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Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland: Farm Viability Enhancement Grant Agreement

In 2000, an agricultural development commission was set up in Southern Maryland to assist farmers transitioning out of tobacco production.  One program the commission developed was the Farm Viability Enhancement Grant Program (FVEGP) which provides business planning assistance to transitioning farmers.  Farmers who develop plans can apply for FVEGP grant funds to implement portions of their business plan.  Grants range from $20,000 to $40,000.

Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland: Farm Viability Agricultural Use Covenant

In 2000, an agricultural development commission was set up in Southern Maryland to assist farmers transitioning out of tobacco production.  One program the commission developed was the Farm Viability Enhancement Grant Program (FVEGP) which provides business planning assistance to transitioning farmers.  Farmers who develop plans can apply for FVEGP grant funds to implement portions of their business plan.  Grants range from $20,000 to $40,000.  Farmers receiving a grant must agree to a term easement keeping land in production for a 10 to 20-year term, with term length tied to the dollar val

Nutrition Incentives at Farmers’ Markets: Bringing Fresh, Healthy, Local Foods Within Reach

Based on visits and interviews, this report profiles pilot programs that match and expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),1 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP), and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) dollars spent at farmers markets.

Farm Viability in Urbanizing Areas: Case Study on Carroll County, Maryland

Many important agricultural counties in the United States are urbanizing; and the long-term viability of farming there is in doubt despite considerable public policy efforts to retain the financial, employment, consumer, and other benefits of local farming enterprises. Focusing on 15 metro-area counties in 14 states, the study's purpose was to identify conditions under which farming may remain viable as important agricultural counties transition to become mostly urban and suburban in land use.

Farmers' Markets Rules, Regulations and Opportunities

The purpose of this study is to examine the structure and operation of farmers’ markets in the United States, giving special attention to the legal and regulatory issues that may shape their operation. By looking at the rules and regulations markets use and by considering issues markets experience, it is possible to identify the most important challenges vendors and managers of markets may face. It is also possible to make some common sense suggestions on how markets can best address and resolve issues while maintaining their friendly and relatively informal nature.

Downzoning and Rural Land Markets: A Review of Two Recent Studies in Maryland and New Jersey

Downzoning restricts the development of agricultural land by increasing the number of acres required for each housing unit. Downzoning has the potential to protect working landscapes from encroaching development, but there are concerns that this approach could cause serious harm to rural landowners through the reduction in property values. Two recent studies examined the effect of downzoning on agricultural land values in the mid- tlantic region, reached differing conclusions, and have created confusion and uncertainty about the effects of downzoning.

Regionalist Approaches to Farm and Food Systems Policy: A Focus on the Northeast

This paper explores why agriculture and food system policy needs to pay more attention to regions. Regionalism, which urges a move from sector-based to place-based policymaking, has emerged as a powerful principle in public policy. Applied to agriculture and food policy, it acknowledges the regional diversity of the U.S. farm and food system and enables important differences between regions to be articulated and addressed more explicitly in the policy making

Is There Evidence of a Critical Mass in the Mid-Atlantic Agriculture Sector Between 1949 and 1997?

Ongoing farmland loss has led county planners to ask “is there a critical mass of farmland needed?” to retain a viable agricultural sector. This study examines whether counties lost farmland at a faster rate if the number of agricultural acres fell below a critical threshold. Results from six Mid Atlantic states over the period 1949 to 1997 indicate that counties with fewer agricultural acres lost farmland at a faster rate.

Is There a Critical Mass of Agricultural Land Needed to Sustain an Agricultural Economy? Evidence from Six Mid-Atlantic States

The critical mass concept is based on the idea that a certain amount of agricultural activity must be sustained in order for the agricultural economy in an area to remain viable. As production levels decline below a given threshold, costs will rise, and support businesses will close or relocate. If the input and output firms exit the region, the closest input supplier may not only be farther away for a farmer but may also charge higher prices for inputs, veterinarian services, and equipment repairs.

Transfer of Development Rights in U.S. Communities

Private ownership of land in the United States comes with a bundle of rights and responsibilities. The bundle of rights usually includes the right to subdivide and develop the land. However, this right can sometimes be inconsistent with other social objectives, such as provision of wildlife habitat, preservation of farmland or certain ecological resources, protection of historically significant areas and scenic views, and prevention of development on highly erodible slopes or in difficult soils.

Using Agricultural and Forest Land Values to Estimate the Budgetary Resources Needed to Triple Maryland's Preserved Acres

Land preservation has long been a goal of Maryland. To slow the disappearance of agricultural, forest, and other natural lands, Maryland has developed a variety of land preservation programs. Maryland has been consistently a leader among states in these efforts. As a further demonstration of its commitment to agricultural and forest land preservation, on April 7, 2002, the Maryland General Assembly approved Senate Joint Resolution 10. This resolution set a goal of preserving triple the amount of land currently in preservation status, or approximately 686,000 acres, by the year 2022.

25 Years of Protecting Farmland: An Evaluation of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation

Maryland has a long history of commitment to farmland preservation. The cornerstone of its efforts is the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF). MALPF was created in 1977 to “provide sources of agricultural products within the State for the citizens of the State; control the urban expansion which is consuming the agricultural land and woodland of the State; curb the spread of urban blight and deterioration; and protect agricultural land and woodland as open-space land.”

Growing...going...GONE? Growth on Maryland's Eastern Shore and Meeting Its Challenges Through Eastern Shore 2010

For centuries, Maryland’s Eastern Shore has been an idyllic landscape of farms and quaint small towns. With a traditional way of life built from generations of living in accordance with the land, residents continue to depend on farming to maintain a thriving economy. While agriculture remains the Eastern Shore’s top industry, the Shore is rapidly losing its rural character and small town charm. Counties face development proposals on their rural lands, while towns face proposals along their edges that would double, triple and even quadruple their current populations.

The Cost of Community Services in Frederick County, Maryland

Frederick County is one of the most important agricultural counties in Maryland. Piedmont soils, an abundant water supply and a strong commitment to family farming allow the county to make a mark for itself in the agricultural industry. In the 1800s, the county was the largest wheat producer in the nation and, since World War I, it has been the largest dairy producer in the state, accounting for nearly one third of Maryland's total milk production.With approximately 1,350 farms on more than 222,000 acres', farmland dominates the landscape in Frederick, the largest county in Maryland.

Farms for the Future: A Strategic Approach to Saving Maryland's Farmland and Rural Resources

More farmland is permanently protected in Maryland than in any other state in the nation. Despite this success, the state is losing farmland faster than it is saving it. The diminishing farmland base is weakening the state's ability to produce food, protect the environment and the Chesapeake Bay, strengthen the economy and provide a quality of life that has defined regions of the state for centuries.

Frederick County, MD: Model Easement (IPA)

Frederick County has been using an Installment Purchase Program (IPP) to acquire easement since 2002.  The IPP allows the county to leverage existing funds to purchase more easements than traditional easement purchase programs by allowing the county to spread out payments over 10 or 20 years.  The IPP is used only for easements that the county purchases independently without assistance from a state PACE program.


Innovation and Tradition on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Forging new links between the Mid-Atlantic’s urban and rural constituencies is one of many components of a strategy to sustain a thriving resource-based economy on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Developed by American Farmland Trust (AFT) for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) with funding from the Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc., the strategy offers a model for other communities where commodity-based agriculture and other resource-based enterprises must adapt to globalization and development pressure.

Maryland Removes Termination Provision, Expands Authority to Permit Tenant Houses

On May 11, 2004, Maryland Governor Ehrlich signed two new laws implementing recommendations of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation (MALPF) Task Force.

HB 770 gives MALPF the flexibility to grant a tenant house on farms smaller than 100 acres when it sees a compelling need. The land and the tenant house(s) cannot be subdivided or conveyed from the protected parcel. Prior law included a complete ban on construction in excess of 1 tenant house per 100 acres.


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