Public Health

Fair Farms for Healthy Families

Farmers and farm workers live close to the land. Spending their days growing food for families, we owe it to them to ensure their families—and all Marylanders—enjoy safe and healthy living conditions. Public health is important to us all.

Our current agriculture and food system often prioritizes profits over public health. Some industrial farms—especially those involved in intensive animal agriculture—use unhealthy farming practices that jeopardize our environment and, in turn, endanger public health.

Manure PageExcess pesticides and manure from these farms seep into our waterways – the same waterways Marylanders use for swimming, fishing, crabbing, and drinking water. When excess manure from factory farms ends up in our water sources, Marylanders can be exposed to harmful disease-carrying pathogens and bacteria that pose many health risks. Exposure to herbicides like Atrazine, which is used to treat corn, is linked to cancer, thyroid disease, and other systemic problems. In fact, the World Health Organization regards several pesticides and herbicides routinely used in agriculture, such as Roundup, as likely carcinogens.

The routine use of antibiotics in farm animals that are not sick is also contributing to the rise of antibiotic resistance. It is estimated that 23,000 people die every year— and two million people are sickened—by antibiotic resistant superbugs.  Farm workers are at a particularly high risk due to their constant exposure.

Cows CAFOBig factory farms can be unhealthy neighbors, creating foul smells, contributing to air and water pollution, and exposing people to animal-borne diseases. Just as Maryland farmers need reasonable protection from encroaching developments, we also need updated zoning codes that protect Maryland homeowners and residents from noxious fumes and other threats from encroaching, super-sized factory farms with intensive animal agriculture.

Fair Farms believes in a more diverse, healthy, local, and sustainable system. A system where farmers live in harmony with the land and the community and chemical outputs are minimized, and these sustainable farms are supported by consumers. Farming should conjure visions of pastoral landscapes and hardworking men and women cultivating the land – not practices that threaten public health and pollute the environment.

Fair farms mean healthy families.

Projects & Campaigns


Latest Posts

  • Frederick News Post: The Dreaded Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Superbug’ has Arrived. Now What?Frederick News Post: The Dreaded Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbug' has Arrived. Now What?
     Published in the Frederick News Post on July 13, 2016 By Dr. Sara Via and Betsy Nicholas The recent discovery in an American patient of a “superbug” resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, is currently rocking the medical profession. This resistance gene has now been found in several U.S. communities just a few weeks after ...
  • Take Action! USDA Wants to Hear from the Public on Animal Welfare in OrganicsTake Action! USDA Wants to Hear from the Public on Animal Welfare in Organics
    As a Fair Farms consumer, you likely have an interest in providing public comment on animal welfare rules for foods labeled “organic.” Here’s your opportunity to provide input to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on how organic livestock and poultry are produced in America. USDA is accepting public comments until July 13. Add ...
  • Survey Says: How Do Your Buying Habits Stack Up?Survey Says: How Do Your Buying Habits Stack Up?
    I’m Shelby Kalm, and I am one of the faces here at Fair Farms. I started working for the campaign earlier this year, and it has been amazing to see our list of partners—along with our email list—grow. As our movement gains steam, it’s important for us to learn more about what’s important to you. Since ...
  • “Organic” Should Stand for Something"Organic" Should Stand for Something
    By Lisa Radov Chairman, Maryland Votes For Animals I am chairman of Maryland Votes for Animals. We are a proud Fair Farms partner whose mission is to champion humane legislation for animals in our state. We focus on companion animals, wildlife, and farm animals. After all, the animal from which our meat comes had a life before it ...
  • Parents Deserve Truth in LabelingParents Deserve Truth in Labeling
    As a mom of the two young-and-rambunctious tater tots, I have to pay close attention to what I purchase at the grocery store. It’s a challenge, to say the least. There is so much conflicting information about what is and isn’t healthy! The saying is our bodies are our temples. When our kids are young ...


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