Published on 05/08/2019

#MyStewardshipStory: The Mays Family from Carroll County, Maryland

On approximately 3000 acres in Maryland—Toby Mays and his family grow soybeans, corn and wheat in addition to milking approximately 125 cows.  For the Mays family—like many farmers—#MyStewardshipStory isn’t about just the business, it is about their family and their community.

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Toby, his wife Kelly, their son Kit and their daughter Santana all help out on the farm. Kit’s best friend, Garrett Schneider, has been helping on the farm since grade school and has become part of the family. Kelly works for the public school system as a substitute and works with the dairy herd. Kelly also donates her time to other local farms and is active in promoting youth in agriculture. To them—stewardship means being good stewards of their land, but also being good stewards of their community.
When asked about the Mays family, local Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN retailer The Mill said “Toby and his family embody stewardship. They come to all grower meetings and are personally invested in bettering their operations and supporting the SUSTAIN program.  They are very well known in the community and invest their time in caring about the environment. They’re humble and kind and do not seek the spotlight.”
The Mill has been working alongside growers in the Chesapeake Bay area since 2003. The Mays family works closely with The Mill to evolve and adapt their operation to be more sustainable—both environmentally and economically. Over the years they have focused on ways to optimize fertilizer use efficiency, leading to improved yields and a reduced environmental impact. They employ conservation practices such as soil sampling, nitrogen stabilizers, split application of nitrogen, cover crops, no-till and variable rate fertilizer apps to help them. Furthermore, with the support of The Mill, the Mays family is also one of the early adopters of the Truterra Insights Engine and is actively using the 2018 insights to identify additional opportunities to reduce runoff and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Stewardship is a big idea but for farmers like the Mays family—their stewardship story starts with their family and is exemplified on the farm every day.

If you are interested in sharing your own stewardship story-- please tweet using the hashtag #MyStewardshipStory and tag @Sustain_Ag. You can also submit your story by following this link.