Meet Our Staff

All staff, with the exception of Emily Snyder, Trish Hildebrand and Parker Welch, can be reached at the Davidsonville Office at:  410.922.3426  •  Fax 410.798.4800

Val
VALERIE T. CONNELLY
Executive Director    vconnelly@mdfarmbureau.com 

Valerie Connelly is the Executive Director for the Maryland Farm Bureau  since November 2013. She has been on staff with the Maryland Farm Bureau since May of 1995.
Previously she worked as Legislative Director for three members of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill for 10 years. In that role, she was responsible for analyzing all legislative issues before the Congress. She served as primary staff contact for the Energy & Commerce Committee, the Banking & Financial Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
Valerie has served on the Governor’s Commission on Migratory and Seasonal Farm Labor, has served as 1st Vice Chair of the FORVM for Rural Maryland and as a member of the Maryland Air Quality Control Advisory Council. She has been a member of the Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Advisory Committee, the Task Force on Agricultural Land Preservation and the American Farm Bureau Federation’s General Counsel Advisory Committee. Currently, Valerie serves on the steering committee to implement the Maryland Agricultural Commission’s Strategic Plan for Agriculture and is on the board of the LEAD Maryland Foundation.
Valerie holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science from American University. She resides in Cecil County with her husband, Steve, and three children.

 

ColbyCOLBY FERGUSON
 Government Relations Director   cferguson@mdfarmbureau.com

Colby Ferguson is the Government Relations Director for Maryland Farm Bureau, beginning his role in December 2013.
Colby was the Agriculture Business Development Specialist for Frederick County for nine years prior to joining the MFB team. In that capacity, he worked with elected officials at the state and local level to implement legislation important to the farm community. Prior to his county position, Colby was the sales and marketing manager for Sinclair Cattle Company, a purebred Angus ranch in Pennsylvania. He has also been a nutrition specialist for dairy, beef, swine, sheep and horses with Southern States Cooperative.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science, biotechnology from Oklahoma State University. He is a 2006 LEAD Maryland fellow and currently serves on the LEAD Maryland Board of Directors. Colby also serves on the Maryland Agriculture Council Board of Directors and represents Maryland Farm Bureau on the MD Aquaculture Coordinating Council and the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. Ferguson is an experienced livestock judge and coach and lives with his wife, Stacy, and two children, Chase and Mickinzi, in Walkersville.

 

Tiffany

TIFFANY HAYES
Membership Data Service Specialist    thayes@mdfarmbureau.com

Tiffany Hayes joined the Maryland Farm Bureau staff in May of 2014 to assist with the membership database. Tiffany is responsible for processing membership applications and mailings. Before joining Maryland Farm Bureau, she attended Essex Community College, majoring in IT. Tiffany married in June of 2014 and resides in Windsor Mill with her husband.

 

 


PATRICIA (TRISH) HILDEBRAND

Eastern Shore Regional Director
Women’s Leadership Committee Staffer
410.404.4724   
  phildebrand@mdfarmbureau.com

As the Eastern Shore Regional Director for MFB, Trish works with the 9 counties from Cecil down to Worcester as both the liaison with MFB and as their local affairs representative. She works with county Farm Bureau Presidents to recognize county issues and provides leadership development training. Hildebrand also works to increase membership on the Eastern Shore counties and tracks local or regional activities that impact farmers.Prior to joining MFB, Hildebrand worked as an Animal Health Intern with the Maryland Department of Agriculture in 2014 and interned with Maryland Farm Bureau in 2013. Hildebrand attended Delaware Valley University where she earned a B.S. in Animal Science in 2015. She was a 4-H member for 7 years and served as Miss Anne Arundel County Farm Bureau in 2010 and 2012. 

 

Cathy
CATHY KAPTAIN
Director of Accounting
ckaptain@mdfarmbureau.com

Cathy Kaptain joined the Maryland Farm Bureau staff in July of 1998, as Administrative Assistant to the Administrator. In 2005, she was promoted to Accounting Director. Cathy is responsible for the financial reporting of Maryland Farm Bureau and Maryland Farm Bureau Service Company as well as annual audit preparation. She is also the treasurer of the Maryland Farm Bureau PAC. She resides in Eldersburg with her husband, Donnie.

 

Tonya
TONYA M. KENNEDY
Director of Membership Services and Records
tkennedy@mdfarmbureau.com

Tonya M. Kennedy is the Director of Membership Services and Records for the Maryland Farm Bureau. She has been with the organization since March of 1990.
Tonya’s primary responsibility is to maintain consistent growth in membership and promote member benefits. In that position, Tonya has assisted in developing three membership databases during her tenure and continually researches new opportunities for group benefits.
Before joining the Maryland Farm Bureau, Tonya worked for the State Highway Administration as an Executive Assistant. She resides in Windsor Mill.

 

EMILY SNYDER
Western Maryland Regional Director    240.405.4365  
esnyder@mdfarmbureau.com

As the Regional Director for the Western Region, Snyder works with the 7 counties from Garrett to Harford as both the liaison with MFB and as their local affairs representative. She works with county Farm Bureau Presidents to recognize county issues and provides leadership development training. Snyder also works to increase membership in the Western Counties and tracks local or regional activities that impact farmers.
Prior to joining MFB, Snyder worked for the University of Maryland Extension Service writing nutrient management plans. She attended the University of Maryland to earn a B.S. in Agricultural Science and Technology (Agronomy). She was a 4-H member for 10 years and has beef and dairy cows in Middletown, MD.

 


LISA STORM
Office Manager     lstorm@mdfarmbureau.com

Lisa Storm joined the Maryland Farm Bureau staff in October of 2017 as the Office Manager. Lisa is responsible for answering all incoming calls and assisting in the membership department. Prior to joining the Maryland Farm Bureau, she worked with General Electric (GE) High Voltage Electrical Sales and Customer Support for 9 years. She and her husband live on a small hobby farm in Harwood. 

 

 


KATIE WARD
Communications Specialist    443.786.1053    kward@mdfarmbureau.com

As the Communications Specialist for MFB, Ward manages all media inquiries, online accounts, publications and marketing materials. She works directly with the Executive Director and Government Relations staff to effectively communicate membership benefits and agricultural policy to MFB families and the community.
Prior to joining MFB, Ward worked as an Account Coordinator for a public relations agency in Greenville, SC. She graduated from Clemson University in 2012 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Parks and Recreation Tourism Management. Ward is a member of the Maryland Public Relations Society of America and a partner at UNITED Church DE. She resides in Ridgely, MD and loves the Eastern Shore. 

 

PARKER WELCH
Central/Southern Maryland Regional Director
Young Farmers Committee Staffer
443.480.4059     pwelch
@mdfarmbureau.com

As the Central/Southern MD Regional Director for MFB, Welch works with the 7 counties from Howard to St. Mary’s as both the liaison with MFB and as their local affairs representative. He works with county Farm Bureau Presidents to recognize county issues and provide leadership development training. Welch also works to increase membership in the Central/Southern counties and track local or regional activities that impact farmers.
Prior to joining MFB, Welch wrote for Holstein World and was an Associate Editor and Marketing Assistant. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia Tech to earn a degree in Dairy Science and a minor in Professional Writing. Welch has been active in 4-H and several dairy clubs in Maryland and New York.