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Education and Outreach

Education is key to ensuring a successful future for farms in Maryland. SMADC has several education and outreach strategies to educate the community about how they can support farms, and to educate the next generation about the importance of farming to their health and community. [Also see the farm training and tutorials page for education and training specific to the farm community.]

New! Ag Continuing Education: Earn college credits in agriculture from the University of Maryland remotely in Southern Maryland during Spring 2018. The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is excited to collaborate with the University of Maryland’s Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) to bring two IAA courses – INAG205 Analyzing Alternative Enterprises and INAG132 Agricultural Leadership and Teamwork – to rural residents in Southern Maryland. Through the Rural Maryland Council’s Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund Grant (RMPIF), SMADC won a grant to support agricultural education in Southern Maryland. The resulting project is called the Ag Class Partnership. More about AG CONTINUING EDUCATION here.

Educating the Next Generation: SMADC participates every year in MDA's Farm to School Week. It has issued grants for high schools to refurbish greenhouses and develop hands-on curriculum for students to learn about the many aspects of food and plant production. The popular Cornelia and Couch Potato characters visit county fairs and elementary schools, and Cornelia coloring books and games are used in area schools. [More about the Cornela program here.] SMADC is also a sponsor of the Southern Maryland Invitational Livestock Exposition (SMILE), a yearly event that brings together children and teens in livestock and domestic animal-related events.

Community Education: SMADC has several means for educating the community, including SMADC's Speaker Series and a traveling booth exhibit. Through the speakers program, a SMADC representative will speak at a club or organization event. SMADC's informative booths/exhibits travel to county fairs and other events, and serve as a distribution point for SMADC's various farm directories. SMADC also created the Stakeholders project in conjunction with a traveling Smithsonian exhibit called Fences.

Documentary: In 2006, SMADC produced the 30-minute documentary, Discovering The New American Farmer, in which Southern Maryland farmers, watermen, legislators and county officials talk frankly about the threats to farming caused by the disappearance of tobacco from the local economy, the dwindling farm infrastructure and efforts to find a livable balance between the often opposing efforts of farming and land development. The film also outlines simple steps every individual can take today to support our agricultural economy, preserve our region's rural character and protect Southern Maryland's environmental resources. The documentary is for sale on DVD. click here to order.

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Read more about SMADC's role in education/outreach:
[Cornelia Program] [Speaker Series] [SMILE] [Farmer Training]

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