Monday, July 6, 2015

An Agricultural Q&A with Anne Bradley

Thank you to Anne Bradley, Ag Preservation Administrator for Frederick County Government and Agricultural Business Development Specialist for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, for answering questions about Frederick County's strong and deeply rooted agriculture industry.

What major agricultural industries does Frederick County have?
Frederick County has an extremely diverse agricultural profile. We rank #1 in Maryland for turkeys, cattle and equine inventory, number of organic farms and the number of corn for silage acres and forage acres. We also rank #1 in Maryland for the value of sales for dairy products, cattle, hay and other crops.

Please share the agricultural programs to available farms looking to expand their existing business or establish a farm in Frederick County.
Frederick County businesses have access to the Small Business Development Center that provides services such as assisting in writing business plans or loan applications. The Frederick County Office of Economic Development provides marketing assistance through our press release program, our website and Homegrown Frederick publication partnership with Frederick magazine. We also have a "Homegrown Here" campaign where farmers can utilize branding at-cost to highlight their agricultural products that are locally grown. In addition, there may be other state and local tax credit programs available to qualified farms.

How can a business get started in these programs if they are interested?
We offer assistance by visiting our office located at 118 N. Market St., by calling 301-600-3037 or by emailing me directly at to set up an appointment.

What do you see as trends in local agriculture?
Diversification has been the latest key word for our agricultural operations. We are seeing more field to product operations such as creameries and local vegetable stands. We also have a strong influx of farm wineries and farm breweries taking advantage of local products for alcoholic beverages.

What is the overall outlook for the ag industry in Frederick County?
The outlook for the local agricultural industry in my opinion is excellent. Frederick County has more farmers and farmland than any other county in Maryland. We have an excellent and supportive farming community with successful agricultural support industries that keep our farmers going. We have the regional population base that keeps our farm products moving off the shelves. It's an exciting time to be involved in Frederick County agriculture!