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THE 3-MINUTE INTERVIEW: Alan Sharp

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Sharp studied aviation management at Florida Tech but returned to his 530-acre family farm in Montgomery County, Sharp's at Waterford Farm, near Brookeville to help continue the family farming legacy. The Sharp family has been in farming for more than 100 years and opens the farm to the public for educational tours, a corn maze and pumpkin picking.

What drew you back to the farm?

I tried to live in an apartment in Florida and realized I enjoy living on acreage and don't mind waking up early and working hard. I enjoy working with my hands. It's a lifestyle choice. And I have a nice commute walking down the hill, with no traffic.

What's your favorite thing about the farm?

In the fall, its nice to see all the people coming out from the city who don't usually have an opportunity to experience wide open space and the farm atmosphere. I love to see all the people enjoy themselves.

What is fall like out on the farm?

It can be a hectic time of year for us, preparing for the visitors, but it is equally rewarding. We work all year for people to come out and feed the animals, go through the corn maze, and all the other activities out here. One unique thing we have this year that we've done before is a plot of cotton. I think it's one of the few in Maryland, and it is incorporated into the maze. The corn maze is cut into the shape of a cotton plant.

Why should people come out to the farm, especially in the fall?

It's a good family outing at a relatively low cost. There is no admission fee, and we offer free hayrides to the pumpkin patch. It's healthy to get out in the fresh air in the country and walk around and pick yourself a pumpkin.

- Abby Hamblin

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