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ECO City Farm Incubator in PG County
Everybody eats and very few of us are able to do this three times a day without depending on an ever-dwindling number of farmers growing on ever decreasing farm acreage.
Nationally, and in Maryland, the average age of our farmers is just over 59. The nation lost more than 100,000 farms between 2011 and 2018. And though we are fortunate to have family run farms in Montgomery County that will be passed along to the next generation, these do not number nearly enough to address the growing need for local food production.
Moreover, we must provide equitable access to land and resources for skilled diverse new farm businesses. The Agricultural Reserve, at over 90,000 acres, has plenty of room for more farms, and we will all thrive with greater inclusiveness. At MCA, we've been successfully matching farmers with landowners through our Land Link program since 2011 but farmer demand for land far outstrips supply.
Last June a group of diverse producers, all growing in Montgomery County, met at Dodo Farms in Brookeville with Councilmember Gabe Albornoz to share concerns about the difficulties new farm businesses encounter. Uplifting news of the growing diversity of local producers and products, especially culturally relevant crops, was tempered by the universal frustration about the myriad barriers to getting started. As we seek to grow the next generation of local farmers there is not a moment or a famer to waste.
It is time for an Montgomery County Farm Incubator - Learn More and Join Us
Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA) and the County’s Office of Agriculture (OAG) have partnered to produce an online guide for new and expanding Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers. (Press Release)
The guide seeks to marry Montgomery County's dual commitments to equality and agriculture by providing farmers of color with specific resources to get growing and sustain farm ventures in the County. The county is home to the Agricultural Reserve, an area of over 90,000 with special zoning set aside for open space and ag preservation 40 years ago.
“We have a ways to go to achieve a just and equitable food system. Montgomery County has plenty of room for more farms, and we will all thrive with greater inclusiveness – it’s our hope that we will need to update this guide often with more and more success stories and opportunities,” ~ MCA Executive Director Caroline Taylor.
Have a resource to add? - Info@MoCoAlliance.org - our thanks to Allison Millman for her work on the guide, our partners at Office of Ag and the county's past, current and future BIPOC producers.
Local Food Connection
Community Supported Agriculture
Restaurants & Retail
Artists of the Reserve
Montgomery Countryside Alliance
P.O Box 24, Poolesville, MD 20837
301-461-9831 • firstname.lastname@example.org
MCA is proud to announce that we have been recognized for a third time as one of the best small charities in the D.C. region by Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. A panel of 110 expert reviewers from area foundations, corporate giving programs, and peer non-profit organizations evaluated 270 applications.
MCA is known as an effective and innovative non-profit whose efforts to preserve and promote Montgomery County’s nationally recognized 93,000 acre Ag Reserve have brought increased public and governmental support of local food production and farmland and open space preservation. Most importantly, MCA’s efforts are putting more farmers on the ground and keeping them there.