The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) announced the release of the ‘Livestock’ Editionof the Farms in Focus video series on Southern Maryland’s key agricultural sectors.

SMADC’s latest video opens a window into the world of Southern Maryland’s livestock farmers and shows how a careful balance of art and science, combined with environmental stewardship, humane raising standards, and strong customer relationships go hand in hand to bring quality meats to our tables.

The video explores five regional farms, each with a different livestock focus (pigs, cattle, sheep, and poultry), that all share a common commitment to provide the best possible environment and forage for their animals. Personal and insightful interviews with the individual farmers illustrate what is involved in the day to day stewardship of their herds and land, and how their love of farming (plus a great deal of attention to detail) is rewarded with quality, humanely raised product that provides nourishment for their local communities and a reasonable living for their families.

Raising top quality livestock requires many skill sets – a sound agricultural knowledge as well as chemical and mechanical expertise, marketing savvy, and computer skills. At the very top of the list for the featured farmers is the ability to cultivate close customer relationships; all agree that getting to know their buyers is essential for the overall success of their operations and involves not only educating their customers but also paying close attention to their questions and needs. Jason Leavitt of Wilson Dowell Farms in Calvert County sums it up “Ultimately, the customer is the boss – they vote with their dollars to underscore what you’re doing (and the way you’re doing it) is what they want and is valuable to them.”

Livestock producers in this video are participants of the Southern Maryland Meats (SMM) Program of SMADC, and representative of over 55 farms region-wide. “Membership in SMM states that all animals are humanely treated, have access to pasture, and are not fed antibiotics or growth hormones,” commented Craig Sewell, SMM Livestock and Marketing Manager. “We at SMADC are pleased to offer this glimpse into their lives and practices.”

To learn more about the SMM program and find where to buy locally raised quality meats visit the searchable directory at SouthernMarylandMeats.com.

Produced by SMADC, a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, the Farms in Focus ‘Livestock Edition’ is available now to view on the SMADC YouTube channel. The video series, filmed by accomplished agriculture videographers Edwin Remsberg Studios, illustrates Southern Maryland’s diverse agricultural profile and connects consumers with the region’s farming community. Visit SMADC.com for more farm resources and consumer guides.  


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