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


  • Healthy Soils: A Climate Change Solution Healthy Soils: A Climate Change SolutionAgriculture is in a unique position to climate change. Our current agricultural system produces 9% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest report from 2017. Globally, this sector alone produces almost a quarter of emissions. While our farming system contributes to our changing climate, it also has the opportunity ...
  • Farmer Spotlight: Keith Ohlinger, Regenerative Farmer 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” 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 September 2019: Welcome New Fair Farms PartnersFair 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 August 2019: Welcome New Fair Farms PartnersFair 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 ...

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