HUGHESVILLE, Md. – The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) announced the release of the ‘Row Crop and Vegetables’ Edition of the ‘Farms in Focus’ video series on Southern Maryland’s key agricultural sectors.
Agriculture has played an important role in Maryland since the state was founded in 1634 and is the state’s largest commercial industry. While for hundreds of years tobacco was the main crop in Southern Maryland, today row crop and vegetable production are robust staples of the region’s agricultural profile.
SMADC’s final video in the Farms in Focus 8-edition series is a thoughtful expose of these core agricultural industries with emerging themes that encompass more than cultivation and production, but also emphasize the fundamental act of farming – why producers do what they do, how farmers keep the bay and soils healthy and productive, how farmers build community and keep the food chain flowing, and ultimately how they are working to ensure the future of farming in Southern Maryland.
Grain producer and third generation farmer Chip Bowling, of Bunker Hill Farm, describes the deep sense of satisfaction he feels as he works his land, and the benefit his efforts contribute to the region’s quality of life and his local community, “Every morning when I drive up to my farm with the sun coming up over the fields with the river in the background – I know I’m doing something good for my family, I know I’m doing something good for the environment and I know I’m doing something to help feed the world.”
These sentiments are mirrored by all the featured farmers in the video who express their commitment as stewards of the environment and to producing quality nutritious crops for consumers and animals using best management practices. Jose Prieto, President of Anne Arundel Farmers Market and co-owner of The Bay Mushrooms, explains that Southern Maryland’s farmers go above and beyond to serve their customers and keep the region’s farms in sustainable production. “Every farmer that I know has a plan and they follow it – they do more than they’re asked.”
There is no doubt that for these producers farming is more than a livelihood it is a vocation and a passion that demands their dedication and persistence. The video concludes with a profound observation by Missi Duley, of Duley Farms, a familiar sight in her neighborhood (often attired in standout bright pink t-shirts) as she harvests her sorghum fields aboard her impressive combine, “The more farms we can keep in work (and put into preservation) will save the future of farming – we’ll always have something beautiful to look at. If we don’t have farming we don’t eat….”
The ‘Row Crop and Vegetables’ video and seven previously released editions can now be viewed on the “Farms in Focus” page at SMADC.com. The video series covers all aspects of Southern Maryland’s diverse agricultural profile with a focus on the farmers, producers, the goods and the services of the region’s key agricultural industries. “Farms in Focus” is filmed by accomplished agriculture videographers Edwin Remsberg Studios, and produced by SMADC (a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland). Visit SMADC.com for more farm resources and consumer guides.
The “Farms in Focus” video series is made possible by a grant awarded to SMADC through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF).