Though each is a little different, the statewide agricultural marketing professionals (commonly referred to as “AMPs”) represent farmers and agriculture producers in their county and provide marketing and business assistance. Positions are typically housed in the Economic Development offices, or University of Maryland Extension– and work with both, in addition to their local Soil Conservation district, MARBIDCO and SMADC. The Maryland AMP’s network formally gets together a few times a year to network, share innovative developments, problem solve and brainstorm ideas and issues affecting their respective counties.
For the past seven years, they have meet annually with the Virginia AMPs group to cross-connect, learn about new opportunities and ag and food regulations, and share lessons learned. A listing of Maryland AMP’s can be found here.
And– for the first time– all five Southern Maryland counties have an agricultural marketing professional position! SMADC is excited that each Southern Maryland county now has a county representative, including the most recent county, Charles County. Martin Proulx started this fall and serves as the Agriculture Business Development Manager at the Charles County Economic Development Department (EDD). His responsibilities include serving as the primary contact for agricultural businesses, as well as developing, implementing, and administering programs to promote and enhance the County’s agricultural industries. Martin graduated from Frostburg State University with a Bachelor of Science, and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. Before joining the Charles County EDD, Martin managed multiple farmers markets
in Howard County and served as the Assistant Manager of the Roving Radish, a Howard County-sponsored meal delivery program that makes local produce and healthy meals accessible to county residents. Martin is excited to make Southern Maryland his home and for the opportunity to passionately advocate for agriculture in the local community.
Martin’s Priorities for Charles County:
-Serve as a primary contact for promoting all aspects of Charles County’s agricultural industry including farming, agribusiness, agritourism, value-added processing, and marketing.
-Assist in bringing Charles County’s first winery and brewery to fruition.
-Identify new distribution channels and unique opportunities for Charles County producers.
-Create outreach and public relations initiatives to educate county residents on the local harvest calendar and the importance of buying local.
-Collaborate with agriculture industry leaders, stakeholders and resource providers to preserve and advance the local agriculture industry.
Martin says his door is open and he is looking forward to meeting with Charles County farmers. He can be reached directly at 301-885-1340 x2630 and ProulxM@meetcharlescounty.com.