Join a commodity association that supports your farm enterprise. A commodity association or organization is a group of individuals related to a particular commodity or sector of agriculture. They work to promote the commodity, growers and policies that affect the industry.
According to Maryland at a Glance, by the Maryland State Government, "The main agricultural commodities in Maryland in 2019 were poultry and eggs, grain, horticulture, milk production, cattle and calves, and vegetables and melons."
Commodity Associations and Nonprofits in MD:
American Dairy Association North East: provides resources for dairy farmers throughout the states of MD, PA, NY, NJ, DE, and VA and compiles information about dairy foods, dairy health, dairy in schools, and dairy in sports.
Central Maryland Beekeepers Association: their mission is to spread knowledge about the importance of honeybees and provide appropriate methods for beekeeping in Central Maryland. This includes monthly meetings, educational courses, newsletters, local resources, partnerships and more.
Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI): a trade association composed of 1,800 members across Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, working towards supporting one another in the meat chicken industry.
ECOcity Farms: a nonprofit supporting Prince George’s County aspiring farmers with a Beginning Farmer Training Program, Urban Agriculture Training Classes, and Farm Apprenticeships.
Future Harvest CASA: CASA stands for the Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and their program’s mission is, “to advance agriculture that sustains farmers, communities, and the environment”. They offer classes, trainings, networking, advocacy and more.
Horticultural Society of Maryland (HSM): a non-profit organization which works to educate the community about horticulture with workshops, field visits, lectures and more.
Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association: A farmer owned cooperative working together to build a community of over 1,000 dairy farms, all providing safe and wholesome products.
Maryland Angus Association: their mission is “To inform and promote black angus cattle in Maryland”.
Maryland Cattlemen’s Association: “The mission of the Maryland Cattlemen’s Association is to foster profitability, sustainability and stewardship across the Maryland beef industry through producer education, beef promotion and political action”.
Maryland Cut Flower Growers Association (MCFGA): “is a collective of flower growers dedicated to producing high quality blooms for local consumers”.
Maryland Dairy Industry Association: their mission statement is, “to enhance Maryland dairy farmers’ livelihood so the dairy industry is a viable part of the Maryland economy”.
Maryland Grain Producers: “The organization’s major role is to act as a voice for grain farmers, mostly through its legislative activities both at the state and federal level”. Specifically, they work with farmers who produce corn, wheat, barley, sorghum, canola, and rapeseed by connecting farmers to both the state of Maryland and the National grain network.
Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA): “The MHBA functions as an informational resource for horse breeders and owners, the media, community and governmental organizations, and the general public”.
Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association (MOFFA): “Our mission is to bring together the community of growers, consumers, and retailers in Maryland to support organic and ecological farming and local food production”. Achieves its mission through educational events and resources.
Maryland Soybean Board (MSB): “The Maryland Soybean Board works to maximize the profitability of Maryland soybean producers by investing Maryland checkoff funds in research, promotion and communication projects”.
Maryland State Beekeepers Association, Inc: “a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to the advancement of beekeeping and the improvement of beekeeping skills in Maryland since 1908”. Provides a list of beekeeping organizations by county.
Maryland State Horticultural Society (MSHS): is composed of commercial fruit growers working to, “fund research on fruit production, insect, disease, and provide educational programming to the Maryland producer”.
Maryland Vegetable Growers Association: organization for growers, suppliers, and consumers in the Maryland vegetable industry.
Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund: “The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Maryland Wine and Grape Growing conducts a grant competition to award an estimated $130,000 from the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund”.
Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC): their mission is to help facilitate a profitable and viable agricultural community in Maryland, specifically Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s Counties. “At SMADC, we are assisting farmers in creating a profitable farming future and informing the public on the importance of local farms to our overall economy”.
Maryland Commodity Classic: this event is held each summer in July at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park. Sponsored by the Maryland Grain Producers Association and the Maryland Soybean Board.
Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School: a 2 ½ day workshop held annually every November with five different program areas to choose from. Great for those interested in crop management issues. Learn more by looking at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School Program.
Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention: this convention “has become the premier grower meeting in the Northeast combining three days of six or more concurrent educational sessions with a large industry trade show and numerous networking opportunities”. Next convention takes place on February 2 - 4, 2021 at the Hershey Lodge in PA.
National Commodity Associations and Organizations:
Check out this list put together by the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center on National Commodity and Agricultural Organization Sites.