What you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
The Farm Academy is answering all those questions. And more. I feel like I am living in an information overload scenario when I attend these three hour sessions. But, they are so worth the time to do them.
I am learning so much more than I expected, by attending the farm visits. These are serious lectures and tours, not a hayride through a farm.
I found all sorts of resources, and got quite an education on the status of much of the farmland in Howard County.
Exhibit A. The preservation map. Also available on the web site, as an interactive map, showing just how much land is in some sort of preservation status. If you click on the interactive map link, you can find all sorts of information.
Did you know that over 21000 acres of land in our county are in these programs? That’s almost 2/3 of the current agricultural land in the county. No wonder there won’t be much more development out here. The land is covered in preserved areas.
Planned service area maps tell the same story. There is no current plan to extend the water and sewer lines out here. In order to develop with other than rural residential or rural conservation limits in place, there would have to be a plan to run those utilities to the small towns. Not going to happen in this fiscally conservative time.
As for what happens on these farms, I found the Academy participants to be incredibly open about what they do. We have visited TLV Tree Farm.
And the UMD Research Farm.
Dairy and equine facilities at the UMD farm. I feel like I attended classes at UMD, we were given such an in depth tour. I hope to do another post about this facility.
Next weekend, we end up at Gorman Farm.
The county plans to offer these visits again in the spring. If you want to get a better idea of what is happening around you, down on these farms, you should look for them and sign up.
I know that I learned so much more about dairy operations than I ever expected.