Being named Frederick County’s Farm Family of the Year was bittersweet for Sandy Tucker, whose husband of 41 years, Stanley Tucker, lost his battle with cancer last December.
While Stan couldn’t join his wife onstage to accept the award at the South Mountain Creamery Arena of The Great Frederick Fair on Friday evening, Sandy was joined by plenty of loved ones, including Stan’s mother, 92-year-old Georgia Tucker; Stan and Sandy’s adult children, Justin and Rebecca; Justin’s wife, Mary Kate; and Stan and Sandy’s three grandchildren, Adrienne, Meeghan and Mia Grace, who make up the sixth generation of the Mid-View Farm family.
“We couldn’t have continued doing what we we’re doing without our family and our wonderful employees,” Sandy said after receiving the award, saying that she knew her husband would also most value his family and the people closest to him if he were still alive. “[Stan] was always very proud that his daughter came into the farm after she graduated from Virginia Tech in the dairy program. He always said that she learned in six months what it took him a lifetime to learn, so that was probably one of the best things for him.”
While the family still owns and operates two farms in the county, including Mid-View Farm in Jefferson, the dairy farm, which was Stan’s true passion, was closed after the family sold its cows in March following his death.
“So, like I said, it’s bittersweet, but I’m very honored,” Sandy said, speaking through tears. “I’m very honored that they thought of us.”
Justin also helps run the family’s 165-acre home farm on Jefferson Pike, growing corn, soybeans and cover crops on more than 1,300 acres.
“Stanley was most proud of both of our children, Justin for taking over the cropping side of the operation and Rebecca for the dairy part. Until he got sick, he and I milked the 2 a.m. shift together and we enjoyed being with each other,” Sandy said. “Not many people can work alongside their spouses 365 days a year; farmers get very little time off, and when we did we were still together.”
Mid-View milked 350 cows and was raising 200 head of replacement heifers before the dairy farm closed and won recognition as Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association producers of the year in 2006 and 2017, along with recognition from the National Mastitis Council.
“The dairy industry lost a good dairy farmer in Stan, and a good dairy farm at Mid-View Farms. However, we are lucky to have the Tuckers as a part of the agricultural community here in Frederick,” said Katie Stevens, an agriculture business development specialist with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, while presenting the award.
Stan was also a member of the Frederick County Farm Bureau and served as a board member of the Brunswick Co-op and the Dairy Herd Improvement Association.
The family farm was preserved in the Rural Legacy Program, an agricultural land preservation program, in 2015, according to the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.