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


  • Quiz: What Type of Winter Squash are You? Quiz: What Type of Winter Squash are You?Did you know there are hundreds of different varieties of winter squash? Take this personality quiz to find your #WinterSquashMatch ? Once you learn your match, visit a local farmers market and buy a sustainably grown squash! (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s);if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk'));
  • October 2018: Welcome New Fair Farms Partners October 2018: 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. Kindread Organix Facebook | Instagram Kindread Organix is a new market-garden project in the Greater Baltimore area that aims to tip the agricultural scale back toward a healthy and ...
  • Fair Farms and Maryland Public Health Association: Keep Antibiotics Working Fair Farms and Maryland Public Health Association: Keep Antibiotics Working By Alicia LaPorte, Fair Farms Campaign Manager, and Raimee Eck, Maryland Public Health Association President. This piece was originally published on Maryland Matters. Sometimes the spirit and effectiveness of health-protective legislation can be lost in the process of regulatory translation and implementation. Such was the case with the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017, legislation sponsored by ...
  • Take Action: Good & bad news in our fight to stop superbugs Take Action: Good & bad news in our fight to stop superbugs Bad news: The Hogan Administration’s draft regulations for the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act undermine the intent of the law and will likely fail to stop the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria on Maryland farms. Good news: The Maryland legislators tasked with reviewing draft regulations like these (the “AELR” Committee) has used their power to temporarily stop ...
  • More Farmers Moving Away from Plasticulture More Farmers Moving Away from PlasticultureBy Jane Bloodworth Rowe We’ve all heard about how plastic is filling our landfills and contaminating our oceans. Plastic is not biodegradable, and it can break down into microplastics that wash into the oceans, pollute the water, and threaten marine life. However, many people may not be aware that agriculture is heavily dependent on plastic products. Plastic ...

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