'Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population'.
US BIG AG was on a roll in the 1970s when Nixon and Kissinger came on board. Nixon was key to opening China which laid the groundwork for US corporations going overseas to avoid all that messy New Deal/labor law/ anti-trust law stuff at the same time the Korean War had the US installing neo-liberal policies in South Korea. Fast forward and China is Wall Street and naked capitalism by embracing neo-liberalism brought by Reagan and Clinton. As the quote above states----Kissinger wanted to control oil and food in order to control the nations US corporations were being sent. This is when US BIG AG became US INTERNATIONAL FOOD AID and the US BIG AG became industrial and corporate in Monsanto-----Clinton made it his business to push Monsanto wordwide because to control the food is to control the people. Today, Monsanto is involved in all international trade treaties having to be allowed into countries and each time it does-----it consolidates all small farms into BIG AG with Monsanto leading the way. All of this of course paid for by taxpayers through International Food Aid. Fast forward to today and Asian small farmers are committing suicide as they are pushed off their land------agrarian people in Asian are pushed to the cities to work in US sweat shops----and BIG AG industrializes these Asian and Africa nation's foods often with slavery involved in collusion with Asian leaders made rich.
So, what does this have to do with Food Stamps in the US?
OBAMA GOES TO INDIA TO PRESSURE INDIA TO CURB FOOD SUBSIDY----TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT IS ABOUT ENDING PUBLIC SUBSIDY TO FOOD AND HEALTH CARE. BYE BYE US FOOD STAMPS!
For those not knowing that Trans Pacific Trade Pact seeks to curb large sectors of public food subsidy -----this is indeed what Obama and Clinton neo-liberals have partnered with Bush neo-cons to do. So, developing nations with large numbers of poor that receive large government food subsidies are being pressured by the US through TPP to end these subsidies. This is what ending the Food Stamp policy has as a goal in the US to meet these terms of TPP. Developing nations like India know the devastation ending Food subsidy would bring and have so far opted out of TPP as other Asian nations do the same for the same reasons.
Meanwhile, Congress pretends to be fighting over ending Food Stamps with Obama trying his hardest to Fast Track Trans Pacific Trade Pact which will require food subsidies by limited. So, this issue is not driven by Republicans---it is driven by TPP......a Clinton neo-liberal/Bush neo-con policy.
India Clings to Disputed Food Subsidies Narendra Modi's Washington Visit Didn't End Dispute Over Country's $19 Billion Food Aid Program
For those not knowing New Zealand and Australia were the most progressive and environmental nations in the world. Their governments were taken by neo-liberals pretending to be progressive as was the US by Clinton and now Obama. Below is a letter written by an academic that describes the details of TPP since other nations know more about this than Americans because the institutions that should be shouting about this are silent and captured. Note it always has to do with food control and again it is Monsanto and BIG AG coming in to replace public food and distribution networks.
Below you see where TPP agreements require the nations involved not to talk about the agreements and who are the groups in the US that should be talking about TPP? ALL NATIONAL LABOR AND JUSTICE GROUPS AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS. Who is silent in the US about TPP? National labor, justice, and environmental groups.
THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW YOUR LEADERSHIP IS WORKING FOR CORPORATIONS AND THIS CORPORATE GOVERNMENT AND NOT YOU AND I----THEY ARE DOING AS THEY ARE TOLD.
'Participating countries have agreed that no background documents will be released until four years after the agreement comes into force',
For those not knowing that the Mexican drug cartel and trafficing explosion was a result of Clinton's NAFTA and big AG---killing small Mexican farmers and turning them to the black-market drug trade as in the US. The key here is loss of food security. Notice as well that it is our Federal Bureau of Agriculture and US Farm Bureau that is demanding food safety and quality standards be lowered through TPP. These are the people Obama appoint to head these agencies and they are working just as hard as with Bush for the US Chamber of Commerce.
Food, Farmers and the TPP
Sunday, 3 June 2012, 6:59 pm
Article: Andrea Brower Scoop Independent News
Food, Farmers and the TPPby Andrea Brower
I write this as an American living in Aotearoa who is deeply concerned by the ‘trade’ deal being negotiated between our countries (or more correctly, between our countries corporations and their political cronies). On America’s side, Monsanto, Big Pharma, and Wall Street are attempting to manipulate New Zealand’s laws to eliminate anything that might get in the way of their expansion and bottom-line. On New Zealand’s side, Fonterra hopes for access to the US market. So they are endeavoring to devise a plan amongst themselves (and the elite of several other countries) to maximize their interests (profit, power, market consolidation) -- a plan brilliantly named with the most amiable of words, the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement’(hereafter referred to simply as the TPP).
I say ‘devise a plan amongst themselves’ without sounding like too much of a conspiracy theorist because there is really no other way to describe closed-door talks that include 600 corporate advisors and exclude journalists, civil society, and Members of US Congress / New Zealand Parliament. Participating countries have agreed that no background documents will be released until four years after the agreement comes into force, and since the US took control of the negotiations, the only pretense of transparency (a daylong ‘stakeholder’ programme) has been removed. Not only is the unprecedented secrecy surrounding the TPP fundamentally anti-democratic, but the agreement itself is attempting to establish corporations rights to skirt domestic courts and laws and sue governments directly (demanding taxpayer compensation for any domestic law they believe will diminish their ‘expected future profits’).
There is a lot to loose in the TPP -- control over land and resources, the tino rangatiratanga of Maori, affordable medicine, intellectual and cultural heritage, internet freedom, the ability to regulate the financial sector, tobacco laws... (check out tppwatch.org and citizen.org). But lets start in this article with food and agriculture, since Fonterra’s bottom-line is the only justification I’ve heard for the deal on New Zealand’s side. There are three main points to be made about ag and the TPP: it’s bad for farmers and local food security, especially in less industrialized countries; it’s bad for New Zealand ag and food safety; and it’s not even good for Fonterra.
Strike 1: Death to farmers and local food economies
Free Trade Agreements (especially where the US is involved) have a vile history when it comes to the dispossession of small farmers, destruction of local food economies, and resulting rise in hunger and poverty. In the 10 years following the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1.3 million Mexican farmers went bankrupt because they were unable to compete with highly subsidized US corn entering the market. Mexican farmer Miguel Bravo eloquently describes how this has devastated rural communities: ‘There used to be one bus a day leaving this area (Chiapas) heading north. Now, four buses a day go to the border…. And each is packed with our young boys. Today, with the conditions the way they are, youth have become our biggest export’.
In the same 10 years, Mexico went from a country producing virtually all of its own corn to one importing nearly half of its staple food (in exchange, it exports cheap clothes and appliances made in maquiladora border sweatshops). Mexican consumers are paying a higher price for their (now GMO) tortillas, and it is no surprise that riots broke out when corn prices tripled in 2008. Mexicans, now dependent on the global market for food, go hungry when the gambling addictions of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital reach into the agricultural commodities market.
Of course, the effects of trade liberalization are by no means unique to Mexico, and as the international peasant movement Via Campesina has put it ‘free trade kills farmers’, and with them the local food economies that provide security to much of the world’s poor.
Perhaps closer to home, we might feel some solidarity with Chilean farmers who have been squeezed out of business and become laborers on export-oriented monocultures (or part of the new urban poor), thanks in large part to Fonterra’s investments in the dairy sector and anti-competitive price fixing.
In regards to the TPP, similar fates will befall farmers and local food economies especially in places like Vietnam and Peru, where significant numbers of people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Around 37 million people within the TPP zone are involved in the agricultural sector, and in Vietnam 64% of the entire population depends on growing food. For these people, and all the people who eat what they produce, the TPP could be devastating.
Strike 2: New Zealand food and agriculture beyond Fonterra
The US has made it a clear priority to abolish New Zealand’s GE-labeling laws through the TPP, despite 83% of New Zealanders opposing such a move. What American delicacies might be coming soon to your plate, unbeknownst to you? ... Perhaps some corn genetically engineered to resist massive doses of the herbicide 2,4-D -- half the formula of Dow and Monsanto's Agent Orange, the stuff used by the US Army to defoliate jungles and destroy food crops during the Vietnam War. It’s estimated that Agent Orange killed about half a million Vietnamese, and led to another half a million children being born with birth defects. Google image it. But don’t worry, only a handful of Americans are known to have died from GE-foods, and our ‘innocent until proven guilty’ regulatory framework appears to be working just fine, at least according to the voluntary self-reporting of GE-corporations.
GE food labeling is only one of many food safety regulations that New Zealand may be forced to eliminate under the TPP agreement. The US Trade Representative recently issued a report of what it considers ‘unjust technical barriers to trade’, which included regulations around swine influenza, mad cow disease, avian influenza, maximum chemical residue levels, Ractopamine (a stock feed additive) and biotechnology. The message has basically been that no country should have the right to set standards stricter than the US.
This applies to quarantine issues as well. New Zealand is still free from many invasive plant and animal species that could potentially cause billions of dollars in damage to agriculture, human health and the environment. Consider New Zealand bees and the beekeeping industry, which have already been hard-hit by the Varroa mite, and could be devastated by European foulbrood, small hive beetle and Israel acute paralysis virus (all of which are present in Australia). The current strong quarantine standards are critical to protecting New Zealand’s many diverse agricultural industries, as well as the country’s long-term food security.
That the entire agricultural wealth of New Zealand may be made vulnerable by invoking the possibility of dairy industry profits becomes all the more absurd when we consider that the TPP could facilitate foreign ownership of this very industry. As Professor of Law Jane Kelsey writes, ‘The growing foreign ownership of corporate farms, the potential introduction of tradable shares in Fonterra, and the possibility of joint venture operations in New Zealand with agribusinesses like Nestle raise the prospect that foreign corporations may come to dominate New Zealand’s dairy industry’ (No Ordinary Deal, p. 20).
Strike 3: Even Fonterra won’t win!
Perhaps most ironically, even Fonterra (whether New Zealand or foreign owned) probably won’t get much out of the TPP. The US dairy lobby has already expressed strong opposition to ‘greater exploitation by New Zealand’, declaring that the only way to deal with Fonterra’s ‘virtual monopoly’ is through ‘full exclusion of all US-New Zealand dairy trade’. Similarly, the US Farm Bureau, which represents the interests of corporate agriculture, has urged trade negotiators not to revisit existing bilateral trade agreements, and concentrate instead on eroding other countries’ food safety and quarantine standards that ‘hamper US agricultural exports’. And you can bet that trade reps are doing exactly what the Farm Bureau instructs.
As Australia learned the hard way, little was gained for their ag export industries through a FTA with the US, and there is virtual consensus amongst US policy analysts and economists that New Zealand will not gain any meaningful concessions on dairy.
While the US agribusiness lobby’s hypocrisy is striking, this kind of chess playing is characteristic of Free Trade Agreements; all that remains to be seen is which corporate interests triumph, and we should remember that Fonterra is still a lot small than US agribusinesses.
The TPP may collapse on its own merely because the corporations driving it can’t find enough alignment in their interests. However, the impetus to give one more breath to the suffocating neoliberal project, as well as the US desire to assert its hegemony in a region increasingly influenced by China, may prove enough to push this through. So unfortunately, despite the obvious contradictions and horrors of the TPP, we still need to fight it.
I’ve heard it said often that there is ‘no long-term thinking’ on the part of New Zealand government, but let’s not be mistaken -- there is plenty of long-term thinking happening, it’s just taking this country in a radically different direction than most of its people want to go.
************* Andrea Brower is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at University of Auckland, with a particular interest in food, agriculture, the environment and social justice. She is from Hawaii. She can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmmmmmmm.....in order to install the Kissinger motto----control the people with food----the US has to go from being a bread basket fueling all of US food consumption to making the US third world in depending on food imports to distribute to US citizens. As this article written in 2005 shows----we are already on the way. So, BIG AG drained or aquifers and BIG FRACK is now doing the same and contaminating them so we will not have fresh water for crops----THAT SOUNDS VERY MUCH LIKE POLICY THAT WILL HAVE THE US AS A FOOD IMPORTER! We have super-market consolidations that have a few food corporations owning all national and regional chains......and then we have convenience stores supplying food at the lower end. Where is the middle? Well, there is the community garden movement and grow local movement.
Know what is funny about these movements in cities where the food justice movement is being installed? I cannot get them to create public food gardens-----they are almost always created on private property known to revert any time to private development or they are attached to a church or non-profit. How much security are we getting when all the food is attached to land that is private and not ours? That is what this push to subprime mortgage fraud is all about......moving more and more real estate into the hands of a few. Public land disappearing and sales of massive land tracts to Wall Street investment firms do not work well for food security connected to community gardens.
U.S. to Become Net Food Importer Document Actions
by Doug Pibel posted May 05, 2005
Figures released at the end of 2004 by the Department of Agriculture showed that in 2005, for the first time in more than 50 years, the U.S. will have no trade surplus in food. In 2001, the U.S. had a $13.6 billion agricultural trade surplus. In 2004, that surplus was zero, and 2005 will likely see the U.S. become a net food importer.
The Department of Agriculture report attributed much of the falling surplus to increased U.S. demand for exotic spices and foodstuffs and such value-added products as beer and wine. The Department also notes that imports of beef, a traditionally strong American product, will rise to 47 percent of the U.S. beef market. In another example of the weakening U.S. position, Brazil reported that its soybean exports in the first 10 months of 2004 equaled projected U.S. exports for the entire year.
Doug Pibel is a contributing editor of YES!
People who have followed me over years know my familiar mantra----
WHERE ARE ALL THE LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS SHOUTING WE ARE BEING LOOTED AND PUSHED TO A THIRD WORLD NATION!
The point is all of our private non-profits are captured by corporate leaders installed at a national level and who then install corporate leaders at state and local levels. Our non-profits that used to work for labor and justice are now working for corporations.
WE KNOW THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN AS WE BUILD NEW ONES SO WE DO NOT WANT TO LOSE OUR PUBLIC SPACE TO PRIVATE NON-PROFITS!
In Baltimore, land of the most neo-conservative Johns Hopkins which controls all public policy and development----community gardens will always have a repressive goal----not a progressive goal. So, we are seeing community gardens that were once public and part of the City Parks Department being privatized to private non-profits. We are seeing community gardens placed on private vacant lots knowing they will be gone in a few years. People have no control over how to expand these gardens or how long they will be there.
THIS IS NOT FOOD JUSTICE OR SECURITY-----THIS IS HOW CORPORATIONS STEAL A PROGRESSIVE ISSUE LIKE FOOD JUSTICE!
With home-ownership under attack with fraud and high taxes and fees.......this is a sign that food is going to be used to control people.
Establishing Land Use Protections for Community Gardens
Local government leaders are in a unique position to promote healthy eating and active living in their communities by supporting community gardens. Community gardens are places where neighbors and residents can gather to cultivate plants, vegetables, and fruits and, depending on local laws, keep bees and raise chickens or other livestock and poultry. Community gardens can improve nutrition, physical activity, community engagement, safety, and economic vitality for a neighborhood and its residents and provide environmental benefits to the community at large.
1NPLAN has created a set of complementary model land use policies to help communities create and preserve community gardens. Supportive land use policies, like zoning ordinances, can help to create community gardens and ensure their long-term ability to operate on a site.
Comprehensive Plan Language for Community Gardens
This model language establishes a policy within a comprehensive plan (also known as “general plan,” “master plan,” or “community plan”) to protect existing and create new community gardens. It provides specific goals or actions to implement the policy. It is designed to be added to a city or county’s comprehensive plan to promote community gardens created by the private or nonprofit sector (e.g., local community groups) as well as the public sector.
Model Zoning Ordinances for Community Gardens
We have developed two types of zoning ordinances for community gardens. A community may adopt one or both policies:•Use Zone Protections for Community Gardens. The model zoning code language provides that a community garden is an approved use of land in residential, multifamily, industrial, and other districts determined by the community. This designation allows citizens to develop and maintain community gardens in the enumerated districts without requiring the sponsor to obtain a permit, finding, variance, or other government land use approval. Because no land use permit is required, the ordinance sets forth basic regulations for community gardens – including requiring operating rules and an environmental assessment to ensure that the land to be used for gardens is free of contaminants.• Open Space Protections for Community Gardens. The model zoning code language provides that a community garden can be zoned as a sub-district or sub-use within an open space zoning district. By enacting this policy, a community can protect and preserve community gardens as an open space us
I wanted to bring the macro and the micro together today before expanding on the issue of Food Justice here in the US by showing how we need to be on-guard in the US when government forces are controlled by global corporate pols---Food Justice under neo-liberalism or neo-conservatism does not mean Food Justice. It means---as Nixon said-----CONTROL THE FOOD AND CONTROL THE PEOPLE.
Getting people to grow fresh food locally was a progressive issue decades ago----it sprang from the industrialization of BIG AG. So, don't think that because people want to encourage you to grow your own food that they are working against Food Justice. Baltimore has several really nice community gardens that have existed for several years ----but it also has that corporate side that uses community gardens for corporate gains.
BALTIMORE HAS A LOT OF THAT.
Again, Baltimore is controlled by Johns Hopkins who then controls public policy by creating private non-profits that do what Hopkins wants. So, development via Hopkins is taking land to the few for affluent development minus the poor, working class, and soon to be middle-class. It uses community gardens to control land use---to make an area being developed look attractive----and it ties it to vocational training centers. As I said---Baltimore is losing public land and parks and people willing to grow food in their yards may not own a home down the road. So, national food markets and convenience stores rule in Baltimore.
But we have our Waverly Market farmers market you say!
Community Gardens In Baltimore
October 21, 2013 8:00 AM
Imagine a once sad-looking vacant lot in Baltimore City that has been transformed into a garden oasis teeming with neighbors harvesting tomatoes, herbs and strawberries. Now multiply that green space by roughly 100 and you have an idea of Baltimore City’s thriving community garden scene.
In just the past five years, the number of Baltimore community gardens has doubled because of a unique partnership between citizens, gardeners, non-profits and our City government.
A community garden is a piece of land gardened by a group of people. Most Baltimore community gardens are created by neighborhood residents or schools who want to beautify a not-so-nice plot of land. The gardens can be set up as cooperatives where neighbors join a membership and share the bounty. Or, a gardener will rent a plot of land that they plant and harvest for their own use. You may have seen the Mura Street Garden near Collington Square Park or the Duncan Street Miracle Garden recently. These are a few examples of the community gardens in the area.
The benefits of community gardens are many from the availability of sustainable and fresh produce to a healthy hobby for urban dwellers and also the overall improvement of a neighborhood’s curb appeal.
Though for many of Baltimore’s community gardeners, it’s being part of a tight-knit group with a shared goal that drives them to spend time planting, weeding, watering and harvesting their gardens.
(Credit, L. Peltier)
Jenny Kaurinki, one of the founders of the Radnor/Winston community garden, says it best, “Where can you get nine months worth of organic produce for $20 plus one hour of work a week?” The Radnor/Winston community garden recently sprouted when 20 families created the garden on an odd-shaped plot owned by Loyola University Maryland. Loyola supported the idea and even provides the garden’s water source. From 20 raised beds, a bounty of tomatoes, garlic, sweet potatoes and produce grows each season. The members work the entire garden and all share the produce, with three garden beds ear-marked for the local GEDCO’s CARES food pantry. “It’s the only produce some CARES clients eat,” shares Kaurinki.
(Credit, L. Peltier)
Community gardens have their challenges with the top two being a reliable water source and land ownership. To ensure that Baltimore’s community gardens are successful, a few key groups were recently formed that provide community gardens with key resources.
In 2008, the Community Greening Resource Network (CGRN) was formed by The Parks & People Foundation and the University of Maryland Extension program. Patricia Foster, president of the University of Maryland Extension Baltimore City Master Gardeners explains, “Our group of volunteers was helping so many community gardens with the ins and outs of securing land and how to plant a garden that a more comprehensive partnership made sense with The Parks & People Foundation.” Master Gardeners attend a rigorous 13-week horticultural program and once graduated, commit to volunteering each year.
CGRN now has over 200 members who pay a $20 fee for access to design, maintenance and expertise. More importantly, the group connects community gardens with the many government and non-profit resources needed to keep a garden going. Anna Evans-Goldstein directs CGRN, “Our most popular events are the ‘Give Away’ days where local nurseries donate their surplus plants and seeds to our network gardeners. Over $70,000 in plant materials have been donated to Baltimore’s community gardens.”
Another key group in Baltimore’s community garden success is Baltimore Green Space. Founded in 2007, Baltimore Green Space acquires community-managed open spaces for its land trust so a community garden has a sense of permanence and can’t later be taken over. Baltimore Green Space also helps gardens access water and provides liability insurance. Miriam Avins, Baltimore Green Space’s founder and executive director, explains, “The Baltimore City government and the Office of Sustainability have been supportive and great to work with in creating workable regulations and programs that support our town’s many community gardens.”
CGRN’s Evans-Goldstein sums up Baltimore’s community gardens best, “These gardens bring our neighbors together in unlikely ways. I’ve spotted people from different backgrounds and different neighborhoods head-to-head chatting about growing radishes. That’s a positive.”
For those that do not know Maryland has become BIG AG and BIG MEAT that exports food more than selling it locally----you don't understand that Maryland run by global corporate neo-liberals and neo-conservatives. Every food industry is global and consolidating as fast as it can. Maryland Crab Meat----sold to the highest Asian bidder----crab cakes in Baltimore restaurants----from Gulf of Mexico or Asia.
Maryland Assembly just passed a law raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million as did Congress so the ability to consolidate and save money is growing. Maryland has tax exemptions for large land owners using land to grow food.....and often that landowner simply pretends to grow food to get that tax credit.
The point is that small farming in Maryland is disappearing and will be gone in no time flat-----so those nice little Waverly Market farmers are going to become extinct pretty soon. If you drive from Baltimore to the ocean going north to Wilmington you will pass miles and miles of BIG AG. If you drive from Baltimore to the ocean south you will see miles and miles of BIG AG. Central Maryland is becoming BIG ESTATES that can become BIG AG at any time.
A Maryland Assembly person joked about BIG AG vs small farming at a public meeting making it seem as though she needed to be careful of mentioning BIG AG----and she's right. It is the best kept secret in what is one big secret that Maryland will be completely BIG AG exporting overseas in no time. As the mid-west dries----Maryland will step in while the Marcellus Aquifer has little water left.
University of Maryland College Park has nothing but International on it mind----and all economic development coming from there has global markets in mind because the Deans appointed by Clinton neo-liberal O'Malley and Bush neo-cons like Erhlich and now Hogan----look to make the US the third world society required in 21st century economy. BIG AG will be a grow industry in Maryland.
Maryland Agriculture is $8.25 Billion Industry, UMD Study Shows
Researchers look at “ripple-effect” caused by agriculture in the state
Jul 17, 2013Author: Sara GavinImage Credit: Edwin Remsberg
The impact of agriculture on Maryland’s economy amounts to $8.25 billion annually, according to a recent study published by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland.
The study, conducted by Professor Loretta Lynch and graduate student Jeffrey Ferris, looks beyond the revenue generated from farm products ($1.8 billion) and takes an in-depth look at how the agricultural and forestry industries weave their way into nearly every sector of Maryland’s robust economy.
“While agriculture and forestry uses occupy 66% of Maryland’s land, agriculture only accounts for less than one-percent of the state’s gross domestic product,” says Loretta Lynch, Ph.D., co-author of the study and Director of the Center for Agricultural and Resource Policy at UMD. “We suspected, however, that evaluating the ripple effects generated by agriculture on Maryland’s economy would tell us a different story.”
Using an input-output analysis, the study takes into account the numerous industries that provide supplies and services necessary to process, manufacture and package products grown and harvested from Maryland’s farms and forests. UMD researchers found that for every dollar generated directly by agriculture or forestry industries, 45 cents was added to other sectors in the state; and, for every five jobs generated in these industries, three additional jobs were created around the state. The total economic impact of Maryland agriculture amounted to $8.25 billion annually and 45,600 jobs.
The study was commissioned by Cheng-i Wei, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland. “Agriculture is a part of Maryland’s economy that is often overlooked and underestimated but this study reinforces that it is essential to our state’s economic health,” says Wei, Ph.D. “It is important that we understand the full impact of agriculture so that we continue to discover innovative ways to keep the industry prosperous and train the next generation of leaders who will preserve it.”
The study, the first of its kind since 2005, also highlights the changing face of agriculture in Maryland. While the number of farms in the state continues to decline, farmers are adapting, modernizing and becoming highly efficient, producing more with less for local, regional, national and international markets. Steady profits, however, are necessary to keep Maryland operations from shutting down and causing a snowball effect on the state’s economy.
“The decline of the agricultural and forestry sectors would have an impact on not just farm families and agriculturally based businesses,” the study states. “It would ripple out to the entire economy, causing distress to workers in many sectors, and losses to taxpayers, businesses, and others who benefit from a strong Maryland economy.”