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Category: Maryland agriculture

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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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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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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Maryland’s Newest Trail Is Just a Hoofbeat Away!

Maryland’s Newest Trail Is Just a Hoofbeat Away!

The region’s newest heritage trail, “Hoofbeats Through History: The Southern Maryland Historic Horse Trail,” offers an online network of destinations highlighting the important role of horses in the area’s culture and heritage. Since the first settlers set foot here in the early 1600s, horses have been a part of Southern Maryland. The website encompasses sites where the cavalry camped during the Civil War, stops along an early stage coach route, plus plantations and manor houses dating back to Colonial days, when horses pulled carriages and plowed fields….

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Growing Quality Pastures to Raise Meats- On Farm ‘Grazing’ Workshop

Growing Quality Pastures to Raise Meats- On Farm ‘Grazing’ Workshop

The Maryland Grazers Network and Chesapeake Bay Foundation in partnership with the University of Maryland Extension and the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) held a workshop and pasture walk last week with a focus on producing and managing high quality pastures for cows, sheep and goats, to ensure excellent meat products and enhanced soil conservation. Around 35 livestock farmers from around the region showed up at Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro on a warm evening to learn from experts about…

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Setting the stage for a flourishing future by Christine Bergmark

Setting the stage for a flourishing future by Christine Bergmark

By: Christine Bergmark, Executive Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission Looking back over 15 years of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, I am filled with pride. We, the farmers, consumers, visionaries, staff and volunteers, have accomplished so much. Sixteen years ago, few could have envisioned Southern Maryland agriculture without tobacco. But the new crops, new markets, farm innovations, and consumer demand that followed gave hope with each fresh planting season that agriculture was and would continue to be vibrant…

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Selling local farm products through food hubs- new national report

Selling local farm products through food hubs- new national report

This blog is the first in a two-part series on selling local farm products through outside distribution channels like food hubs. This week, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, along with The Wallace Center, released the 2015 National Food Hub Survey findings, which indicates that the food hub model can be financially successful across a variety of legal structures and geographic or customer markets. Food hubs are businesses that aggregate and distribute source-identified food products, i.e. food that carries it’s farm…

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Chefs and Farmers Initiative Creates Movement

Chefs and Farmers Initiative Creates Movement

Across the country there is momentum to bring more local food to restaurants. Recently we wrote a blog on upcoming trends for restaurants where locally-sourced foods topped the charts for yet another year. Innovate solutions are popping up everywhere in the Chesapeake region too. However, farmers and chefs are busy people who are usually running in two separate directions. So how do local restaurants find all these wonderful farms, and how do farmers make connections to new chefs? Southern Maryland Chef and Farmer…

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Farmers Market vendors – an opportunity to grow your customers

Farmers Market vendors – an opportunity to grow your customers

By: Cia Morey and Priscilla Wentworth, SMADC Farmers market season kicks into full gear soon in Maryland. Over the past few years farmers markets have increased the ability to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Not only does this allow low-income participants the opportunity of adding fresh local fruits and vegetables to their diet, it allows farmers to increase their customer base too. SNAP redemption generated $18.8 million in Fiscal Year 2014 – “a nearly six-fold increase since 2008.”…

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