10 Ways to Celebrate Maryland Agriculture
By Jason Schellhardt /
March 20, 2018

Guest feature: Jason Schellhardt is the Director of Communications for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Follow along with MDA@MdAgDeptand Maryland's Best@MdsBest.

Did you know that most of life's necessities – food, fiber, clothing and shelter – start with agriculture?

March 20 is National Agriculture Day, which recognizes the contributions of agriculture to American society. To coincide with this national celebration, Governor Larry Hogan has declared March 18-24 as "Maryland Agriculture Week." From the mountains of Western Maryland with its dairy farms and hay, to Central Maryland with its greenhouse and livestock industries, to the Eastern Shore's acres of corn and poultry – Maryland truly grows something for everyone.

"Maryland is incredibly fortunate to be home to a rich and diverse agriculture industry," said Governor Hogan. "I am proud to recognize and celebrate this week with our hardworking farmers and producers, who continue to show their commitment to this vital industry, their communities, and our statewide efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay."

In Maryland, one-third of the land mass – over 2 million acres – is farmland. In 2017, the top commodity sectors were poultry (broilers), grain, greenhouse and nursery, and dairy. For more interesting facts about Maryland agriculture, see the AgBrief.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture shares 10 suggestions to help citizens recognize National and Maryland Agriculture Week:

    1. Watch Maryland Farm and Harvest on Maryland Public Television or online. The hit series, now in production for a sixth season, puts a human face on farming by showcasing personal stories about farmers, their work with the land and resources, production of food and fiber for our society, challenges, hopes and dreams, and their future.
    2. Take It from Maryland Farmers: Backyard Actions for a Cleaner Chesapeake Bay. This helpful education campaign provides homeowners with information and tips from farmers that they can use to do their part to help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The initiative offers a series of fact sheets that can be helpful.
    3. Plan your garden and repair lawns with certified seeds. Spring is almost here and now is the time to plan for your gardens and lawns. Be sure to get a soil test before fertilizing and check out the University of Maryland Extension's Grow it Eat it website.
    4. Visit a winery. Maryland has ten wine trails and 70 wineries that offer more than 400 different wines. Touring a winery or a vineyard in the countryside, tasting some of Maryland's fine wines, and enjoying the company of friends are wonderful ways to spend a springtime day.



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