Have You Bought Local this Week?

Earlier this week, Governor Hogan proclaimed July 17 – 25 is “Maryland Buy Local Week.” This annual event seeks to support Maryland farms and seafood, while increasing the appreciation residents have for fresh, local products. Marylanders are encouraged to visit MarylandsBest.net to be connected with fresh produce, meat products, farm-made ice cream, and craft beverages across the state. The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s marketing program, Maryland’s Best, will also share a series of recipe videos from local chefs…

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Washington County Introduces New Ice Cream Trail

The Washington County Public Relations & Marketing Department has announced the launch of the new Washington County Ice Cream Trail. The trail promotes 11 locally-owned ice cream shops throughout the County. It offers a family-friendly opportunity to support small businesses and attract summer tourism. The County has created a trail map to help visitors locate each of the 11 businesses. In addition, the County is sponsoring a contest to promote the new Ice Cream Trail.…

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Maryland Receives Two Farm to School Grants from the USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $12 million in Farm to School Grants this year, announcing awards to 176 grantees, the most projects funded since the program began in 2013, with two Maryland grants included. “Helping schools expand access to healthy, locally grown produce through these grants is just one of the many ways USDA is transforming America’s food system,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Not only will this give children more nutritious…

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MD Department of Agriculture Awards $2.9M in Animal Waste Technology Fund Grants

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $2.9 million in grants from its Animal Waste Technology Fund that aim to increase environmental benefits for chicken and dairy operations. The grants were awarded as part of the state’s commitment to help farmers improve how they manage animal manure, protect natural resources, and pursue clean and renewable energy sources. “Maryland has a nationwide reputation for its commitment to sustainable agriculture and has been an early…

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Cecil Preserves 236 Acres of Prime Ag Land

Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger today announced that an additional 236 acres of prime agricultural land are now permanently protected through the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF). The property, which is on Randalia Road in Chesapeake City, falls within a Priority Preservation Area (PPA), meets future land use objectives, and is consistent with the 2010 Comprehensive Plan. “Preserving agricultural land is vital to our County’s environment, community, and heritage. I am pleased that we…

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State Seeks Applicants for Healthy Soils Program

Participating farmers will receive free technical assistance and cost-share funding to install key soil health practices. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for farmers interested in enrolling their fields in the Farming for Healthy Soils program. Maryland’s Farming for Healthy Soils program, funded by a three-year, $1 million grant awarded by the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, promotes the use of on-farm soil health practices that increase carbon sequestration, improve soil productivity, and protect…

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Howard County Compost Sales Hit Record Highs

For several months now Howard County has produced and sold record amounts of composted material. In both March and April the County's Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services sold more than 3,100 cubic yards of HoCoGro compost from the Alpha Ridge Landfill Facility. Average monthly sales were previously registering around 1,000 cubic yards. Composted material is a valuable soil additive that helps plants grow, and diverts food residuals and yard waste from landfills.…

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Frederick Announces Latest Round of Agricultural Grants

Today, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and County Council President MC Keegan-Ayer announced the latest round of Agricultural Innovation Grants. County leadership announced several grant recipients and gave an overview of the projects. This round saw more than 30 applicants, and the County was able to award more than $300,000 to local businesses. Recipients will put the money to good use by improving their business operations through the purchase of new equipment, updates to existing…

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Nutrition Programs Get a Federal Boost via ARPA Funding

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Received over $1 Billion infusion of federal funds, run through state governments, as part of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act. From the NACo blog: During the week of April 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the release of two tranches of funding authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA): $1.135 billion to bolster state administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)…

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