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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.

Photo credit: Kim Rush-Lynch
Chair, Yates Clagett and Director, Shelby Watson-Hampton at a recent board meeting. Photo credit: board member, Kim Rush-Lynch.

As a former tobacco producer who transitioned to cattle, Yates understands the history of SMADC, where it has come from and where it is headed. Yates was born and raised on a 300 acre farm, and his family still manages over 500 acres of farmland. He transitioned to livestock production 2006, and began selling grass fed and finished beef to retail customers. In addition to his new role at SMADC, Yates works for the Prince George’s Soil Conservation District and manages all agricultural programs, including the Land Preservation Programs. He is the county’s Farm Bureau President, and has served on numerous state and local agricultural boards. He is a Volunteer Fire Fighter and Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach at The Calverton School.

“As a long-time SMADC board member, and a Southern Maryland farmer, I look forward to serving as Chairman of the board,” said Yates. “After 16 years, SMADC has refocused and redefined our mission to evolve with the Southern Maryland agricultural economy as it continues to grow. I’m excited to lead the board and to take on new initiatives to help farmers continue to transition and increase profitability.”

Previous Chairmen include, Earl “Buddy” Hance, former Secretary of Agriculture; Charles Rice, Charles County Economic Development; and Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton.

Current members represent various industries, including: livestock, fruits and vegetables, equine, aquaculture, field crops, horticulture, agriculture businesses and services, elected officials, agritourism, land preservation, the Maryland Farm Bureau, agricultural marketing (AMPS), and Extension. Learn more about the SMADC board here.

 

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 for farmers, agribusiness and consumers. An important part of this
effort will be to update our website homepage to be more user-friendly; a one-stop-shop for farmers and consumers to find the resources they need.

And if you haven’t already noticed, we are increasing our marketing, promotions and outreach, and ramping up our social media presence. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with all things food and farming in Southern Maryland. Keep an eye out later this month too for our new monthly Newsletter: Farm Focus.

 

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.

Guests from Soil Conservation & Farm Bureau, and even a special visit from Mrs. Moo, Calvert County’s favorite Ag educator!

Over the course of the two days, we had over 50 attendees representing all five counties and all sectors of agriculture.

The event was an opportunity to talk with staff, pick up brochures and guides, and offer suggestions and ideas to SMADC. As attendees mingled, we had light food and refreshments featuring farm products from around Southern Maryland. Suggestions, ideas, and comments were shared. Perhaps most encouraging though, was the strong sense in the room of the local farming community coming together. Laughter was heard, and stories and hugs were shared. It was great to see so many people still holding a strong, vested interest in local agriculture.

Our youngest farmers during the open house!

And, we can’t forget to feature our  youngest young farmers in attendance, pictured on the left. It was wonderful to meet the next generation of future farmers.

A big thank you to all the farmers, producers, and agricultural representatives who visited with us during our two-day “Meet and Greet” Open House. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting and visiting with you and we were very pleased to have representation from all five Southern Maryland counties. Because it was so successful, we plan to host a SMADC Open House every year.

If you could not make the open house you can still pose suggestions, comments, and ideas for SMADC here.  We have some exciting new announcements coming soon – so stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to receive news and announcements!

 

 

 

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