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Announcement of Report from Conference — Save the Date!

Please join us for the public launch of the report summarizing the
January 2013 Farming at Metro’s Edge: Sustaining Agriculture in Frederick and Montgomery Counties Conference.

When:  September 16, 2013 at 10 AM

Where: The Universities at Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD.

For details, please click here.

Agricultural Planning Conference
Universities at Shady Grove
9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
January 11 and 12, 2013

To keep up with what's happening since the Conference, please click here.

For DEC 12, 2012 PRESS RELEASE please click here.

Thirty-five years ago, a group of interested people convened a conference on the future of agriculture around Sugarloaf Mountain. Their work led to the creation of the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve in 1980, and supported the farm culture in Frederick County. Now a current group of interested people in Frederick and Montgomery Counties are planning another conference to ensure viable agricultural systems for the next generation.

Focused on two neighboring counties in the Washington DC metropolitan area, this conference will gather together farmers, consumers, citizen advocates, government agencies and other interested parties. Participants will discuss the current state of agriculture in Frederick and Montgomery counties and identify both the obstacles and opportunities that exist for sustainable agricultural productivity in the region.

In Montgomery County more than 100,000 acres are set aside by ordinance for the preservation of agriculture. Montgomery County farmers harvest commodities crops, hay, fruits and vegetables, both conventional and certified organic. County farms also produce livestock including sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, pigs, chickens, horses and cattle. 

The Frederick County agricultural community is strong in dairy and grain. More than 80% of Frederick’s land zoned for agriculture is used to grow corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and hay. The dairy industry makes up 40% of the annual gross agricultural sales in the county. Frederick has seen a strong diversification in the agricultural industry over the last ten years with Christmas tree farms, wineries, nurseries, organic and specialized agriculture farms becoming more prevalent.

Farmers in the area face increasing challenges associated with continuing residential development, limited marketing opportunities, challenges transporting commodities to market, increased local and state regulations and difficulty incorporating new opportunities on the farm such as alternative energy production. To ensure the continued viability of agriculture in Frederick and Montgomery counties, as well as similar areas nearby, a concerted effort must be made to understand agriculture as it exists today, the challenges it will face tomorrow, and to encourage its continued growth in the metropolitan area.

Lewis Orchard Farm Market, Dickerson, Maryland

Conference Objectives

Develop information and ideas that can be used to advance productive and profitable agriculture and strong farm communities in Montgomery and Frederick Counties for the next generation. The core work of the conference will be done in three panels.

By the end of the conference, participants (including panelists) will have:

  1. Gained greater appreciation of the economic and environmental challenges and opportunities the diverse farming operations in our region will confront in coming decades.
  2. Discovered common interests among the different types of agricultural  enterprises and among various non-farm stakeholders in the 2 counties.
  3. Recommended actions that the various stakeholders could take to help achieve the goal of a vibrant agricultural industry integrated into the broader life of our metropolitan region.

If you would like to work on a conference committee, or have any questions or suggestions, please email us at info@farmingatmetrosedge.com.

Conference Advisory Committee Members

Jim Baird: Mid-Atlantic Director, American Farmland Trust
Sharon Bauer: Treasurer, Sugarloaf Regional Trails
Margaret Coleman: Vice Chair, President, Sugarloaf Regional Trails
Jeremy Criss: Agricultural Services, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
John Fendrick: Farmer
Colby Ferguson
: Development Specialist-Agriculture, Frederick County Office of Economic Development
John Galli: Metropolitan Area Council of Governments
Ellen Gordon: Board of Directors, Sugarloaf Citizens Association
Royce Hanson, Chair: Research Professor, George Washington Institute of Public Policy, Former Chairman, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Tom Hartsock: Farmer
Katherine Holt
: Senior Planner, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Lee Langstaff: Senior Environmental Mediator, Independent Practitioner
Brian LeCouteur: Metropolitan Area Council of Governments
Tom Leedy
, Co-Chair: Board of Directors, Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Dolores Milmoe: Conservation Associate, Audubon Naturalist Society
Callum Murray: Supervisor, Area 3, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Carol Oberdorfer: Secretary, Sugarloaf Regional Trails; President, Dickerson Community Association
Robert Raver: Retired Extension Agent, Farmer
Leslie Saville: Senior Planner, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Caroline Taylor: Executive Director, Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Beverly Thoms: Board of Directors, Sugarloaf Regional Trails, Tiewyan Textiles, Shepherd, Fiber Artist
Crystal Carr Townsend, President, Healthcare Initiative Foundation
David Vismara: Chief, Horticulture, Forestry and Environmental Education Division, Montgomery Parks

Current Sponsors

Adventist HealthCare
American Farmland Trust
Anne Sturm
Bobinawarrah Farm, Angus Beef
Boyds Civic Association
The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation*
Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce
Clarksburg Civic Association
Catoctin Mountain Orchard
The Community Foundation for Montgomery County*
The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Consumer Health Foundation*
Corina Higginson Trust c/o Accokeek Foundation*
Equestrian Partners in Conservation
Frederick County Farm Bureau
Friends of Marc Elrich
Gaithersburg Equipment Co.
Rick and Lauren Gittleman Greenberger
Healthcare Initiative Foundation*
Kaiser Permanente*
The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, MD
Many Springs Farm
Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation
Maryland Environmental Trust
Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
MidAtlantic Farm Credit
Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
Montgomery County Farm Bureau
Montgomery Soil Conservation District
Carol Oberdorfer
Pepco Holdings, Inc.
Sophia’s Choice Farm
Stone Graphics
Sugarloaf Citizens Association
Sugarloaf Countryside Conservancy, Inc.   
The Universities at Shady Grove
David Vismara

Fiscal Sponsor: Sugarloaf Regional Trails

* representing the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers Regional Convergence Partnership

With our most sincere thanks!

Sponsor Levels and Benefits

Bumper Crop $10,000- $20,000

  • Co-branding as conference partner on all publications (mailers, email marketing, website, social media, press releases, programs, on-site signage)
  • Remarks and/or recognition at all conference events.
  • Premium exhibit space
  • Two complimentary conference registrations including meals.
  • Sponsor feature in online newsletter and on website.

Bountiful Harvest $5,000-$9,999

  • Exclusive sponsor for one general session (Saturday Keynote, 1 of 3 sessions, or Saturday Reception)
  • Remarks and/or recognition at sponsored session
  • Premium logo exposure on printed conference program.
  • Premium exhibit space
  • Two complimentary conference registrations including meals.
  • Sponsor feature on website.

Golden Fleece $1,000-$4,999

  • Name on print and online conference marketing materials.
  • Standard exhibit space
  • Two complimentary conference registrations including meals.

American Grown $200-$999

  • Name on print and online conference marketing materials.
  • Standard exhibit space
  • One complimentary conference registration including meals.

Cultivators $50

  • Name listed in Conference Program
  • Tabletop exhibit space.

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Download our brochure!

Sugarloaf Regional Trails is a 501c3, non-profit corporation governed by an elected Board of Directors. It was formed in 1974. Our members focus on conservation of natural resources in the Potomac Piedmont/Sugarloaf Mountain area. Meetings are held four times a year with membership open to anyone who shares our interests and commitment. For more information:  www.sugarloafregionaltrails.org.

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