Phillip “Chip” Councell, Jr. was presented with the
prestigious 2016 Dr. James R. Miller Award by the Maryland
Grain Producers Association (MGPA) at the Maryland Commodity
Classic on July 28. Established in 1988, this award
annually recognizes a professional for his or her long-term
contributions to the grain industry.
“Even with his extensive commitments to travel and meetings in addition to farming, Chip is always willing to lend a helping hand, host a tour, serve on a committee, and make a difference in Maryland agriculture,” stated Donnie Tennyson, MGPA President.
Chip is a tenth generation farmer from Cordova, Maryland. He and his family farm corn, soybeans, wheat, fresh market vegetables and timber in Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties. They also run Councell Farms, a retail farm market, creamery and agritourism operation in Cordova. Chip and his wife, Jo Ann, have been married for more than 30 years and have two children and five grandchildren.
Chip currently serves as the Chairman of the U.S. Grains Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and their related products worldwide. USGC addresses global market access barriers related to the introduction of new technologies in agriculture. He also serves as a director for MAIZAL, an association of corn grower leadership from Argentina, Brazil and the United States.
As Chip has increased his involvement in USGC, he is a frequent host for trade missions visiting this country. Chip provides credible explanations to discuss complex topics such as precision farming and biotechnology to foreign buyers and dignitaries. One of Chip’s most prestigious visitors was Han Changfu, the Chinese minister of Agriculture who visited along with his entourage in September 2015. A historic Cuban trade delegation visited in April 2016 and were eager to learn the benefits of biotechnology for potential use in Cuba.
Chip has served on both the Maryland Grain Producers Association Board and the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board. He is a past director of the Talbot County Farm Bureau and served for 10 years on the Talbot County Board of Appeals.
The Councell family was inducted into the Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2015 by Governor Hogan. They also received the “Citizen of the Year” award from the Tri-County Ruritan for community support and involvement, including donating food to the Maryland Food Bank and St. Vincent DePaul Society, from the Tri-County. The Talbot Soil Conservation District named Councell Farms the “2010 Cooperator of the Year” award for their dedication to stewardship and conservation.
“I am very honored receiving this award as it means a lot to be recognized by my peers,” Councell responded. “I’ve been fortunate to be involved in organizations where I try to make a difference and we make progress for agriculture. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for me. You get back more than you put into it.”
Donnie Tennyson, President of Maryland Grain Producers Association, presents Chip Council with the 2016 Dr. James R. Miller Award for outstanding contribution to the grain industry.