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Tag: Maryland topics

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 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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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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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 products through food hubs: new Maryland report

Selling local products through food hubs: new Maryland report

This blog is the second in a two-part series on selling farm products through outside distribution channels like food hubs (read the first blog here). The Wallace Center recently released a new report on Maryland Food Hubs. The Wallace Center partnered with SMADC on the report, looking at research SMADC has undertaken in the past few years on Maryland food hubs (existing and emerging), and the knowledge the Wallace Center has built around food hub and food system work at…

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Farmer to Farmer Education: New podcast is an invaluable resource

Farmer to Farmer Education: New podcast is an invaluable resource

Uninterrupted downtime is difficult to find! Everything else usually gets shoved to the back-burner at the height of the season. However, a new podcast series called the Farmer to Farmer Podcast connects with farmers on the go. The show is for farmers, by farmers, and is hosted by Chris Blanchard, a veteran farmer and educator combining 25 years of experience to get at the big ideas and practical details that go into making a farm work.  Each week Chris interviews…

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Consider Fermenting as a value-added way to grow your market

Consider Fermenting as a value-added way to grow your market

Touted for its historical health benefits across the globe, fermented foods have been on the hot list recently, especially in the Maryland region. In part, due to Rachael Armstead and her husband who have pioneered them back from ancient history, into value-added products for farmers markets and wholesale outlets through their work with the local and state health departments. Rachel worked on farms in the region before starting The Sweet Farm four short years ago, and noticed the abundance of…

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Chesapeake region farm conference shares knowledge, strengthens relationships

Chesapeake region farm conference shares knowledge, strengthens relationships

What better way to kick off the New Year than brushing up on farm skills, and collaborating with other food system innovators. Last week was the annual Cultivate the Chesapeake Conference, hosted by Future Harvest- Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA) – and as usual, it did not disappoint! Although there are many winter conferences and meetings, I always return home from this one with my farm knowledge acutely sharpened. It’s a good time to meet with people you don’t see…

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Saving Family Farms in Maryland

Saving Family Farms in Maryland

This week sure is the week of farm conferences and events!  We will report on some of them in the coming weeks, but this week we’ve revived a series of posts on “Saving family farms in Maryland”. The series addresses many of the challenges and opportunities we face in farming in Maryland, and will likely continue to face. Perhaps with a look back at them we can charge ourselves with a few new tasks as we make our way into the new year. Saving…

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What is USDA GroupGAP and how could it help my farm?

What is USDA GroupGAP and how could it help my farm?

Chances are you’ve heard about USDA GroupGap, which was recently created by USDA to help farmers and buyers meet the increasing demand for local food while maintaining strong food safety standards. I was curious about learning more, so I did some research. Here is a quick rundown. Group GAP makes the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) process for food safety more accessible to small and medium size farmers by allowing multiple growers to work together to obtain a single certification (as a group) and a…

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