News from the fields, farms and beyond…

How much do you know about that beef on your grill?

Future Harvest CASA, Edible DC, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Central Farm Market are hosting a contest called “Go Grassfed” with the top prize being a year’s worth of premium, grass fed, locally grown beef.

In Cecil County there are a number of farms selling the beef they raise, including Bohemia Lea Farm in Cecilton and Locust Point Farm in Elkton.

Entering the contest is free and there are ways to increase your chances of winning by taking quizzes and sharing on social media.

To find out all about Go Grassfed, including how to participate in the contest, go to https://gograssfed.godaddysites.com/

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The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is now accepting athletes and horses to compete in the 5 Star, the 3 Star – which features the USEF 3 Star Eventing National Championship – and the Dutta Corp. USEA Event Horse East Coast Championships.

The competition is set for Oct. 14-17 at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area‘s $20 million eventing center. Early estimates by event staff indicate that some 30,000 people will attend.

Participants must enter by Sept. 14. To get to the entry portal, or for more information, go to https://maryland5star.us/entries

The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is an elite horse competition featuring national and international competitors in eventing. The Fair Hill facility is one of only 2 5 Stars in the United States and the 7th worldwide.

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Though it was found in Lancaster County last year, so far tar spot, a fungal disease in corn, has not been found in Cecil County.

First discovered in Indiana in 2015, Phyllacora maydis is similar to – but not the same as – monographella maydis, which is found in Latin America.

Researchers decided that the jump from Indiana to Lancaster was due to infected seed planted in trial plots.

Be on the lookout for raised, glossy black spots on the leaves that resemble splattered paint or tar. It’s known to overwinter but the jury is still out on what Maryland winters would do to that.

Farmers are being given no direction on how to combat the pathogen for now, since it has not been found here. If you would like more information check out this page: https://extension.umd.edu/resource/be-lookout-tar-spot-new-disease-corn

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University of Maryland Extension is offering a free virtual seminar called Principles of Agronomy, Aug. 25 from noon until 1 p.m.

Learn about planting, fertility, pest management and other topics pertinent to growing for food, fiber and feed.

It’s part of the Women in Agriculture Wednesday Webinars but it’s open to anyone. For details or to register go to https://tinyurl.com/3ehabtvk

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Nominations are now open for the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The winner will be announced Feb. 3, 2022 at The Taste of Maryland Agriculture. Nominations are due by Oct. 22.

“Maryland farm families are the backbone of our state’s agriculture industry and our rural communities,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “Join me in recognizing Maryland’s great farm families by submitting a nomination for the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.”

Any farm family that derives the majority of its income from farming is eligible.

Since 1991 53 farm families have been inducted including The Milburn family in 2016, The Miller families; Grove and Arlene and Jack and Barbara; in 2001, and The Walton Mason family in 1998, all from Cecil County.

To apply, work with the Cecil County Extension Agency in the Chesapeake Corporate Center in Elkton. Get the packet of information including the application by going to https://mda.maryland.gov/Documents/2021-Governor’s-Agriculture-Hall-of-Fame-Award-Nomination.pdf

You can reach the Extension Office by phone at 410-996-5280.

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The US Department of Agriculture has revised its formula to determine SNAP benefits for families in need, meaning an increase in benefits is coming Oct. 1.

The Thrifty Food Plan and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) makes money available for low income people to purchase food.

After a data-driven review in conjunction with the 2018 Farm Bill, it was decided that the formula – which had not been updated since 1975 – needed to be refreshed to meet the current cost of living. With the increase of about $36 per month, per person, more fish and red and orange vegetables can be purchased to align with recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. Additionally, the plan was calculated using updated purchasing data – collected from stores versus self-reported by households – to reflect the current price of foods in today’s marketplace.

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In case you need a reminder, the Maryland State Fair begins Aug. 26 at the fair grounds in Timonium.

Like the Cecil County Fair, there are animal competitions and displays, carnival rides, vendors, food and entertainment. Tickets are on sale for concerts by Jesse McCartney and Blue Õyster Cult.

Also like the Cecil County Fair, Degeller Attractions offers ride packages. Chick-fil-A in Baltimore also offers a $5 off coupon for the ride bracelets. You can find that coupon here: http://www.marylandstatefair.com/state-fair/state-fair-info

If you have a farm related event, idea or story you’d like to share in AgriCulture contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007

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