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.

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Latest Posts

  • Video: Fair Farms Maryland Legislative VictoriesVideo: Fair Farms Maryland Legislative Victories During the 2017 Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session, Fair Farms advocated for four bills. They all passed. In this video, Fair Farms founder Betsy Nicholas discusses the importance of these policies for Marylanders. The bills include: The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (Senate Bill 422/House Bill 602), sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky and Del. Shane Robinson, will limit the use ...
  • We Need Reliable Resources for Farmers Transitioning to Organic We Need Reliable Resources for Farmers Transitioning to Organic 
    Over the last two decades, the organic sector has grown almost twelve-fold – from $3.7 billion in sales in 1997 to over $43 billion in sales in 2015. Even though organics is the fastest growing sector in the food industry, production of organic foods has consistently fallen behind consumer demand, with stores selling out of ...
  • Maryland Beekeepers Ended 2016 with Another Year of Heavy LossesMaryland Beekeepers Ended 2016 with Another Year of Heavy Losses
    By Bill Castro Bee Friendly Apiary The year 2016 will be known to Maryland beekeepers as another year of extremely heavy losses. According to Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), losses exceeded 56 percent in 2016. Over a three-year average, Maryland beekeepers have lost 54 percent of their total colonies. Maryland has approximately 14,000 (plus) registered honeybee colonies, according ...
  • B’More Organic: We Take Care in Our SourcingB'More Organic: We Take Care in Our Sourcing
    By Catharine McDonald Marketing Associate & Brand Ambassador, B‘more Organic At B’more Organic, where we make a healthy Skyr yogurt smoothie, we are dedicated to helping all Americans eat healthier. Our hope is that with the development of more local, organic farms, all Americans will gain greater and more affordable access to products that can help them continue ...
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Annapolis (to Testify on Antibiotics)Mr. Smith Goes to Annapolis (to Testify on Antibiotics)
    By Alex Smith Purple Sol Farms Last week, I had the opportunity to testify on behalf of Senate Bill 422 and House Bill 602, the Keeping Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017. I lent my voice both as a farmer and as a proud citizen of Maryland. My first task after having been invited to support this legislation was to investigate whether ...


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