LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Your recent article,
New Agricultural Laws Go Into Effect July 1 highlights the various regulations going into effect this month, one of which requires defining and labeling locally grown food, including its point of origin.
Studies show that 78 percent of Marylanders are more likely to buy produce that is identified as having been grown by a Maryland farmer. Therefore, legislators should seize this opportunity to support local farmers in a big way. Polluted runoff from industrial agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to the dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay. If we are truly going to restore the Bay, we need to shift to more sustainable farming practices, used by many local farmers who aim to preserve the state's natural resources.
Many farmers have embraced rotational grazing, crop diversity, organic systems, and other practices that reduce water pollution. However, they have a hard time competing with factory farming operations.
I urge the state to establish a public-private partnership to serve as a distribution network to give small farmers better access to markets. This would go a long way toward cleaning up our beloved Chesapeake Bay.
Environment Maryland, Intern
So. Md. Farmers Markets