; Enhancing Community Support and Knowledge of Local Agriculture Issues | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Enhancing Community Support and Knowledge of Local Agriculture Issues

Laura Hunsberger


This presentation will focus upon two educators’ work on enhancing community support and knowledge of local agricultural issues on Maryland´s Lower Eastern Shore. Over 80% of the participants are women, as women tend to be more interested in working with the public and local promotion. From this presentation educators will learn about engaging the community in local promotional programs. Success stories, program design, participation and grant funding will be covered.

Most fresh fruits and vegetables produced in the U.S. are shipped from California, Florida, and Washington and travel an average of 1,300 miles from farm to table. Two counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (Talbot and Wicomico) were the targets of educational tactics to increase visibility of local agricultural issues and promote locally grown agricultural products.

In Wicomico, cooking demonstrations using local ingredients were staged at the local hospital. Employees engaged in discussion of farming issues, nutrition and what foods are considered ‘local’ in their area. Additionally, a public access television show, ‘Delmarva Cooks’ has been an outlet for educating the public on local food issues. The show focuses upon preparation of locally grown produce.

In Talbot County agricultural displays, tours, a website and news articles have helped to increase local promotion of agriculture and engage agricultural women in the community. Promotional events include a barn tour and an annual county legislative tour. The website allows county residents to learn about local agriculture statistics and industry importance. This effort has increased the visibility of farm families and the Farm Bureau Women.