Governor Hogan Declares July 18-26 ‘Maryland Buy Local Week’
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan officially named July 18-26 “Maryland Buy Local Week” to support Maryland farms and seafood operations that continue to provide Marylanders with fresh, local products. Maryland Buy Local Week encourages citizens to take the Buy Local Challenge by incorporating at least one locally grown, produced, or harvested product into their meals each day.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we continue to support Maryland farmers, growers, watermen, and producers who continue to provide fresh, nutritious food products for our state and beyond,” said Governor Hogan. “The food supply chain has been essential throughout our pandemic response, and we commend the industry’s commitment to making sure we all have food on the table. I encourage all Marylanders to join me in celebrating Maryland Buy Local Week remotely this year.”
As the state remains vigilant in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the 2020 Buy Local Cookout has been cancelled. Since 2009, the governor’s Buy Local Cookout has served as a kick-off event for Maryland Buy Local Week. This event invites teams of Maryland producers and chefs to prepare unique recipes with Maryland-grown or caught ingredients. Recipe submissions are published each year in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s “Buy Local Cookbook.” Previous year’s cookbooks are available online.
To keep the spirit of the cookout alive, the department will be sharing a recipe from past cookbooks via Twitter and Facebook everyday throughout the course of Maryland Buy Local Week. Marylanders are encouraged to try these recipes at home and post their meals using #MDBuyLocal2020.
“Maryland’s food production industry has been working non-stop throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to feed our families, support local economies, and keep our state up and running,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Barternfelder. “What better way to say thank you to the Maryland producers who continue to provide us with food and fiber than by purchasing local products. Buying locally is better for the producer, the environment, rural communities, and the economy.”
Maryland Buy Local Week is designed to highlight the benefits of locally produced food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local agricultural and seafood products. Those looking to learn more are encouraged to visit MarylandsBest.net, an interactive website that connects Maryland consumers with farmers and producers across the state, including everything from fresh produce and meat products to farm-made ice cream and craft beverages.
The Buy Local Challenge, created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, has grown into a statewide initiative that has continued to expand. Maryland’s agriculture and seafood industries contribute more than $16 billion to the state’s economy and account for more than 68,000 jobs, according to a 2018 study from BEACON at Salisbury University. Nearly 1,350 Maryland farmers sell directly to consumers, generating over $54 million in sales annually, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Buying locally puts more money back into the pockets of Maryland producers, allowing them to grow their operations, hire more people, support other local businesses, and reinvest in their communities. More benefits of buying locally can be found here.