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Author: Priscilla Wentworth

Finding Suitable Land Through Maryland FarmLINK

Finding Suitable Land Through Maryland FarmLINK

In late 2016, Benny and Courtney Pino started a quest to move their farm operation, Loblolly Farm, closer to the markets of the Washington D.C. region. They opened a map and narrowed their search to any suitable farm site within a few hours of Washington D.C. From their home in Southern Florida, they pulled up Google on their laptop, where FarmLINK websites from across the country popped-up. In the Washington D.C. region, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland all had FarmLINK websites which…

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A celebration of farms and food in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the ‘Challenge’

A celebration of farms and food in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the ‘Challenge’

The first ever ‘Buy Local Challenge 10th Anniversary Celebration – Southern Maryland Style’ event, was held this past Monday evening July 31st, at Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards in Southern Prince George’s County, which the Watson family kindly donated for the evening of the the event. The farm festival featured 30 local farmers, producers, artisans, and vendors who pitched ‘farmers market style’ booths and tents on the farm lawn and offered product tastings and sales of their delicious wares. Sampling…

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Farm therapy merges nature and nurture European “Care Farming” concept takes root on a Charles County farm

Farm therapy merges nature and nurture European “Care Farming” concept takes root on a Charles County farm

Story by Conni Leigh James and Priscilla Wentworth; photos by Conni Leigh James Karen Malkin is a lawyer, specializing in program appeals and litigation. She’s also a Reiki master, and a teacher and coach specializing in cognitive energy therapy. But most importantly, she is a self-proclaimed “Care Farm Pioneer,” a job description that speaks to a facet of agriculture that is cutting-edge contemporary and, at the same time, very ancient. “People are suffering from a real nature deficit in general,” said…

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What do Southern Maryland Meats, Distilled Spirits, and Alpacas all have in common?  

What do Southern Maryland Meats, Distilled Spirits, and Alpacas all have in common?  

…They will all be together Monday, July 31, 2017! Join SMADC, farmers, and local farm and craft vendors for a celebration of Maryland’s farms and food at the Buy Local Challenge 10th Anniversary Celebration Event – Southern Maryland Style. The event is open to the public as part of our efforts to continue to promote the regions’ farms, and provide outreach to the community about Maryland farms. The event will feature tastings of local farm products, a locally sourced Southern Maryland style buffet…

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SMADC Appoints New Chairman of the Board

SMADC Appoints New Chairman of the Board

Since 2001, SMADC has operated at the behest of a team of board members comprised of representatives from different agriculture sectors who provide updates, information and recommendations to the board to assist the Southern Maryland agriculture industry. This April, SMADC appointed a new Chairman, Yates Clagett, to oversee the 19 member board– and in May, Yates officially kicked off the board meeting. As a former tobacco producer who transitioned to cattle, Yates understands the history of SMADC, where it has come from…

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SMADC debuts new logo!

SMADC debuts new logo!

There’s been a flurry of exciting updates at SMADC over the past month, including our latest announcement: the unveiling of a new logo! The new logo brings together the origins of SMADC’s historic foundation in one colorful image. Showcasing the stewardship of our land and waterways– the iconic tobacco barn, the Chesapeake Bay, row crops, and that hot Maryland sun– all point to SMADC’s bright, new horizon! The larger re-branding and marketing initiative we are currently undertaking, aims to increase awareness for our programs, making SMADC a household name…

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Lively Meet & Greet Open House

Lively Meet & Greet Open House

Earlier this month, Shelby Watson-Hampton joined SMADC as the new Director. Shelby and the SMADC Staff were excited to kick things off by hosting an event to welcome the Southern Maryland community into our offices for networking with a “Meet and Greet” Open House. Southern Maryland farmers, producers, agricultural organizations, elected officials and others with a vested interest in local agriculture were invited to attend. Over the course of the two days, we had over 50 attendees representing all five counties and…

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SMADC Announces New Director

SMADC Announces New Director

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is pleased to announce new Director, Shelby Watson-Hampton. Shelby is a Southern Maryland farmer, an Agricultural Marketing Specialist, and an active member of the Maryland farming community. In her previous position at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, she worked in the Marketing Department promoting and marketing Maryland products, farmers, and farmers markets, as well as running the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Shelby is an active member of many agricultural associations and committees. She also farms on her family farm in…

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Happy New Year! Annual Report Published

Happy New Year! Annual Report Published

Happy New Year! January marks a good time to look back and reflect and look forward to the future. SMADC recently published its FY’16 End of Year Report (linked below). Some FY’16 highlights include: Maryland FarmLINK launched a new website (FarmLINK 2.0) with increased features for users 581 new members signed-up for the FarmLINK website/Weekly Roundup; 55 Maryland FarmLINK “Weekly Roundup” newsletters were sent to 1,900 subscribers 8 new farmer profiles launched Tomorrow’s Harvest website The Southern Maryland Meat Processing Facility is…

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Beginning Farmers in Maryland Share Their Stories

Beginning Farmers in Maryland Share Their Stories

SMADC recently completed a series of six stories showcasing beginning farmers in the Mentor Match program. The project highlights the rich diversity of Maryland agriculture that is evolving to replace the centuries-old, single-crop (tobacco) model, as well as the varied backgrounds of those embarking on new farm careers today. Highlighted farms range from a flower farm in inner-city Baltimore to a produce farm on the banks of the Patuxent River. Participants are varied as well. Some are young entrepreneurs building a first business….

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