Farming for the Future
Achieving a sustainable food system is critical to ensuring an abundant and healthy food supply for generations to come. While Maryland boasts a richness and diversity of sustainable farms, they make up a minority of agricultural operations in our state.
Maryland families want healthy, delicious, affordable local food, grown responsibly. Installing a fair system – one that rewards good stewardship and sustainable practices – is the best way to achieve this for Maryland’s future.
- Fair Farms considers sustainable farming to be the production of agricultural products in a way that:
- preserves the environment on the farm and beyond;
- enriches the lives of farmers, their communities, and the population as a whole; and
- restores the health and welfare of farmed animals.
Sustainability in the Larger Food System
- Sustainable agriculture doesn’t stop at the farm gate—it’s part of a larger sustainable food system. Sustainable food distribution systems rely on local or regional networks of sustainable farms. Products are usually sold directly to consumers through farmers’ markets, consumer-supported agriculture, farm shares, and co-ops, or directly to restaurants, food services, and food hubs.
- To successfully pursue sustainability, every farmer needs access to facilities and equipment to harvest, store, process, and sell their products in a fair and efficient way.
- Visionary farmers who practice sustainable farming protect their waterways from runoff and erosion, care for their animals, raise food without harmful chemicals, and make the food available at local farmers’ markets.
- They use techniques like regenerative farming, which produces healthy food while preserving or restoring the health of the soil. By using crop or livestock rotation, composting and other techniques, farmers can maintain a sustainable, pesticide-free environment on their farms.
Fair Farms celebrates farmers and businesses – small and large – that adopt visionary farm practices. Properly managing farmland means investing in practices and policies to preserve and restore farmland for the use, education, and enjoyment of future generations.
- Supporting the Farms that Sustain Us Right now, local farmers are a source of hope. Local farms are critical in ensuring that we have a resilient food system that can weather challenging and turbulent times. With fewer people going out to grocery stores and healthcare professionals stressing the importance of boosting our immune systems and eating a healthy diet, many consumers ...
- Coronavirus and Our Interconnected Food System The coronavirus reminds us just how interconnected our food system is. While the food supply appears to be, as of today, remaining steady, questions abound about the impacts we may see. For starters, the virus is impacting thousands of farmworkers who pick, process, and pack fruits and vegetables for U.S. consumers. With border closures, there is ...
- Thank you for making these legislative wins possible! In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Maryland General Assembly decided to adjourn a few weeks early, on March 18th. We’re thankful that our elected officials acted quickly to protect public health, while also accomplishing a tremendous amount in a short period of time. Thanks to their steadfastness, and your vocal advocacy, ...
- Help Maryland Farmers Fight Climate Change Take Action to support the creation of the Maryland Healthy Soils Grant Program (HB1176)! This program would make grants available for voluntary projects that increase carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reductions on farms throughout Maryland. The program would promote dozens of wide-ranging practices that are known to build soil health and sequester carbon—ensuring that farmers ...
- Support Farm to Institution Initiatives in Maryland With your help, last year Maryland created the Maryland Food for Maryland Institutions Study Group whose goal has been to increase the amount of locally grown food procured by Maryland institutions, providing more market opportunities for our local farming community. Out of that diverse network of stakeholders, came the idea to establish the two important ...