DENTON — Choptank Electric Cooperative executive and long-time agriculture advocate Valerie Connelly is joining the board of directors of the Maryland State Fair.
The board of directors for the Maryland State Fair dates back to the mid-1800s. Since then, the fair has grown from a three-day event to a 10-day affair.
“The board of directors exists to make sure the fair is profitable,” Connelly said. “One of my major goals is to provide education activities and outreach to teach about agriculture.”
Connelly has spent the last 20 years working with state fair officials raising money for young farmer programs and promoting the next generation of farmers.
“Agriculture is the number one industry in the state of Maryland by a lot,” she said. “I’m here to raise money and promote next-generation farmers.”
Connelly grew up in Harford County and now lives in Rising Sun.
“I will always continue to give back to the farming community,” Connelly said. “This is an opportunity to stay involved in the industry.”
Connelly spent 10 years on Capitol Hill working for three members of the House of Representatives from Ohio. She also served as legislative director on energy commerce, banking and finance and judiciary committees.
Her next stop was the Maryland Farm Bureau where she spent 24 years and served as executive director from November 2013 until June 2019.
On July 1, 2019, she accepted the role of vice president of government affairs and public relations for Choptank Electric Cooperative and will continue her duties while volunteering with the state fair.
Connelly will miss the first quarterly meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16, because of a commitment with Choptank but will attend other quarterly meetings, she said.