Homegrown Frederick Brand Expands and New Programs Added to Increase Agriculture Education

Homegrown Frederick magazine, Homegrown Hay Days, a regional agriculture education event and a new agriculture grant are all projects that the Frederick County Office of Economic Development’s agriculture business development team have been working on to grow the Homegrown Frederick brand and preserve the rich agriculture heritage of Frederick County.

The latest version of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED)’s Homegrown Frederick magazine, an annual publication in partnership with Frederick Magazine, is now available. This year marks the 5th year of the publication and includes almost 70 of Frederick’s farms with products available to the public. “We can’t keep it on the shelves,” said OED Director Helen Propheter. “It’s a great way to artistically and informatively showcase the importance of agriculture in Frederick County.”

OED’s annual fall festival has a new name. Homegrown Hay Days, formerly known as Family Festival @ the Farm, will be held October 20th and 21st this year at 21 local farms. The name reflects an effort to include more kinds of agriculture that appeals to all different age groups.

“There’s something for everyone in Homegrown Hay Days,” says Katie Albaugh Stevens, OED’s agriculture business development specialist. “You get to meet and talk to the farmer, learn about their job, enjoy their products and entertainment, and experience the day in Frederick County’s beautiful countryside.”

Teabow Farms hosted the first-ever “Breakfast on the Farm” on June 30th sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension Service. The event attracted over 650 visitors to the dairy farm in Walkersville for breakfast and a tour of the farm. “This is the first event of this kind,” said Robert Remsburg, president of the Frederick County Farm Bureau. “We look at it as an educational opportunity to spread the message of agriculture.”

“This event could have been done anywhere in the state,” said Katie Stevens. “We are pleased that the University of Maryland Extension Service, who has been working on this for a year, chose Frederick County as the ideal location to showcase the benefits of agriculture.”

OED and their Agriculture Business Council established an Agriculture Education Grant aimed at increasing the vibrancy of agriculture programs available for youth in Frederick County. “Getting people involved in agriculture at an early age will help preserve our agricultural resources in the future,” said Stevens. Grant applications are now open through August 20, 2018. Five grants will be awarded to Frederick County non-profits up to $1,000 per grant. For more information and the grant application, click here.

More information about OED’s agriculture programs can be found at www.homegrownfrederick.com.