Our community has a vibrant farming heritage and many families are still making a living from their farms. The importance of agriculture is underestimated at the local and state level. We need policies and incentives that make farming commercially viable in Maryland. We need to elevate local farm economies, develop policies that support value-added agriculture like specialty livestock, flowers, handmade soap, gourmet food products and links to urban markets in Columbia, Baltimore, Eldersburg, Annapolis and Washington, DC.
Local farmers in District 9 supply vegetables and fruit as well as other agricultural products wholesale, in local retail, and in farmers markets. Our local greenhouses and nurseries supply the area with bedding transplants, plants for landscaping, and trees. Our farms employ locally and are an important part of our local economy. I want my daughters to have access to locally grown food. I want them to value where their food comes from. We should enable farmers to make a living on their land while protecting our environment and public health. By keeping our farms, we all win.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has greatly increased the number of Marylanders suffering from food insecurity. That’s why I introduced legislation establishing the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council to address the hunger crisis and improve the long-term resilience of our food system.