News from the fields, farms and beyond…

If you own a horse, are a rider or know someone who is check out The Hay Loft Tack and Consignment, 41 Primrose Lane in Rising Sun.

In fact, Lisa Kates, owner of The Hay Loft, has items for the non-equestrian folks too.

“We have antiques, clothes, shoes, furniture,” Kates said, adding some of it is brand new.

The Hay Loft has been open since May and is slowly gaining its customer base interested in buying good quality saddles, bridles, riding apparel, boots and other equipment. Also on the shelves you’ll find tools, toys, housewares.

And if you have something to sell, bring it to Kates and put it on consignment.

“Walk-ins are welcome,” she said of the consignment process.

Kates, who lives in Port Deposit, got the idea for The Hay Loft from a friend in Harford County who had a similar successful venture.

The Hay Loft Tack and Consignment is open Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Call 443-807-7665 if you need more information or find the store on Facebook.


Vendor spaces are still open for the Aug. 21 Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market at Cecil Arena in North East.

Cecil County Parks and Recreation is in charge of the market to be held in the arena parking lot at 2706 North East Road.

Held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., so far there are 10 vendors approved: Beccie’s Bark-ery, Custom AF Creations, Fresh Source Farms, Handcrafted by Megan, Natures Glow Co., Sugargoddess Patisserie, Teacher Turned Mama Llama, The Robin’s Nest Pottery & Arts, Usborne Books and More and Wits End Farm and Creations.

Vendor space is $10. The online application can be found at


Anyone who is interested in writing their own nutrient management plan can get trained and certified through the University of Maryland Extension‘s Farmer Training and Certification.

Two days of in person training, or online will lead you through the process including writing basics and the opportunity to draft a model plan. Study materials are included. The course itself is free but the cost is $20 to take the test for certification.

Start the process by going to

Once certified it’s good for three years provided the license holder obtains 12 hours of continuing education during those years. Also, the FTC license is for the farmer only, said Dwight Dotterer, manager of the Nutrient Management program.

“You cannot make plans for others,” Dotterer said.


Kilby Farm LLC in Colora received more funding from the Maryland Department of Agriculture for its manure digester.

An initial $1.85 million grant in 2018 through the Maryland Energy Administration allowed the farm on Firetower Road to set up a combined heat and power system, which uses manure from the 400 head of dairy cattle for its power supply. Not only does it generate electricity but it also heats the dairy barn.

Now the farm has received a fresh allotment of grant money to increase the anaerobic digester’s ability to create heat in the colder months. This $360,000 grant came from a $2.9 million batch of grants through the Animal Waste Technology Fund.


Farm & Bay to Table, a program of the Harford County Public Library, is hosting its second event with chef, author and TV personality John Shields July 22 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

“What a Peachy Life” will take the audience to Black Rock Orchard and the 32nd Street Farmer’s Market, to Fenwick Bakery to learn how to make a Baltimore Peach Cake, and Shields — along with library CEO Mary Hastler — will make an enchilada dessert pairing local cherries and peaches.

“He is an amazing chef who creates such outstanding dishes that will shine the spotlight on healthy eating and the importance of the agriculture and seafood industries to Maryland’s economy,” Hastler said.

More programs are coming in August and September.

Visit to pre-register for the July 22 event and get access to all the recipes.


Growers of grapes interested in helping promote production of Maryland wine and increase the growth of commercial grapes here can apply for a portion of the $130,000 Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund.

The deadline to apply is July 15. The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Maryland Wine and Grape Growing is making the pot of funds available.

No specific match is required to receive the funding but priority is given to those requests for proposal that include matching funds.

Businesses must be licensed and in good standing with all taxes and required fees.

The application is available online at Maryland OneStop


If your 7 — to — 10-year-old is interested in the environment or you are looking for a way to start the conversation check out this interactive program for children called ”Welcome to You Watershed.”

By clicking on the cards on the screen youngsters learn about why we need to keep our water and waterways clean at home, at school, on the farm and in the park. A few of the categories challenge kids to come up with more solutions on top of what is offered.

To access “Welcome to Your Watershed” go to


The Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, Inc. has been given a $30,000 grant from The Chesapeake Bay Trust as part of the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns initiative, or G3.

It’s one of 32 projects funded from a $1.3 million grant in conjunction with the US EPA Region 3 and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“This funding ... will be used to create a green infrastructure master plan for the Maryland State Fair Grounds campus, with a concept design for a high priority stormwater management project,” said Gerry L. Brewster, chairman of the state fair board.

The project includes signage to educate and engage the public, he added.

Already the fairgrounds has solar panels on several buildings, native trees around the grounds and community activities around Earth Day.

“The environmental programs we have put in place will be truly transformative for the Maryland State Fairgrounds both from an aesthetic and an environmental perspective now and for generations to come,” said Donna G. Myers, fair board president.


Camp Family Fun Day is Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the 4-H Campground, 6 Cherry Hill Road in Street, Md.

Anyone planning to attend must pre-register by July 15 at Admission is $10 per person with children under 5 getting in free.

There will be tons of things to see and do including a tour of the campgrounds, gaga pits, swimming, games, crafts a photo booth and more.

Food trucks including Kona Ice will be available for purchase along with camp merchandise.

For more information contact Susan Knight, Cecil County Camp Director, at 443-553-0542.

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

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