PRINCESS ANNE — UMES Extension and its partners are offering a free workshop Friday, Feb. 3 with a twofold mission: to understand and address the barriers that underserved farmers and agricultural communities face to accessing the state’s agricultural programs and presentations on potential opportunities in the new year.
The first half of the day includes an informal discussion facilitated by representatives Daniel Sweeney (agriculture program director) and Dr. Matthew Houser (applied social scientist) with The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland/DC Chapter on the factors that shape underserved farmers’ participation in federal agricultural programs (i.e., the Wetland Reserve Easements program) with emphasis on the barriers and challenges.
“This open dialogue will present an opportunity to build relationships while participating in honest discussion that can lead to brainstorming ways to support and develop opportunities for the future,” said Dr. Nadine Burton, an alternative crop specialist with UMES Extension and the lead for the workshop.
Farmers can also learn about opportunities in 2023 during the morning session. A representative with The Common Market, a nonprofit regional wholesale food distributor, will be on hand to talk about the success the organization has had connecting communities to good food grown by sustainable family farmers in the region. Farmers can hear how they can become a partner to add to their farm’s profitability.
Prior to a complimentary lunch, Bill Tharpe, the program administrator for the Small Farm and Urban Agriculture Program with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, will talk about financial assistance opportunities through the program that will be available in 2023.
The event takes place from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the UMES Research, Extension and Teaching Farm on Stewart Neck Road. Registration is required at www.umes.edu/extension under events. For more information, call 410-621-5450. This event is sponsored by UMES Extension, The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland/DC Chapter, The Common Market and the Maryland Department of Agriculture.