Calvert Debuts New Sustainable Agriculture Awards Program

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (August 31, 2010)—Agriculture is woven deeply in the fabric of Calvert County’s heritage and continues to be a vital part of county life. To recognize the contributions that local agriculture makes toward a more sustainable community, the Calvert County Sustainable Agriculture Workgroup is seeking nominations for the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ new Sustainable Agriculture Awards program.

Awards in this annual program will be offered in three categories. The Sustainable Farmer of the Year award will recognize a local farm that has a Soil Conservation Plan in place. The farm should utilize best management practices in soil conservation, should have a diversity of crops, should have implemented a plan to reduce pesticide use and is selling a crop directly to consumers. Preference will be given to farms on preserved properties.

The Green Grocer of the Year award will be offered to a retailer that buys and sells local products when in season. The business will have featured local products in advertising and business promotions. The variety and presentation of local goods sold will also be considered.

The Buy Local Restaurant of the Year will recognize a restaurant that buys local products when in season. The ideal candidate will feature and advertise local products on menus and in special recipes. Special consideration will be given to those that offer a variety of local goods used in meals and for uniqueness in presentation.

Individuals, businesses and organizations are eligible for nomination in all three categories. Self nomination is accepted. Nominees will be judged by a selection committee comprised of representatives from Calvert Eats Local, the Calvert County Agriculture Commission and the University of Maryland Extension. Nominations will be accepted through September 20, 2010, and awards will be presented at a Board of County Commissioners’ meeting in October, 2010.

Nomination forms are available at the Department of Planning & Zoning, 150 Main Street, Room 304, Prince Frederick, or online at For further information, contact Denise Cherry at 410-535-1600, ext. 2340.

Established in 2008, the Calvert County Sustainable Agriculture Workgroup includes members from the county departments of Planning & Zoning, Economic Development and General Services along with representatives from the Calvert County Health Department, the Calvert County Soil Conservation District, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and Maryland Cooperative Extension. The group’s purpose is to facilitate revenue opportunities for farmers; facilitate market opportunities for farmers and consumers; help the community understand the importance of farming; and build a more sustainable community that is better insulated from price fluctuations and unsafe foods.

Source: Calvert County Government

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