As Homegrown Frederick continues to feature Frederick County’s leading ladies in the agriculture and craft beverage industries for Women’s History Month, we would love to introduce you to the inspiring and brave Belinda Burrier!
Not being a Frederick County native, nor from a farming background, makes Belinda’s story even more remarkable. She married into the Burrier family and the county’s farming community. Just twenty years ago, she and her husband, Dave, bought Burrier’s Linganore Farm from his parents. The 109-acre farm property is located in Union Bridge, MD. Upon purchasing, they entered the farm into one of Frederick County’s agricultural land preservation programs, and Belinda immediately took on the lifestyle as if she had been born into it. In total, the Burriers farm about 1200-acres. They produce hay on 250 of that while the rest is planted in corn, soybeans, and wheat. She credits her husband Dave saying, “He is the brains and I am better because of him.” She has always possessed a love for the outdoors and is thankful for Dave’s willingness to teach and spread some of the farm responsibilities, like making hay, onto her. The couple, along with one other family member, operates the farm full time, but each of their daughters help during the busy haymaking season.
Belinda has positioned herself as one of the top agricultural advocates for both our state and the country. She also puts Frederick County farming on the map for national and global recognition having served on the Maryland state soybean board for nine years as well as currently serving her eighth year on the United Soybean Board (USB). During her time with the Maryland Soybean Board, she indicated her greatest accomplishment being the creation of the safety program for which she still serves as an advisor. Seeing projects in which she has been involved come to fruition brings her an immense amount of joy. Prior to Belinda being elected, Maryland had never had representation on the USB executive committee and she is honored to be serving her third year. Throughout her time with USB, Belinda has been fortunate to travel to nine different countries while advocating for national, regional, and local agriculture. She and Dave also provide the public with much-needed transparency for agriculture by always welcoming groups to their farm. As our population’s exposure and knowledge in agriculture decline on both a national and local level, Belinda expresses the importance of educating the public while accepting as many opportunities to advocate as possible.
Belinda has been fortunate and has never felt disrespected while being a leading woman in agriculture. The only brief struggle she experienced was her initial acceptance into the close-knit Frederick County ag community. However, as an outsider with little background in ag, she quickly learned and embraced farming as a way of life. Serving on the USB, she is in the minority. Including her, there are only seven women serving on this 78-member board. The men welcome her participation, knowledge, and passion for the industry. She also explained that when traveling abroad, she seems to gain more respect from the global farming community than her male counterparts. She believes that to be in association with a maternal aspect. She has had nothing but positive experiences abroad while telling her story. When asked what advice she has for women farmers she said, “Be brave! Don’t be afraid to try anything. Just get out and do it!” Belinda also emphasized the significance of obtaining a female mentor and support system. “There is nothing better than a strong network of women to surround yourself with.”
Frederick County is fortunate to have advocates like Belinda, but we can never have enough. Never doubt the impact you can have on the community, especially to members of the public who are far removed from any experience in farming. The more farmers who tell their stories and educate the public, the more knowledge the community gains about the lifestyle, and knowledge is power. If you know of an amazing female farmer, tell us about her by contacting RTucker1@frederickcountymd.gov. You can always visit our website Homegrown Frederick or follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram as we continue to promote the amazing agriculture community in Frederick County!