News Release, Maryland Department of Agriculture

ANNAPOLIS, MD– Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan hosted the 12thannual Buy Local Cookout at Government House this evening, and officially recognized “Maryland Buy Local Week,” which encourages Marylanders to take theBuy Local Challengeby incorporating at least one locally grown, produced, or harvested product into their meals each day. Governor Hogan officially declared July 20-28 as “Maryland Buy Local Week” to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local products.

“The Buy Local Cookout and Maryland Buy Local Week allows our citizens to celebrate our hard-working farmers, watermen, and producers while showcasing our state’s vibrant culinary offerings,” said Governor Hogan. “Each year I am amazed by the creativity of the recipes and the wide variety of ingredients grown and produced right here in Maryland. I want to encourage all Marylanders to participate in the Buy Local Challenge, to incorporate at least one local product in each of your meals throughout the week.”

The Buy Local Challenge, created in 2006 by theSouthern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, has grown into a statewide initiative that has continued to expand. In its 2012 Policy Choices Survey, the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that more than 78% of Marylanders said they want to buy produce grown by a Maryland farmer. Maryland’s agriculture and seafood industries contribute more than $16 billion to the state’s economy and account for more than 68,000 jobs, according to a2018 study from BEACON at Salisbury University.

“In addition to providing fresh, nutritious products throughout the region, Maryland’s agriculture and seafood industries are the economic engine of our rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The Buy Local Challenge is a great opportunity to support our state’s top industry and learn more about where our food comes from.”

Earlier this year, Governor Hogan invited teams of local chefs and producers to submit original recipes that highlight the diversity of Maryland’s products. Over 40 recipes were submitted and 16 were selected. First Lady Yumi Hogan and Government House chefs provided an entrée and dessert for the cookout. This year also featured recipes by student chefs from Crossland High School in Prince George’s County, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at the Universities at Shady Grove in Montgomery County, and the Chesapeake Culinary Center in Caroline County.

All recipe submissions have been compiled and published in theRecipes from the 2019 Maryland Buy Local Cookoutcookbook,which includes wine, beer, or spirits pairing recommendations. This year’s cookbook and all previous cookbooks are available on the department’swebsite.

In addition to those contributing to the recipes featured at the cookout, theBrewers Association of Maryland,Maryland Distillers Guild,Maryland Wineries Association,George’s Mixes,Honest Tea,Greenstreet Gardens,Hiddenvale Flowers, and four of the nine dairy farms on theMaryland’s Best Ice Cream TrailKilby Cream,Prigel Family Creamery,South Mountain Creamery, andWoodbourne Creamery at Rock Hill Orchard– also provided products for the event. Musical entertainment was provided byThe Geckos.

Attendees included agricultural leaders, producers, chefs, buyers from grocery stores, restaurants and institutions, and legislators.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...