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.
- Farmer Spotlight: Keith Ohlinger, Regenerative Farmer “His passion for agriculture and living things is unbelievable.” Farming is in Keith’s Ohlinger’s blood— his family has farmed for almost 400 years. Even as a child, he knew that farming was his future. Keith and his wife now own Porch View Farm LLC, a 22 acre farm in Western Howard County that raises diverse, heritage ...
- Sneak Peek: “The Future of Food” Fair Farms is proud to partner with Click & Pledge Foundation’s “The Next Generation” project to highlight untold stories of efforts that set young people up for success in their communities. Check out a sneak peak of our film trailer highlighting Fair Farms and the ways in which our farmer partners such as Grand View ...
- September 2019: Welcome New Fair Farms Partners Fair Farms is proud to welcome these partners to our growing campaign! If you are interested in adding your voice, please contact us by email. You can check out our other wonderful partners here. Atwater’s Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Since 1999 Atwater’s has been making traditional food crafted by hand. They began in a small bakery making only one kind of ...
- August 2019: Welcome New Fair Farms Partners Fair Farms is proud to welcome these partners to our growing campaign! If you are interested in adding your voice, please contact us by email. You can check out our other wonderful partners here. Dylans’ Oyster Cellar Facebook | Instagram Dylan’s Oyster Cellar is dedicated to sourcing and serving the freshest, most diverse range of sustainably grown or caught seafood available. By ...
- Ten Lessons from the Fair Farms Initiative By Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake (first printed as a Waterkeeper Alliance blog) As an environmental lawyer, I was trained to see regulators and courts as the sole path to improvement. But I’ve found that going in with guns blazing and lawyers filing doesn’t get you everything you need, especially when dealing with agriculture. ...