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The Maryland FarmLINK Mentor Match program pairs experienced farmers (mentors) with new or transitioning farm owners/operators (mentees) for one-on-one training, advice and interaction. The year-long mentoring experience is enhanced with support from the Maryland FarmLINK team. At the end of the program FarmLINK asks mentees to share their general stories as new farmers, and their thoughts on the mentor/mentee experience.
During its first two years, the Mentor Match Program was funded by a grant from Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and was available to farmers across the state. When the grant ended in 2015, SMADC continued to fund the program for farmer in the five Southern Maryland counties.
Former FarmLINK director Greg Bowen said it best when he said, “with the support of many others, we were able to put information in the hands of our next generation of farmers and to help strengthen the agricultural economy in Maryland. My time with the mentors and mentees gave me renewed hope in the future of Maryland agriculture.”