SMADC was recently awarded a grant through the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF), to create a series of videos on all aspects of Southern Maryland’s agriculture (land and water) with a focus on the farmers, producers, livelihoods, and goods and services produced by nine key regional agricultural industries: agri-tourism, aquaculture, equine, forestry, fruits/vegetables/row crops, livestock, nursery/cut flowers, other seafood, and value-added products.
Each video will be approximately five minutes long and will feature a combination of educational information and promotional marketing to help bridge the knowledge gap between consumers and their local farmers, and encourage consumers to purchase products from local Southern Maryland farm businesses. “When consumers are encouraged to know their farmers and buy local, the regional economy is strengthened because buying local supports independent family farms and keeps dollars circulating in the region,” explained SMADC director, Shelby Watson-Hampton. “When consumers buy local, they help to ensure that the benefits of our farms survive for many years to come.”
The “Farms in Focus” series will highlight overall agricultural industry products, not specific producers or farms, so the videos may be used industry wide. The videos will be available for use by farmers, producers, school systems, economic development offices, libraries, tourism offices, and anyone who wishes to use them to promote the region’s agricultural businesses. “We also envision these being run on loop at, farm festivals, conferences, community gatherings, and other events,” said Watson-Hampton.
The first of the videos to launch, the “Oyster Edition”, promotes Southern Maryland’s oyster industry with the goal to increase public appreciation for oyster farming; where and how oysters are grown and harvested and the economic, cultural, gastronomic and ecological assets the oyster industry contributes to the region. Both aquaculture and wild harvest oyster producers are featured in the video, plus a top local chef and restaurant owner shares tips to prepare and enjoy locally harvested oysters. To find, eat and experience Southern Maryland’s oysters, visit SMADC’s newest consumer resource: www.SOMDOysterGuide.com
The “Farms in Focus” videos series will be available free to view on the SMADC YouTube channel. Stay tuned for more editions coming soon and through 2020.
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