Cecil County reps to try to clear up public ag misconceptions
ELKTON , Md. — Cecil County’s government is hosting an educational event this month to correct agricultural misconceptions and reacquaint residents with the county’s farming community.
The county will hold the “2020 Rooted in Our Community: Farming Up-Close and Personal” gathering at Cecil College’s technology center room on March 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s the inaugural event of a yearly series, county officials said.
“We don’t want (agriculture) to be an isolated community. We do want the public to understand what’s going on on our farms,” said Maureen O’Shea, the county’s agribusiness coordinator.
The event, which will include a variety of agricultural speakers and breakout sessions, is designed to educate residents on the importance of farming and eliminate negative perceptions around agriculture, the county said in a statement. Over the last several years, residents have clashed with farmers in the county on occasion, particularly those transitioning into the poultry industry or expanding their operations. Agriculture is Cecil County’s No. 1 business, and the county government has generally fought to preserve the industry.
The session, which will include farmers from neighboring counties, including New Castle County, Del., will highlight environmentally-friendly aspects of county farms such as nutrient management plans, spray requirements, riparian and dust buffers and an anaerobic digester that is repurposing some farmers’ excess manure, O’Shea said.
“There are a lot of practices in place that aren’t really advertised anywhere, so this is a really good place to talk about them a little,” she said.
Residents will also have an opportunity to get clarification about food labels or increasingly popular consumer buzzwords. Farmers in the county occasionally hear terms or words misused or misapplied, O’Shea said. For instance, some residents believe organic food cannot be sprayed, she said.
“I think a lot of people actually don’t know anything about modern agricultural practices or what’s on the farm,” O’Shea said. “It’s not the fault of the consumer, but we just don’t know. … Unfortunately, in some cases, it is hurting us a little bit.”
A light breakfast, a locally sourced lunch by Rumbleway Farms and Kilby Cream ice cream will be provided. The event is free but registration at www.farmingupcloseandpersonal.eventbrite.com is required no later than March 20 to attend.
1-800-634-5021 410-822-3965 Fax- 410-822-5068
P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925