Got a hankering for fresh blueberries this week? How about cucumbers, potatoes, beets or tomatoes?
Until Sunday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is challenging state residents to participate in the Buy Local Challenge by incorporating at least one locally grown, produced or harvest product into their meals each day. On Friday, he proclaimed July 17-25 “Maryland Buy Local Week” in an effort to support the state’s farms and seafood operations.
“We are fortunate to live in a state that produces world-class agricultural and seafood products, and I encourage all Marylanders to join the First Lady and I in choosing Maryland-made ingredients,” Hogan said in a press release. “Buying local puts more money back into the pockets of our farmers, watermen, and producers, allowing them to grow their operations, hire more people, support other local businesses, and reinvest in their communities.”
Created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, the Buy Local Challenge has grown into a Maryland-wide initiative that, according to Friday’s release, has continued to expand. The state’s agriculture and seafood industries contribute more than $16 billion to the state’s economy and account for more than 68,000 jobs, the release stated, citing a 2018 study from BEACON at Salisbury University.
Marylanders can visit MarylandsBest.net to be connected with fresh produce, meat products, farm-made ice cream and craft beverages across the state. Throughout the week, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s marketing program will also be sharing a series of recipe videos from local chefs.
“Agriculture and seafood production are a critical part of our state’s economy, especially in our rural communities,” Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder said in the release. “Maryland Buy Local Week is a great opportunity to support those who grow and produce our food. With plenty of fresh, delicious produce in peak season right now, there has never been a better time to incorporate more Maryland-made ingredients in our lives and our meals.”