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


  • 12 Resolutions Towards Being a Fair Farms Consumer 12 Resolutions Towards Being a Fair Farms ConsumerAs the new Fair Farms campaign manager, I’m energized by the opportunity to help make a difference in building a new food system in Maryland — one that is fair to farmers, invests in homegrown, healthy food, and works with our natural environment rather than against it. With December 31st just around the corner, it seemed like a ...
  • Distribution of Antibiotics in Agriculture is Alarmingly on the Rise Distribution of Antibiotics in Agriculture is Alarmingly on the RiseAcross the United States, over 20,000 people die each year — and millions more are sickened — due to antibiotic resistance. Research indicates that this resistance has been heightened by the widespread prophylactic use of antibiotics in farm animals. The bacteria that have grown antibiotic resistant are informally known as “superbugs.” These organisms have become ...
  • Healthy Soil: A Solution for Combating Climate Change and Beyond Healthy Soil: A Solution for Combating Climate Change and BeyondProbably more than anyone, farmers understand the importance of healthy soil for higher crop productivity, better water absorption, and a number of other reasons.  However, not everyone realizes that healthy soil can also help solve one of the greatest crises facing our time and, in the wake of the Paris Climate Summit, a hot topic ...
  • Bob Gallagher: Let’s insist on a sustainable food system Bob Gallagher: Let's insist on a sustainable food systemFair Farms is excited to announce that Bob Gallagher (pictured right), one of our steering committee members, has an article in this week’s Annapolis Capital Gazette all about the Fair Farms campaign! His guest column talks about issues such as food labeling, antibiotics used in agriculture, and of course, a smarter and healthier food system ...
  • Press Release: Environmentalists, Consumers and Farmers Work Together to Reform Maryland’s Food System Press Release: Environmentalists, Consumers and Farmers Work Together to Reform Maryland’s Food System Fair Farms campaign showcases sustainable farmers who “farm against the grain.” Annapolis, Md. (December 9, 2015) – A network of nonprofit organizations, farmers, consumers and businesses publicly launched a new campaign today, seeking to reform a Maryland food system that they say lacks adequate fairness, transparency and accountability. Participants say the Fair Farms campaign seeks to invest in ...

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