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Tag: New ideas in farming

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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Diversity is Strength, Unity is Power

Diversity is Strength, Unity is Power

Earlier this week, I attended a listening session for a new business that recently formed, Grow and Fortify. Their motive is to help farmers around the state understand and conquer the barriers that make it difficult for Maryland farms to grow and expand their enterprises. They are tackling topics like value-added agriculture, and defining the ambiguous definition of agritourism in effort to help farms grow and expand. The legislative and regulatory process at the national, state and local levels prove to…

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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….

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Interview: Chesapeake’s Bounty Part 2, Mix’n’Match and Food Forests

Interview: Chesapeake’s Bounty Part 2, Mix’n’Match and Food Forests

As part of the weekly blog post series, Maryland FarmLINK occasionally features an interview with a local farmer or local food advocate.  If we want to create a different food system, where regionally-based agricultural systems can thrive, my hope is that we value more models like Chesapeake’s Bounty. This interview is with Will Kreamer, owner and operator of Chesapeake’s Bounty in St. Leonard and North Beach. Highlighting the health, environmental, and economic benefits of local food, the Bounty sells a wide range…

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Interview: Chesapeake’s Bounty Part 1, Sourcing Regional Foods

Interview: Chesapeake’s Bounty Part 1, Sourcing Regional Foods

As part of the weekly blog post series, Maryland FarmLINK occasionally features an interview with a local farmer or local food advocate.  If we want to create a different food system, where regionally-based agricultural systems can thrive, my hope is that we value more models like Chesapeake’s Bounty. This interview is with Will Kreamer, owner and operator of Chesapeake’s Bounty in St. Leonard and North Beach. Highlighting the health, environmental, and economic benefits of local food, the Bounty sells a wide range…

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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…

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Working to expand opportunities for Maryland farmers

Working to expand opportunities for Maryland farmers

In the past six months, the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission’s Rural Economies Workgroup has been exploring how Maryland can advance a wide variety of rural business ventures. On June 4th, the focus was on food production, aggregation and distribution. The hope of many Maryland farmers is to gain more access to institutional, restaurant and retail markets. Members of the Food and Food Production subcommittee, including representatives of state departments, Maryland Farm Bureau, MARBIDCO and others, assembled at the Coastal Sunbelt facility…

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Saving family farms in Maryland – level access to markets

Saving family farms in Maryland – level access to markets

This blog is the last in a series on saving family farms in Maryland. In the first blog, I highlighted the need for beginning farmers. In the second and third blogs, I addressed access to land and infrastructure needs. In this blog, I discuss how to create a level access to markets. The local food movement has given us hope that we can maintain family farms in Maryland. For decades, I have heard of farmers telling their children that there is…

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Saving family farms in Maryland – the right regulatory environment

Saving family farms in Maryland – the right regulatory environment

This blog is one of a series on saving family farms in Maryland. In my last post, I covered some of the typical infrastructure needs of beginning farmers. In this post, I discuss possible regulatory challenges for new agricultural entrepreneurs. As I mentioned in a previous post, when Maryland’s health and zoning regulations were first adopted, direct sales of farm products, value-added farm products and agri-tourism uses (such as farm weddings, corn mazes, and wine tastings) were not a significant part of…

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