Check out the latest edition of the Mountain Top Ag News here!
Can we help your food/farm business? Natural Capital Investment Fund & Tri-County Council of Western Maryland have funding from the U.S. HUD Appalachian Economic Development Initiative to provide technical assistance free of charge as well as financing to small businesses and farms in western Maryland.
To learn more or share additional feedback, please contact NCIF Project Manager Hannah Vargason at email@example.com or 304-870-2238.
Click the link below to take the survey by January 31!!
The Appalachia Grows - Small Farms Conference will be held March 17-18 at Allegany College of Maryland near Cumberland. More info soon at www.AppGrows.com !
Come on out to the Benefit for Glenn Hardesty Sunday! Silent Auction starts at 4:00, ends around 7:30 (after the 6:00 local foods dinner). Join us for the Corn Hole Tournament as well!
Other silent auction items not pictured below: Quilts, toys, fabric, gift baskets, matted photos, home decor, and more!
More info here: www.GarrettFarms.org/glenn
Local Opinions on Access to Quality Food Sought During FSU Concern-Gathering Event
As part of a national data-gathering project on citizens’ concerns about access to quality food, members of the local community are invited to a “concern-gathering” session at FSU on Wednesday, April 20, at 10 a.m. in the Lane Atkinson Room (232). The program is part of FSU’s daylong Focus Frostburg annual day of learning on sustainability issues.
The region’s citizens have a unique opportunity to shape the national conversation on the topic of access to quality food, and diverse perspectives are being sought. Participants will be asked to describe what the topic means to them and to share their concerns. Results will be compiled into a National Issues Forum national issue guide.
This endeavor is part of 18-month-long learning opportunity for Dr. Elesha L. Ruminski and Christine Willingham, faculty in FSU’s Department of Communication, with the Kettering Foundation to learn best practices as moderators of citizen discourse with the goal of using deliberative processes to put the work of the community in the hands of citizens, as opposed to top-down solutions.
The ultimate goal of these efforts is to create a communication leadership lab at FSU, envisioned as a hub of project activity that enables students, faculty and regional citizens to navigate collectively the complexities and contradictions of the changing world through access to expert, developmental and technological resources on dialogue, deliberation, collaboration and communication leadership.
The Kettering Foundation focuses on research and facilitation that supports “democracy working as it should through the alignment of citizens who are civically engaged and can make sound choices about their future; communities of citizens acting together to address common problems; and institutions with public legitimacy that contribute to strengthening the work of citizens.” For info on the Kettering Foundation, visit www.kettering.org.
For info or to share perspectives if you cannot make this session, contact Ruminski, associate professor of Communication Studies and coordinator of Leadership Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-687-4480.
The latest version of the Mountain Top Ag News is hot off the press! There are lots of great workshops, conferences, and other information in this edition. Click here to download a copy.
Error Correction: In the printed mailing that went to some homes, the price for the Appalachia Grows Small Farms Conference was incorrect. The item has been corrected in the online version. The correct price is:
$20 first adult
$15 additional adults
Garrett & Allegany County Producers Urged to Consider Risk Protection Coverage Before Crop Sales Deadlines
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers to review available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the crop deadline of March 2016.
Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.
The following NAP application closing dates have been established for Garrett and Allegany Counties:
Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA Service Centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator: http://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#. Producers can use the USDA Cost Estimator, https://ewebapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/costestimator/Default.aspx, to predict insurance premium costs.
For more information on NAP, service fees, premiums and sales deadlines, contact the Garrett County FSA Office at (301) 334-6954 or the Allegany County FSA Office at (301) 777-1536 and toll free at (866) 723-6407. Producers may visit the web at www.fsa.usda.gov/nap.
Annual Maryland Farmers Market Conference
March 15, 2016 from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
$30 per person
Maryland Department of Agriculture, 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401
Come and learn all about the best marketing tips for your Maryland farmers market, the new and exciting opportunities for markets in Maryland, and current regulations in preparation for the 2016 season. We will have a range of speakers, as well as training & certification for farmers for the WIC FMNP/SFMNP & FVC Programs, Scale Certification, SNAP sign up, and a locally sourced lunch! Space is limited to the first 90 guests to register and send in payment.
Also available will be training and certification sessions for farmers for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), and the Fruit and Vegetable Check (FVC) program, as well as sign up for farmers who wish to become eligible to accept the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If you are interested in the SNAP Sign Up, please see the SNAP information document.
Farmers can also bring their market scales in for certification by the Weights & Measures Department. Please read the additional information on how to do this in the agenda link or see the agenda below.
Please note: Space is limited to the first 90 people to register and send in payment. **New this year - You now have the ability to register and pay online by credit card or check!
See the agenda link (or agenda below) for more information. Registration & payment link.
If you have further questions after reading the agenda, or trouble with the registration link, please contact Shelby Watson-Hampton directly:
Shelby Watson Hampton
Agricultural Marketing Specialist
Maryland Department of Agriculture
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401
Office - 410-841-5776
Cell - 240-304-8535
Email - Shelby.Watson@Maryland.Gov
This issue has lots of great info on upcoming events, including the Appalachia Grows Small Farms Conference January 22-23!
Click here to download a copy.