Agro Economic Report Release: ‘Diversifying the Agricultural Basket’

Fair Farms released new research highlighting the benefits of biodiversity in Maryland’s agriculture sector. The report, “Diversifying the Agricultural Basket, Risks in Conventional Poultry Growing on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Opportunities from Diversified Local Agriculture,” reinforces the old adage, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” and highlights the benefits of biodiversity in our food and farming system.

Maryland is often called “America in miniature” because of the geographic diversity of the state. From the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains, our state has a little of everything: rural, exurban, suburban and urban communities. We are home to the largest estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay, which is also one of the world’s most productive bodies of water.

In the agriculture sector, Maryland also looks like America in miniature, with a reduction in the number of independent family farmers alongside the growth of a vertically-integrated poultry sector.

“Today, industry experts tell us that vertical integration in our food systems is what is best for farmers and consumers. This report begins to showcase information that tells a different story,” said Nicholas.

The report was produced with help from Food and Water Watch, Assateague Coastal Trust, the Center for Progressive Reform and Environmental Integrity Project.

Read the Report here (PDF) .

Watch a video of an informative webinar explaining key points by the author, Aiden Irish, and Fair Farms’ Executive Director Betsy Nicholas.