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


  • Media Alert: Little Sesame Launches Second Annual Little Seedlings InitiativeMedia Alert: Little Sesame Launches Second Annual Little Seedlings Initiative
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maddy Beckwith maddy@eatlittlesesame.com (202) 302-0375 MEDIA ALERT:  Little Sesame and National Young Farmers Coalition Come Together to Support Local Farmers   Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2020) At Little Sesame, we are committed to building meals with the highest quality, responsibly sourced ingredients. The ingredients we choose don’t just make delicious food, they support farmers doing things the right way. While ...
  • Take Action: Expand Maryland’s Cost-Share ProgramTake Action: Expand Maryland's Cost-Share Program
    Take Action Now to support the expansion of the Maryland Agriculture Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program (HB687/SB597)! Maryland spends approximately $30 million per year for conservation measures on farms. About 80% of these funds pay for “annual” management practices while payments for cost-effective, longer term practices like pastures and forest buffers are drastically reduced. Farmers interested ...
  • Fair Farms Legislative Priorities for 2020Fair Farms Legislative Priorities for 2020
    With a new year comes new priorities for the Fair Farms campaign to focus on in the Maryland state legislature. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write and call your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends and encouraging them to ...
  • Press Release: Fair Farms Receives $5,000 Grant from Farm AidPress Release: Fair Farms Receives $5,000 Grant from Farm Aid
      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2019 CONTACT: Shelby Kalm, Fair Farms Campaign Manager, shelby@fairfarmsnow.org FAIR FARMS CAMPAIGN RECEIVES $5,000 GRANT FROM FARM AID — Fair Farms was awarded a $5,000 grant from Farm Aid to bring together consumers, farmers, and conservationists to advocate for a food system that is equitable, fair to farmers, invests ...
  • Gov. Hogan: Support Local FarmersGov. Hogan: Support Local Farmers
    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. This year, we’re urging Governor Hogan to include funding for: Certified Local Farmer Enterprise Program This voluntary ...

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