Executive Summary

The Latest News from County Executive Jan Gardner

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Annual Grant Program Strengthens Our Community

We are blessed in Frederick County to have so many agencies working to help others reach their potential and share in our community's prosperity. That's why I was pleased this week to announce awards to 24 local human services non-profit organizations through the county's Community Partnership Grant program.

Grants will provide job skills and education for homeless youth; medical, dental care and prescription medicines to those who cannot afford the care they need; home repairs for veterans, seniors and those with disabilities; food for children who would not otherwise eat on weekends or during school breaks; crisis services to residents facing addiction, and many other services. A full list of winners is available online.

These grants strengthen our community and make sure Frederick County is a great place to live for everyone. They allow us to leverage our efforts and resources so we can make a bigger difference with our human services non-profit partners. We are working together to ensure a bright future for our citizens.

This partnership could not be possible without the support of the County Council, who support the Community Partnership Grants when they approve the budget each year. I want to especially thank Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer and Vice President Michael Blue for joining me to announce the good news.

Keeping Agriculture Viable for Future

Talk Focuses on Industry Needs

Without a doubt, Frederick County values our agricultural heritage. We can be proud that Frederick County is a national leader when it comes to being stewards of our rich farmlands. One of my priorities is to ensure that we leave a legacy of agriculture for future generations. That means we must preserve our best, most productive farms, and help to keep agriculture an economically viable industry.

Agriculture directly accounts for more than $150 million in sales each year in Frederick County. The industry generates an economic impact of nearly $1.5 billion.

With any issue we face, the best ideas come from the people who are directly involved. So this spring we surveyed hundreds of farm owners, operators and people who work in the agriculture industry in Frederick County. On Earth Day, I hosted a roundtable to review the results and discuss possible initiatives or legislation that could support local farmers.

Top Survey Results

Farmers told me the top obstacles they faced were:

  • weather
  • commodity prices
  • labor issues, and
  • the cost of land.

We identified some ideas to explore in further detail. For example, farmers asked for more money to be dedicated to agricultural land preservation. They suggested using public service announcements to educate motorists about sharing roadways with farm equipment. There is also a need to link young generations with long-time farmers. Other issues that farmers raised include investigating value-added options, like shared processing facilities or a malt house; Health Department regulations; and the need to work with a State agriculture labor specialist. We will hold additional roundtables to focus on specific topics.

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