Fifer Orchards was recognized for their overall contribution to agriculture with the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service to Delaware Agriculture at the Delaware Agricultural Industry Dinner, held Jan. 11.

“There has never been a time that I have asked to bring the governor, local and U.S. legislators, government officials or farmers from other states and countries out to visit, that Fifer Orchards has told me no,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “This is a Delaware family farm that is able to showcase their operation, and it is always exemplary.”

Fifer Orchards, located in Camden-Wyoming, was founded by Charles Frederick Fifer nearly a century ago. Currently farmed by the third and fourth generations, Fifer Orchards continues to focus on their commitment to the community they serve and maintaining family values.

The land that encompasses Fifer Orchards is home to many species of wildlife, native plants, forests, ponds and the agricultural crops. Fifer Orchards focuses on safe, sustainable farming practices that preserve the environment, reduce waste and promote healthy growing systems.

Fifer Orchards continues to use the vision of Charles Frederick Fifer to focus on diversification to help reduce risk. From the main farm, to the farm stores, to selling to local grocery stores and wholesale, to supporting Delaware’s Farm to School initiative, to developing a successful agritourism operation, to growing their community supported agriculture program, the farm has been able to minimize risk to weather the ups and downs involved in farming.

As a Global Good Agricultural Practices certified farm, Fifer Orchards produces safe, sustainable food using safe production methods, responsible use of resources, while ensuring the welfare of their employees and protection of scarce resources.

Over the years, Fifer Orchards has offered positions to high school students involved in agriscience education and college students in agriculture. These opportunities have helped the younger generation developing an interest in farming and to consider agriculture as a future career.

The Agricultural Industry Dinner, in its 47th year, was attended by more than 400 people, including farmers, business leaders and elected officials. It is sponsored by the Delaware Council of Farm Organizations.