“I am 17 years old, and I have lived on a farm my whole life.”
Agriculture in Maryland
By: Brooke Beauchamp
Maryland agriculture, referred to as “Little America” for its diversified geography and commodities, is the largest commercial industry. With over 12,000 farms on 2 million acres, Maryland’s agriculture business employs, on average, 350,000 people. Broilers, nursey/greenhouse, dairy, corn for grain, and soybeans are the top five revenue generating agriculture products in the state of Maryland.
As the largest cash commodity for Maryland, chickens are primarily grown for meat, with some layers producing eggs. Cows are raised for meat or dairy products. Pigs are offer a large range of products from meat, to leather, to even heart valves! The nursery and greenhouse industry produces a variety of flowers, trees, and shrubs as the orchard and field fruits yield peaches, cherries, and mostly apples. There are two types of corn, sweet and filed corn. The majority of corn is convert to livestock feed. Soybeans are also converted into feed for cows and chickens.
It is the primary goal of farmers to protect the land they cultivate. When fertilizing their crops and managing all the manure produced form livestock, the farmer uses the latest research from nutrient management plans to maintain the environment and yield the best crop.
Agriculture is deeply intertwined in our daily lives, and it is of the upmost importance to educate the consumers this concept. Supporting the local farmer, raising awareness, and enlisting support in the political arena is more important than ever to the keep agriculture community thriving.