Happy New Year! January marks a good time to look back and reflect and look forward to the future. SMADC recently published its FY’16 End of Year Report (linked below).

Some FY’16 highlights include:

  • Maryland FarmLINK launched a new website (FarmLINK 2.0) with increased features for users
  • 581 new members signed-up for the FarmLINK website/Weekly Roundup; 55 Maryland FarmLINK “Weekly Roundup” newsletters were sent to 1,900 subscribers
  • 8 new farmer profiles launched Tomorrow’s Harvest website
  • The Southern Maryland Meat Processing Facility is underway and held public forums, focus group discussions, and invited public input
  • 47 producers participate in Southern Maryland Meats; and 68,760 pounds of frozen meat was transported at an estimated retail value of $395,920. Seven retail stores who host the Southern Maryland Meats freezer display cases reported sales of $201,413 (an increase of 10% from FY’15)
  • Launched a new website for the horse industry in Southern Maryland, “Hoofbeats Through History: The Southern Maryland Historic Horse Trail”, as one of a network of heritage ‘driving’ trails in development across the state; including 17 documented/equine-related destinations in So. MD
  • Provided marketing and support for Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge; the 2016 Farmers’ Market Guide listing of 30 So. MD Markets and 10 additional markets in MD, Metro DC and VA hosting Southern MD farm vendors; and the 2016 Farms for the Holiday’s Guide
  • Offered an Equipment Grant for local agencies to apply. Five new pieces for approved for funding.  37 pieces of equipment have been purchased and are available for farmers to rent across the region
  • SMADC funds for land preservation increased in FY’16 for a total of 16,257 cumulative acres over 14 years of funding. Combined with county and state funds, land preservation acreage in Southern Maryland amounts to 36,325 acres (320 farms) cumulatively
  • Provided administrative support to farmers markets in applying for grants for EBT/SNAP incentive funds

The full report is uploaded to the SMADC website on the “About SMADC” page Year End Reports linked here for your convenience: http://www.smadc.com/aboutsmadc/Report2016.pdf

We are halfway through FY’17, which has been a transitional time for the organization. During the first part of FY’17, many meetings, public forums, and a retreat with the board were held in order to determine the future. We thank the many who showed up to those meetings to provide input, or who wrote in or phoned with expressions for moving forward. Staff and board members have been busy working to address every single comment. Thank you for understanding the difficulties that are inherent in restructuring while continuing to operate at nearly full capacity. Onward and upward!

Note: We have the comment section of the blog turned off due to spam, but we welcome comments and questions to blog posts. Please connect with us anytime at info@marylandfarmlink.com or at 301-274-1922 x.1.