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Annapolis

A USDA Loan Guarantee Supports Chesapeake Bay Restoration and Supports Maryland's Oyster Industry

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.”

The Maryland Challenge

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.

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.