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Fun on the Farm with Agritourism

It was almost 40 years ago when Chip Councell, a 10th generation farmer, and his wife Jo Ann started selling their produce from the back of a wagon in Talbot County. Today, that simple venture has grown into Councell Farms, an agritourism destination with a produce...

Rabbits and Robots Lead to a Bright Future for Youth

About six years ago, a young Ana Clemmer of Howard County wanted a rabbit. But her parents wouldn’t let her have one until she learned how to care for the animal. “I found out about 4-H at the Howard County Fair in 2014 when I walked into the activities hall and...

Sensational Seafood Saturdays

It’s a perfect day for seafood! And, Governor Larry Hogan thinks so, too. He recently designated Saturdays in September as “Buy Maryland Seafood Days” to encourage all Marylanders to support the state’s iconic seafood industry — perfect timing for late summer crab...

Your Student’s School Supply List Starts on the Farm

You don’t have to live in a rural area to appreciate how agriculture affects you every day — from a pencil in your hand to the paper in your printer. In Maryland, only a third of our counties have 50% or more rural land. This means that there are a lot of students...

Get the Scoop on Maryland Ice Cream

Nothing says summer treat more than ice cream. And, when you choose an ice cream made in Maryland, the taste just gets sweeter.“I love cooking and I love flavors. I love ice cream way too much!” says Kate Dallam of Broom’s Bloom Dairy in Bel Air. Broom’s Bloom...

Top Three Reasons to Visit a Farmers Market

In recent years, farmers markets have exploded across the nation reaching nearly 8,500 locations. In Maryland, you can visit about 125 farmers markets sprinkled across the state that are open for business with the freshest choices.Even during the pandemic, the...

Local Watermelons are a Sweet Slice of Summer

As Joe-Sam Swann stands over his field of watermelon, he’s looking at his family farm that dates back to the 1850s. A sixth-generation farmer, he worked alongside his father Allen and cousin Jody on their Owings, Maryland, land.“The farm began its journey as a...

Maryland Farming Family Makes Buying Local Easy

North Waldorf’s Shlagel Farm has been growing since the early 1900s. The land was first purchased by Otto Shlagel, an immigrant who was lured to America by advertisements he saw in Germany. Before passing the farm to his son George, Otto left behind this mantra,...

Maryland Raised Pork Adds Local Flavor to Your Barbecue

You may not be familiar with Kennedyville, Maryland. It’s a small community tucked away in Kent County population 200. It’s a far cry from the suburban sprawl of Howard County, where the Langenfelder family’s farm was first established.“My grandparents moved to...

Maryland Farmer Says Bee Kind to Pollinators

Farms dotted by red barns, green pastures and crops as far as the eye can see establish a bucolic setting on Maryland’s landscape. And, some farmers are purposely making their land even more beautiful — and meaningful — by including local plantings that will...

Tips for parents navigating a new role: Teacher!

(Thurmont, Maryland) - Like many parents today, Amie McDaniels finds herself with a broad list of responsibilities: full-time job, night classes, household duties, and a new one – homeschooling mom. As a former middle school teacher, she’s familiar with the...

Alpacas Expand Diversity of Maryland Farms

Phil and Vicki Liske are livestock farmers. But you won’t see typical cattle, sheep or pigs on their farm. Instead, you’ll find a herd of long-necked, fuzzy-coated, elegantly moving alpacas. Their Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm near Preston is one of about a dozen...

Soybeans are a Sure Bet for this Maryland Farmer

If you asked Belinda Burrier 20 years ago what she’d be doing today, bets are soybean farmer wouldn’t be on the list. That’s because she married into a farming family. Her husband, Dave, purchased his family’s Union Bridge, Maryland, farm in 2002, and Belinda was...

Farmers Take the Show on the Road

Spring in Maryland means it is time for farmers to get growing. Now, more than ever, consumers are looking for a strong local food supply. Maryland farmers are continuing to work to ensure that it’s available.Over the next several weeks, farmland will be prepared...

Open for Business! Farmer’s Markets are Stocked for the Winter

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) - It may be winter, but don’t think that Maryland farmer’s markets are closed until spring. Our state’s farmers remain committed to providing consumers with fresh goods and produce year-round.Aside from the delicious goodies you can find,...

For Poinsettia Growers, Every Day is Christmas

“Instant Christmas.” That’s how Mike Healey describes the sensation when he walks into the greenhouse at Greenway Farms. He’s surrounded by over 2,000 poinsettia plants. It’s acres of red, white, pink, burgundy, and ivory plants that are as much a part of holiday...

From Farm to Table: Your Holiday Ham

A bead of sweat runs down Farmer Andy Bauer’s face as he turns around as he backs the tractor up to the pig pen. Attached to the tractor is his father’s old John Deere grinder mixer machine holding a fresh load of pig feed made with soybean meal grown on the farm....

Three Plain Bays Living the Dream

Story by Susan Walker.First appeared in MidAtlantic Farm Credit’s Leader magazine.When David Dale first saw the 29.5 acre equine farm in Conowingo, Maryland in 2005, the grass was at least three feet tall, there was manure everywhere, and the house was in rough...

Paper trail growing cold for loggers

McHENRY, Md. — When Sisler Construction & Logging received news in May that its largest customer, the 131-year-old Verso paper plant in nearby Luke, was closing, the Sislers made several uncomfortable decisions.Drew Sisler, 30, immediately backed out of the...

Crazy for Corn Mazes? Maryland Farms Have the Answer

(GAMBRILLS, MARYLAND) – The twists, turns and amazing designs! Winding your way through a corn maze has become as essential to autumn as a pumpkin spice latte. These paths, hidden by high stalks of corn, are confusing, frustrating, exciting and — when you finish —...

Quenching a Farm’s Thirsty Crops

(VIENNA, MARYLAND) – Maryland farmers can’t always count on Mother Nature to provide enough rain for their crops. The summer of 2019 was a prime example. Sections of the state got a lot of rain early in the season, but most places didn’t get enough rain after July....

Gleaning: A Perfectly Imperfect Way to Give Back

Farms across Maryland work hard during the growing season to produce fresh fruits and vegetables. With each harvest brings an income for farming families and healthy food options for the local community as they distribute their goods to local farmer’s markets and...

Farming on Tap: Family Farm Adds Onsite Brewery

(LAYTONSVILLE, MARYLAND) – September 2019 - About 80 horses call the scenic pastures of Waredaca Farm in Montgomery County home. It’s an expansive equestrian facility that features horseback riding lessons, training and trails to ride on 230 acres owned by the...

Serving Up Summer with Maryland Peaches

The Secret to Killer Summer Dinner Parties?It’s just one word: Dessert.And when it comes to late July desserts in Maryland, you’ve got plenty of choices that honor the season’s best and follow the trend for local, local, local!Think delicious Maryland-grown fruits...

How to Choose the Perfect Ears of Sweet Corn

Maryland’s sweet corn is one of our classic summer veggies, eagerly awaited from the first day the air warms in spring. Unlike tomatoes, peaches and watermelon, which keep you waiting and waiting in anticipation, sweet corn comes in early and, thanks to farmers who...

Lure of Livestock Draws Family to Farming

(CENTREVILLE, MARYLAND) He said: “I’m going to buy this farm.” She said: “Are you out of your mind?” This family changed careers to raise chickens. They’re thrilled they did.Tim and Kim Austin, who raise chickens for Mountaire Farms, joined the ranks of the 2...

A Family Farm Where Lavender is the Crop

(DICKERSON, MARYLAND) - Once upon a time, Rockville, Md., was farmland. But as the population around Washington, DC, grew, so did residential and commercial development. Sophia Watkins’ grandmother had a dairy farm in the path of the build-up. In 1963, she...

The Buzz about Bees

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) –  Mack and Tukka are sniffer dogs. Like their canine counterparts in law enforcement, they look for evil-doers. But the bad guys they sniff out aren’t found lurking in dark alleyways. They are bacteria hiding in beehives.The pair are...

Taking Flight: Crop Dusters Get Maryland Crops Soaring

(BERLIN, MARYLAND) Bob Bunting gets up with the birds. Actually, he gets up before the birds. He’s a crop duster and is at the airport planning his day’s flights before the first bird cheeps.Crop dusting, or aerial application involves treating fields from a...

Third-Generation Maryland Farmers Are On An (Easter Egg) Roll

(WOODSTOCK, MARYLAND) Strohmer’s Farm is home to a variety of animals, including cows, pigs, goats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, a token emu, barn cats and a number of dogs. But, Strohmer’s Farm didn’t start out that way.In 1931, George L. Strohmer, the grandfather of...

Turning Sap into Sweetness: Meet the Maple Syrup Man

The warm days and cool nights of early spring send Billy Bishoff into the Western Maryland mountains. It’s maple syrup season. Time to tap the maple trees, collect their sap, and make batches of Mother Nature’s special sweetener — maple syrup.With his brother,...

Maryland Oysters “Go Hollywood”

(HOLLYWOOD, MARYLAND) - Oysters are legendary for inspiring romance. If you need proof, consider Tal Petty and Na Dodchai. When Tal decided to become an oyster farmer, he traveled around the world to learn about oyster cultivation. Na was his interpreter in...

Chicken Wings: A Super Bowl Tradition

You can’t have a Super Bowl party without a heaping platter of chicken wings. This year, football fans will eat 1.3 billion chicken wings during the big game. And, you can’t have chicken wings without people like Lee Richardson. He’s a fifth-generation farmer who...

Growing Your Lawn with Winter in Mind

(POOLESVILLE, MARYLAND) - That beautiful lawn that’s the envy of your neighborhood often starts at a turf farm like Summit Hall Turf Farm in Poolesville, Maryland. William Wilmot started the farm in 1948. He got the idea when someone asked about buying pasture...

Winter Squash: Colorful and Tasty All Winter Long

As temperatures cool, farmers’ markets and roadside stands replace their tomatoes and lettuce with a crazy-quilt display of winter squash. The gourds are a cheerful accent to autumn’s falling leaves and gloomy skies. The squash and gourds are orange and blue and...

A Family Farm and a Christmas Tradition

(RANDALLSTOWN, MARYLAND) – December 2018 – Jamie Condon smells like pine sap from Thanksgiving through Christmas. It’s an occupational hazard. Along with her husband, Kyle, and their two children, she runs A Snowball’s Chance Christmas Tree Farm, a cut-your-own...

Why Maryland Leads the Nation in “Trash Farming”

(GALENA, MARYLAND) – December 2018. What started as a dairy farm four decades ago has evolved into a modern poultry and grain farm for the Davis family. Farming nearly 3,000 acres in Kent County, Maryland, Allen Davis has experimented with many farm practices to...

Celebrate Thanksgiving Maryland Style with Local Turkey, Seafood

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) – November 2018 – David Hancock of Hancock Family Farms in Charles County, Md., was a little nervous the day he brought 200 young turkeys home in the back of his wife’s minivan.For one thing, that many turkeys can be surprisingly loud, making...

Corn Mazes: How to Make an Autumn Tradition

For autumn farm fun, finding your way through a corn maze is almost as popular as playing in a pumpkin patch. Meandering through paths hidden by high stalks of corn is in turns funny, confusing, frustrating – when you finish – triumphant. The largest corn maze in...

Fall Food and Fun on the Maryland Farm

The air is crisp. The leaves are changing. The tastes of belly-warming fall foods make our mouths water. And, folks are looking for outdoor fun. Lucky for you, because you can find it all at a local Maryland farm! At this time of year, pumpkin patches and fall farm...

Insider’s Guide to Maryland Wines

(CARROLL COUNTY, MARYLAND) – From light, fruity and bright white wines to dark, smoky and oaky reds, Maryland wineries offer something for every palate – and promise adventure, opportunities to educate that palate and unique experiences when you visit. We put...

Tastes Like Summer: Maryland Style

In Maryland, we “do” food. Especially in summer. With more than 12,000 farms raising fresh, delicious fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, eggs and more, and more than 500 million pounds of seafood harvested from the Chesapeake Bay each year, there are infinite ways to...

8 Tips for Rocking Maryland’s Best on Your Table This Summer

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) – July 2018 – Buying local and “hyper-local” is still trending as one of the hottest movements in food. And it’s no wonder: Most foods are best when they’re freshest. Our Maryland farmers and watermen work hard to bring you and your family the...

Will the Real Milk, Please Stand Up.

“Milk does the body good.” From an early age, you’ve been told this time and time again. Why? Because it really is good for you! Let us start by saying that nutrition is based on science, not opinion. And, according to science, milk plays a key role in your overall...

Summer Kid Solutions: Make Maryland’s Best Your Best Friend

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) – It’s June. School’s out. They’re roaming the house, looking for food, already complaining that they’re bored. Houston, we’ve got a problem. Fortunately, we’ve got answers. Maryland has about 12,000 farm families. And while farm kids usually...

Lawns 101: The 10 Best Practices for Healthy Lawns and Water

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) – Ah, spring. The air is crisp, the birds are singing, the daffodils are blooming and your lawn … well, your lawn looks like a swamp. This calls for a trip to a “big box” store, and a big bag of fertilizer, right? Not so fast, cautions...

Eight Truths About the Dairy Industry

A gallon of milk. It’s a simple thing that’s found in most of our fridges. And, whether you choose whole, skim or 1- or 2-percent, we’ve got some dairy truths for you. 1. You can tell a lot from a cow's name. “Cows are all named the same way: First the name of the...

10 Ways You are Like a Farmer

You will be surprised at how many things you have in common with a farmer. Ready to find out? 1. You can track your health with a fit bit. Farmers monitor their dairy cows using ankle bracelets that track things like how much milk each cow produces, how much...

I’m Never in the Doghouse

(FEDERALSBURG) – March 2018 – With gray clouds stretched across the sky and a sharp breeze blowing, Rick Uva hunches his shoulders against the cold and steers his golf cart into his fields to find his crew. It’s about 40 degrees at Seaberry Farm — the Caroline...

It’s Like Having 100 Kids

(FRIENDSVILLE, MARYLAND) – It’s 7 a.m. and “the girls” are already lined up, tails swishing impatiently as Garrett County farmer Billy Bishoff switches on the lights in his family’s milking parlor. Cows have been a central part of life on the farm here since 1958,...

Do you know where your milk comes from? You’d be surprised!

When you grab a gallon of milk from the shelves of your local grocery store, do you ever wonder where it came from? You might be surprised. Billy Bishoff, a dairy farmer in Garrett County, Maryland, sells his milk to United Dairy in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where...

Five Ways Buying a Tractor is Nothing like Buying a Car

(CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA) – In some ways it’s exactly the same: You look under the hood, take a test drive and do a ceremonial kick of the tires. Then, you prepare to negotiate with the salesperson. After checking the lot of the local dealer and not finding a...

Do You Need A Rooster To Get Eggs?

(VALLEY LEE, MARYLAND) — It’s one of those things that you don’t really think about. Until you think about it. And then, you can’t stop thinking about it until you know. Where do eggs come from? Are they the beginning of baby chicks? If they’re not, then what are...

What Do Farmers Do in the Winter?

(HOLLYWOOD, MARYLAND) — While most grain farmers are wrapping up harvest and transitioning to “winter mode,” one farmer in St. Mary’s County spent the day after Thanksgiving putting a new crop in the ground. Priscilla Wentworth of Anchored Roots Farm in Hollywood...

Maryland Grape Growers Have Nothing to Whine About This Year

There’s nothing better than sipping an exceptional wine. But, sometimes, we take for granted what makes a wine so good: great grapes and skillful winemakers. In Maryland, there’s no doubt that our winemakers have the expertise. It’s the unpredictable weather that...

Catoctin Breeze

What do Livestock Farmers do in the Winter?

Spring through fall, Jamie and Benson Tiralla stay busy caring for livestock and selling meat at the farmer’s market. But what about winter? “It’s just as busy on the farm in the winter as it is any other time of the year,” Jamie said. Maryland weather is...

What do Livestock Farmers do in The Winter?

This Causes 36,000 Traffic Accidents in Maryland Each Year

(AND NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT) (DAVIDSONVILLE, MARYLAND) – Katie Ward was slowing down to make a turn when the eight-point buck sprang from the woods. Within a split second, the big deer bounded into the roadway, colliding with the front end of her...

Whitetail- n crop

How to Pick the Best Cut of Meat for Your Holiday Feast

When Benson and Jamie Tiralla started Monnett Farms, their first product was grass-fed beef. They sold it by the quarter or side, which means a customer would buy a portion of the beef and customize the cuts to their preferences. This was a crash course in learning...

My Maryland Farmers Beef

The Science-Based Approach Behind Maryland Crops

(POOLESVILLE, MARYLAND) – October 2017 – When the letter came, it was during a busy week, and Eric Spates tossed it on his desk with the rest of his mail, thinking he’d get to it later. When he opened the envelope several days later, he realized he had just two...

Nutrient Management

Tips to Preserve the Taste of Summer Throughout the Winter Months

Fall’s here! You may not miss the dog days of summer. But what you might miss is fresh produce from your local farmers or your own garden. Hopefully, you were able to stock up on your favorites before the end of the season. So, what can you do with your surplus of...

What Costs $350,000 and has the Top Speed of a Golf Cart?

(POOLESVILLE, MARYLAND) – October 2017 – As he turned the key of his combine, the big engine turned over and started to hum. That’s when Maryland farmer Eric Spates breathed a sigh of relief. In July, when he was harvesting oats, the combine had gotten clogged....

The Surprising Link Between GMOs and the Chesapeake Bay

(QUEENSTOWN, MARYLAND) – The spark that helped ignite a nationwide revolution in modern farming practices was discovered growing near a pear tree in Queenstown, Md. That’s where the first glyphosate tolerant soybean emerged from a small plot of plants, all of which...

Insider’s Guide to Maryland Farmer’s Markets: Fall Edition

   The days are getting cooler and summer may be coming to a close, but farmer’s markets across Maryland are open for business. Many farmer’s markets are open through November and there’s lots to choose from. We spoke with three Maryland farmers to get the inside...

Giving the Livestock Something to Chew On

For people, being put out to pasture isn’t a good thing. For livestock, it’s a different story. When Benson and Jamie Tiralla moved to their family farm in 2007, it wasn’t in the best shape.  “My grandfather was a part-time tobacco farmer,” said Benson. “He grew...

Do Farmers Ever Get to Take a Vacation? What Do They Do?

(REYKJAVIK, ICELAND) – August 7, 2017 – Watching the runway rise up beneath him, Eric Spates had that sinking feeling there would be trouble. His flight had run over an hour late. Now he was going to miss his connection, and that would cut a rare chance to visit...

Second Cutting Timothy Hay

The Real Hometown Farm Team

(BALTIMORE) — Before the beer, there’s the barley. Before the burgers, there’s the beef. Before the fries and the ink for the tickets, there are soybeans. Who knew Maryland’s farms had so much in common with the Ravens Nation? Maryland farmers are game-day MVPs...

My Maryland Farmers Supports the Baltimore Ravens

The Real Hometown Farm Team

(BALTIMORE) — Before the beer, there’s the barley. Before the burgers, there’s the beef. Before the fries and the ink for the tickets, there are soybeans. Who knew Maryland’s farms had so much in common with the Ravens Nation? Maryland farmers are game-day MVPs...

My Maryland Farmers Supports the Baltimore Ravens

It’s an awesome place to be, so I want to give back

(CENTREVILLE, MARYLAND) – July 27, 2017 – Travis Hutchison takes a deep breath, glances at his notes one more time, and steps up to the podium. Before him, 300 faces are looking expectantly back, fanning themselves with the day’s program against the 85-degree heat....

Maryland Soybeans

It Starts With Healthy Soil

When people think about sheep, they usually think about wool. At a farm in Southern Maryland, Benson and Jamie Tiralla are raising sheep to produce meat. “Lamb isn’t something people eat every day,” said Jamie, co-owner of Monnett Farms in Prince Frederick. “People...

Farming at the Mercy of Nature

(POOLESVILLE, MARYLAND) – Early July 2017 – It’s been over two weeks without a single drop of rain and the crops are looking thirsty at Stoney Castle Farm. Plants wear their feelings on their sleeves, so to speak. After two long hot weeks of Maryland summer sun...

It’s All in the Family for the Hutchisons

During the Great Depression, when the Hutchison family bought a farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, farmers used horse-drawn tools to plow and harvest fields. “We have come a long way since my great grandfather started this farm,” said Travis Hutchison, now the...

Ice Cream Cones, Soybeans, Rain and Beetles

(POOLESVILLE, MARYLAND) – Mid-June 2017 - Over at a farm called “Surmont,” Eric Spates watches his new farmhand begin to master round-baling hay. “He just started,” Spates explains. “There’s an art to it. The first couple ones look like ice cream cones, and then...

4 things you won’t find on Maryland food labels

(SUDLERSVILLE, MARYLAND) - Food packaging performs several functions: It protects the food inside, creates convenience and portion control, and perhaps most importantly provides nutritional information and ingredient listings of the food inside. Here are four...

5 Ways You Can Help Maryland Farmers and the Chesapeake Bay

(POOLESVILLE, MARYLAND) - Farmers are having a moment right now. It seems like everyone is in love with the romance of farming and the seemingly simple life it promises. Beyond the romantic soft-focus photos you see of neat rows of crops and fiery sunsets, Maryland...

Beautiful Maryland Lawn

3 Things Ocean City Vacationers Should Know About Maryland Farms

(OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND) - If someone else is driving, it’s tempting to bury your nose in your cell phone and use a beach-bound road trip to catch up on your Insta. Every now and then, though, it’s good to give your eyes a break and focus on a distant sight. Here are...

3 things Ocean City vacationers should know about Maryland farms