by Lisa Tome
If you ate today, thank a farmer.
Members of the Calvert Grange showed their appreciation for the local dairy farmers on Friday at the annual Dairy Night festivities.
More than 100 people attended to celebrate Cecil's 33 dairy farms.
The menu included turkey and ham supplied by the grange. Families also chipped in, bringing homemade casseroles and such for the covered dish dinner.
"This is to appreciate the dairy farmers in Cecil that are becoming few and far between. A lot of the farms have changed to beef. The Amish have some dairy farms here now. This is to show that their (farmers) hard work is appreciated," said Alberta May, who leads the grange in Calvert.
"We're expecting about 120. That's the biggest one we've had," said May.
The evening focused on all types of food, but the spotlight was on the dairy products. There was a variety of flavored milks, real butter, and Kilby Cream ice cream. "There's no margarine here," said May.
Eleanor Cline organized Dairy Night for the grange. One of her duties was to gather donations for door prizes. The prizes included calf feed, orchard grass seed, a first aid kit, a cookbook, beauty items, a wind chime, grill tools, candles, a clock, gift certificates, flowers, engine oil, hats, bags, and gloves. All the items were donated by local businesses.
"The Amish guests are fun. They like to come out with us," said Cline. "This started as an ice cream social and now we have dinner too."
Royalty also joined in the celebration. There were dairy princesses from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Mackenzie Underwood of North East represented Cecil as the Upper Chesapeake Dairy Maid.
Charlie Hayes of the Cecil Soil Conservation District provided the prayer. "...there is no better way to raise a family than on a farm with hard work, good animals, on good land," said Hayes.
This event was geared to all ages. There were infants and young children at Dairy Night.
At 96, Edith Kilby was the eldest in attendance. People waited in line to greet Mrs. Kilby.