Jean and Russ were the co-founders of Phillips Farm and Produce in 1990. Jeanís family (King, Riggs. Crawford, Bowman, Hilton, Moxley, Brown, Brewer, Pierpont, Griffith, Purdum, and Dorsey) is no stranger to Maryland Farming. All of Jeanís grandfathers and grandmothers were living and farming in Maryland by the 1700ths. Her great......... grandfather Riggs came to Maryland in 1649 to farm a thousand acres in Anne Arundel County. The Phillips Farm celebrated their 350th year as Maryland Farmers in 1999. Several of Jeanís great grandfatherís moved into Montgomery County in the 1700ís. Amon Riggs in Laytonville, Edward King in Kingís Valley in Cedar Grove (The Kingís Farm family). Evan Bowman in Cedar Grove (Bowman Brothers Mill family of Germantown and Gaithersburg-now The Granary). Several of Jeanís Maryland Farming great grand-fathers helped ask the British to leave in 1776. Nehemiah Moxley was involved in the Annapolis Tea Party burning of the Peggy Stewart in 1774. Her Great- great- grandfather Amon Riggs was a Captain in the Maryland Militia. ...Grandfather John Duckett of Prince George County served as a buyer for the Continental Army. ....Grandfather Hilton fought in the Continental Army. The flintlock he used is still in the family.
Jean was born in Germantown on their Shaeffer Road farm. She grew up on the dairy and crop farm and attended Gaithersburg High School. She them attended University of Maryland in College Park. She was a member of in the marching band and varsity riffle team and studied Science Education. After college she taught biology and general science as well as coached the riffle team at Robert Perry High School. In 1967 she began working as an immunologist at the National Institute of Dental Research were she co-authored several scientific paper on neutrophil activation. In 1976 after the birth of her second son she left NIH to run a dairy farm with her husband and father. The farming operation evolved from milking cows to baling and delivering hay and straw to the landscapers and horse farms in the state. The summer of 1990 the Phillipsí started Phillips Farm & Produce with 8 acres of corn to sell at a road side stand. The farm has grown to include 50 ac. of sweet corn, 45 ac. of pumpkins, 7,000 tomato plant, several ac. of pepper, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumber.
Russ is Jeanís oldest son. He started his farming career at age 2 when his Grandfather Herbert King would let him drive the tractor while sitting on his lap. Russ loved the farm. He played farm games with his complete set of miniature farm machinery. Soon as he was old enough, he began driving the tractor with his mom sitting beside him. By age nine he was raking hay on selected fields by himself. At twelve he began running the baler on level fields. His abilities increased until he could run all the machinery and repair much of it. He attended Seneca Valley High School where he was a honor student, varsity wrestler, and lacrosse attack man. Russ ran the farm the summer of 1990, the first year of the produce business while his mother was taking a group of boy scouts on a 21 day trip to Philmont Scout Ranch. Russ ran into all kinds of problem with the sweet corn because it was the first year the farm had grown corn for fresh market. Mr. Tom Kelley of Kelley Corn in Darnestown became Russís mentor that summer. Much of the success of Phillips Farm sweet corn production goes to Russ and Tom for that summer of experiences. That fall Russ entered Virginia Tech in aerospace engineering and was a varsity wrestler. He wrestled for four years and did varsity cheerleading his senior year. Each summer Russ worked full time developing the produce business. After graduation from V Tech, he attended George Mason on a Cheerleading Scholarship while he got his MBA. Russ brought many of the skills he learned from his business courses home to the farm. Russ developed our web page and runs the web site My Recommendations. This will be the sixth summer without Russ on the farm. He still runs our web page and serves as a consultant on new ideas and marketing strategy. He is now trying his hand in the larger business world around us. He has retired from his hobby as a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader after 5 seasons and one Superbowl. He still helps the Ravens with tryouts and helps his daughter with her cheerleading.