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


  • The Role Community Businesses Can Play In Supporting Our Farms The Role Community Businesses Can Play In Supporting Our FarmsBy Jane Bloodworth Rowe An excellent way to create a sustainable community with a locally-based food market is through partnerships between area growers and retailers who can help sell their products. Here in Maryland, one such partnership has developed between the Rooster + Hen Store, an organic general store with locations in Catonsville and Ellicott City, and ...
  • That’s a Wrap! Check out Our Successes this Legislative Session That’s a Wrap! Check out Our Successes this Legislative SessionThe 2019 Maryland legislative session has come to a close. We are grateful and proud that so many of our bills were successful this year – from incentivizing the purchase of local foods, to ensuring that antibiotics are used responsibly in farming. e vow to keep fighting for those that were not.  Here’s our end-of-session ...
  • Video: Regenerative Ag. in Frederick County Video: Regenerative Ag. in Frederick County Fair Farms had the chance to visit Holterholm Farms, a regenerative dairy operation in Frederick County, and speak with Dr. Ray Weil about the benefits of regenerative farming for soil health and water quality. Ron Holter and his family are helping to show that regenerative agriculture is beneficial for not just our soils, water quality, ...
  • March 2019: Welcome New Fair Farms Partners March 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. Cureate Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Cureate provides services to emerging food and beverage business owners to assist with their growth and scaling initiatives. They have worked with ...
  • Looking to get more delicious, local food into your life? Try a CSA! Looking to get more delicious, local food into your life? Try a CSA!The season of CSA’s is nearly upon us. With a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription, you pay an upfront fee to a local farmer for a share of the season’s harvest. This includes fresh produce and, in some cases, eggs and other animal products. These items are typically delivered on a weekly basis all summer ...

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