska on her husband’s family farm, and Rebecca expects to move back to the family farm soon. Mark and Sandy still strive to be active in Farm Bureau, Smyrna FFA Alumni, Grange, and various groups at Townsend Free Will Baptist Church.
Mary Urian, who helped start this family farming legacy, turned 100 years old this year and still lives at the edge of the family farm.
In his president’s remarks, Jacob Urian, who is serving his first year as KCFB President, encouraged other Farm Bureau members to step up and take a new role — to join a committee or a task force, to volunteer with the Ag Lab or do something as simple as recruiting a new member.
“Without our whole group working together, we would not have been able to accomplish what we’ve done in the last 75 years,” Urian said.
Ted Bobola Jr. presented checks to the FFA and 4-H, accepted on behalf of those organizations, respectively, by Abby Edwards and Miranda Garey.
Cash prizes and certificates also were presented to the Kent County winners of the Delaware Farm Bureau Rate of Gain Contest: 4-Her Aiden Garey, son of Ashton and Susan Garey of Harrington, won for both his market lamb and his hog; Regan Walter, daughter of John and Wendy Walter of Felton, won for her 4-H goat. In the FFA categories, winners were Addyson Stewart, daughter of Steven and Carrie Stewart of Felton, for her lamb, and Olivia Gaines, daughter of John and Kim Gaines of Camden, for both her hog and her goat.
John Thomas, retiring board member, was honored with a plaque. David Marvel Jr. was elected for a three-year term to the State Board, representing Kent County. Nine men were elected as county directors for two years and delegates were chosen for the State Convention on Dec. 3.