The purpose of this blog is to highlight trends, challenges and opportunities in agriculture in Southern Maryland and across the region.
When Southern Maryland’s Tobacco Buyout was initiated years ago, many thought that would be the end of agriculture here. Farming classes in schools had ended several decades earlier. Young farmer groups had stopped meeting after attendance had dwindled. Even before the buyout, the highest rate of residential growth and greatest rate of farmland loss in the state was already having an impact on the landscape in Southern Maryland.
But things are changing. Farmland has been preserved. Existing farmers, and even new farmers, are farming and have diversified into new farming ventures never before seen in Southern Maryland. Young farmer groups have rekindled and ag education is making its way back into schools. Most of all, nationwide, there is a consumer desire to buy local food, and this region is blessed to have a wonderful patchwork of small and medium sized farms.
So why a blog? Things are happening fast. There is an increased need for information about agriculture and around the region so that farmers– and those who support them– can stay informed.
This blog is written by SMADC staff. Occasionally this blog features a guest writer. If you would like to write a guest post, please contact us. If you are interested to comment on a blog post or continue the conversation on any post please do so through the Farm Forum or on our Facebook page.