Browsed by
Tag: new and beginning farmers

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….

Read More Read More

Young Farmers Create Maryland Chapter of the NYFC

Young Farmers Create Maryland Chapter of the NYFC

Maryland FarmLINK posted a blog last year about an initial meet-up to identify interests from young farmers in the region. The meeting was to discuss forming a state-wide chapter of the  National Young Farmers Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting practices and policies that will sustain young farmers now and in the future. There was much interest and enthusiasm, so, following the event, the Maryland Young Farmers Coalition (MD-YFC) was born. The Maryland Chapter is a networking and support group made up of young…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

Beginning Farmers Unite at Mentor Match Meeting

Beginning Farmers Unite at Mentor Match Meeting

SMADC is delighted to be part of the Maryland Collaborative for Beginning Farmer Success which received a three year grant from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. SMADC has supported the effort with enhanced resources on the Maryland FarmLINK website and managing the Mentor Match Program for beginning farmers. This past Monday we held the annual Mentor Match meeting. Over 20 Maryland farmers came together around the table, farmers who are interested in helping one another grow the next generation of farmers….

Read More Read More

Tomorrow’s Harvest: Beginning farmers share their stories

Tomorrow’s Harvest: Beginning farmers share their stories

SMADC has launched a new webpage called Tomorrow’s Harvest showcasing a series of stories about farmers in SMADC’s Mentor Match Program. Eight mentee farmers of the inaugural program agreed to share their stories in hopes that their experiences will be useful to others just beginning the journey. As the age of the average farmer continues to rise, programs like the Mentor Match are in place to keep farming alive in our region. High cost of land and necessary infrastructure to get started prevent many…

Read More Read More

Maryland FarmLINK continues to gain ground building connections for the region

Maryland FarmLINK continues to gain ground building connections for the region

As we move into fall, it marks a good time to look back and reflect, as Maryland FarmLINK just finished the year-end report. FarmLINK helps aspiring farmers locate farmland and find mentors and partners. FarmLINK provides a forum for all farmers to exchange and ask questions, and provides information such as where to find equipment for rent, workshops, land, and general farming news. The popularity of the website continues to grow with visits to the site increasing 134%, to 124,000…

Read More Read More

Interview: Farmer, Susie Hance-Wells, Part 1

Interview: Farmer, Susie Hance-Wells, Part 1

As part of the weekly blog post series, Maryland FarmLINK will begin to feature an interview with a farmer or local food advocate occasionally. The first interview is with Susie Hance-Wells of Taney Place farm in Calvert County. The farm recently started a new retail venture called Battle Creek Beef. Maryland FarmLINK: Will you tell us about yourself? Susie: The farm has been in the family since 1800. I was born and raised here on the farm. I am the…

Read More Read More

Wildlife. If you can’t beat them, join them

Wildlife. If you can’t beat them, join them

By Priscilla Wentworth and Susan McQuilkin, SMADC Increasingly farmers are up against wildlife management for both crop damage and food safety. As  wildlife habitat areas near production fields are being cleared, we are dramatically changing farming landscape. Across the U.S., researchers are now realizing that eradicating habitat around farm fields is not necessarily making food safer from pathogens. For example, it has been noted that farms which cleared away wildlife habitat, after the west coast spinach scare contamination, E. Coli became more common. There seems to be…

Read More Read More

Is America ready for “share-farm”?

Is America ready for “share-farm”?

We have all seen the trend toward larger farms, especially for commodity crops, dairy and large-scale poultry operations. Closely related to that trend is the loss of younger farmers, particularly in the types of farm sectors that require major investments to start. Simply said, if you don’t inherit a large-scale operation, you can’t afford to buy the farm, or even the equipment to farm. The logical, long-term outcome of those trends is either corporate ownership of all such farms or…

Read More Read More

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.