Expanding a farm isn’t easy or guaranteed by any means, but for fifth and sixth generation farmers Stewart Ramsey and his son Carl Ramsey, growth is necessary for survival.
In honor of the successes seen at Ramsey’s Farm and the family’s contributions to Delaware’s fruit and vegetable industry, the father and son team were honored with the Family Service Award by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware during Delaware Ag Week Tuesday, Jan. 9.
“Every year, the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware will pick a farm family and service member of the year. This year, it was Ramsey’s Farms. It was probably one of the first New Castle County picks in a few years, so that’s nice to see for me,” New Castle County Extension Agent Nick Adams said.
Adams had the chance to introduce the award and the father and son duo as this year’s recipients during the presentation.
“They have a variety of offerings at their farm, not just fruits and vegetables, so that makes it nice, too,” he added.
Stewart and Carl Ramsey run the family farm in Wilmington which has been in operation since 1860. It is now a part of the First State Historical Park which continues to rent land to the Ramsey’s where they grow sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, cut flowers, blueberries and pumpkins. They will soon start growing strawberries, as well, adding to the U-Pick options which already includes blueberries and pumpkins.
For the past 30 years, the operation in Wilmington has offered significant agritourism opportunities, according to the Ramsey’s, including the U-Pick produce options, several field mazes, educational programs for school children of all ages, hayrides, an annual pumpkin run event, floral arrangement classes and goat yoga.
Ramsey’s Farm also works on rented farmland just over the state line in Pennsylvania where they raise grass fed Wagyu beef cattle.
Carl Ramsey graduated from Penn State with a degree in agribusiness and is now in charge of most of the day-to-day operations around Ramsey’s Farm. Through his leadership, the family added a farm market to the farm including production and sales of sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, cut flowers and U-Pick blueberries.
His father, Stewart Ramsey, graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in agricultural engineering, later adding advanced degrees in economics and statistics to his educational experiences. He started farming on his own in 1990 with his first crop – pumpkins. To create a more sustainable vision of the farming operation, he and his wife Wendy expanded the pumpkin patch from two acres to its current size of 10 acres which could produce up to 50,000 pumpkins in any given year. He also volunteers as the president of the New Castle Farm Bureau.
“We love seeing our Delaware Farm Bureau members recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the state. As a lifelong FVGAD member myself, it gives me satisfaction to see the Ramsey’s honored with this award. The Ramseys also work for the future of agriculture through their very active Delaware Farm Bureau involvement and that’s good for all of us,” DEFB Executive Director Don Clifton said.
Visit Ramsey’s Farm online at https://www.ramseysfarm.com/ or in person at 440 Ramsey Rd., Wilmington, DE, 19803.