Sustainable Farming

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.

Sustainable Farming Defined Goat Eating Greens Shine and Rise Farm

  • 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.

What do Sustainable Farmers Look Like?Workers at Shine and Rise Farm - May not be high enough quality

  • 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.

Latest Posts


  • Video Release: “The Future of Food” Video Release: "The Future of Food"Fair Farms just released our newest video—The Future of Food—in partnership with the Click & Pledge Foundation’s “The Next Generation” project. Campaign Manager Shelby Kalm brings to the screen untold stories of Fair Farms partners who are creating a food system that nourishes the environment and sustainably feeds their communities. The farmers that we spoke ...
  • Consumer Insights from Annual Small Farm Conference Consumer Insights from Annual Small Farm ConferenceBy Victoria Parsons, ViP Consultancy, Co-Founder & Public Affairs Strategist The 16th Annual Small Farm Conference occurred November 1-2 on the beautiful campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). The conference convened local farmers, state and federal governmental stakeholders, representatives from academia, and students for informational sessions on a myriad of topics such as: ...
  • Organic Pick-Your-Own Farms in Maryland and Pennsylvania Organic Pick-Your-Own Farms in Maryland and PennsylvaniaBy Victoria Parsons, ViP Consultancy, Co-Founder & Public Affairs Strategist Autumn is here, and the leaves are all around us. With the holidays around the corner, this is a wonderful time to visit farms and orchards! Although apple season is coming to a close, pumpkin season is here. Maryland and Pennsylvania are home to several organic ...
  • How to Support the Farmworkers at the Center of our Food System How to Support the Farmworkers at the Center of our Food SystemWhen making decisions about our food, there are many important pieces to consider. Was this chicken raised with high-level animal welfare conditions in mind? Does this apple have pesticide residues? Did this lettuce come from Maryland or California? While these are all important pieces to consider, much of the conversation about our food focuses on ...
  • Podcast Gems: What Land Liberation Means for Maryland Podcast Gems: What Land Liberation Means for MarylandWritten by Arli Lima of Arli’s Appetite On episode 33 of the Edible Activist Podcast, host Melissa L. Jones was joined by Dom Hosack, black farmer and Farm Director at THEARC Farm in Washington, D.C.  The two talked about land liberation and what it means to reclaim the land that is ours. Dom started his PhD, ...

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