FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2000
Contact: Louis Andrea, Park Manager
LOUIS BROMFIELD SOCIETY HONORS MAX DRAKE
Louis Bromfeld's life was devoted to three passions: writing, conservation' and fanning. He excelled and became world famous in all three. In 2000, the Malabar Farm Foundation - dedicated to preserving the legacy of Louis Bromfeld at Malabar Farm State Park - created the Louis Brornijeld Society. The Society will raise funds for major development, education, and preservation projects at Malabar Farm.
"As an integral part of the Society, Malabar Farm Foundation has also created the Louis Bromfield Society Award," said Foundation President Bruce Leimbach. "This award will be given out each year to honor an individual who exemplifies the spirit of Louis Bromfield, and who has made outstanding contributions in one or more of the three fields in which Bromfield himself excelled: literature, conservation, and agriculture."
Max Drake, Bromfield's first farm manager, was seleeted by the board of the Malabar Farm Foundation to receive the first award. The Louis Bromfield Society Award was presented to Drake at the Society's inaugural annual event at Malabar Farm State Park "I am very glad that Max was honored with the first award as it is well deserved," said Ellen Bromfield Geld, Louis Bromfield's youngest daughter. Drake, now 90 years old, lives in Tennessee and was able to attend the event to accept the award in person.
In 1940, Louis Bromfield hired Drake to be the first farm manager at Malabar Farm. Together, Louis and Max created what came to be known as "The Plan" the ideas, principles, and systems that made Malabar a model for sustainable agriculture and, in time, "the most famous farm in America." Max and Louis remained friends even after Max left Malabar in the mid-1940's. In 1996, Max Drake played a prominent role in the public television documentary, "The Man Who Had Everything," sharing with new audiences the story of Louis Bromfield and Malabar Farm.
Drake has spent his life in agriculture. His career, spanning more than half a century, has been distinguished by his leadership of many organizations, including the Northern Ohio Breeders Association, the National Association of Animal Breeders, the Ohio Agricultural Council, and the Alumni of the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Drake was the first chairman of the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, to which he himself was inducted in 1978. The FFA, 4-H, and his alma mater - the Ohio State University - have also honored him.