Holding a handful of oyster spat: It takes about two years in Maryland to grow an oyster. Standing next to Acting Under Secretary Doug O’Brien (foreground) is Terrance Taylor, representative for Congressman Steny Hoyer; Letitia Nichols, Business & Cooperative Program Director and Michael Dee, President, The Patapsco Bank. USDA has guaranteed a bank loan that will help the oyster operation grow and also protect Chesapeake Bay. USDA photo.
Earlier this week it was my honor to join USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O’Brien and Patapsco Bank President/CEO Michael Dee to announce funding support for one of Maryland’s favorite delicacies – the Chesapeake Bay Oyster.
“In today’s environment, economic recovery is the driving factor in everything we do, and our support for this local food project will have many benefits,” O’Brien said. “It will help support jobs and businesses in the region and support an eco-friendly environment that helps restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay.” Read more »
Yesterday, Secretary Vilsack and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley hosted Maryland’s fourth annual “Buy Local” cook out. The event kicked off Maryland’s “Buy Local Challenge Week” which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally-grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day.
Governor O’Malley designated June 23-31 is “Buy Local Challenge Week” in an effort to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that the use of fresh, local products among consumers becomes more familiar and more frequent. The cookout featured recipes from 17 teams of local producers and chefs from across the State showcasing the diversity of local products available in Maryland.
For a better look at yesterday’s event in Annapolis, Maryland, check out the video below:
Last week I joined Governor O’Malley and Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Buddy Hance for a cook-out at the Governor’s House in Annapolis, Maryland. What a blast! Along with 300 other guests, I sampled wonderful local foods prepared by 19 farmer-chef teams who were the winners in a state-wide recipe contest that showcased their creativity and locally grown and raised foods. It was great to visit with the winning farmers and dozens of others who were on hand to support local and regional agriculture.
Kathleen Merrigan with a local chef and Anthony Geraci, Food Service Director for Baltimore City Public Schools
I know that Governor O’Malley is a strong supporter of Maryland’s farmers and ranchers. But it was downright inspiring to listen to him as he took the stage to issue a challenge: during this week, buy local challenge week (July 17-July 25), he asked that every Maryland citizen eat at least one locally grown food item each day. Having stopped earlier at Councell Farms roadside stand in Cordova, Maryland, I am well on my way to meeting his challenge. And with over 100 farmers markets in Maryland and an increasing number of retailers selling local produce, it is difficult during sweet corn and tomato season to miss all the opportunities to buy local. Read more »