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.