New Farming Toolkit Available to Local Governments and Communities

On May 16 the Maryland Department of Agriculture issued a  press release announcing the release of a toolkit designed to help local governments better manage and address the needs of agriculture.

The Governor’s Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture (GICA) today launched a “toolkit” designed to help Marylanders understand farming in the State and how they can support it. “Understanding and Responding to the Changing Needs of Maryland Agriculture: A Toolkit for Local Communities” aims to provide local communities and officials with a better understanding of the current state of Maryland agriculture. The toolkit suggests tools, methods and resources that will help farmers, their neighbors and local officials better work together towards creating communities that support both profitable agricultural production and a high quality of life.

Maryland farms comprise roughly one-third of the State and are economically invaluable to rural economies.  Nearly 14 percent of the State’s workforce is engaged in Maryland’s food and fiber sector, which exported nearly $450 million worth of products in 2009.  However, rapid changes in a global marketplace and a developing Maryland have forced many farmers to find new ways of doing business.  The GICA toolkit outlines many of these changes.

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