Past Program: The START Farmers' Network
START (Starting, Transitioning And ReTurning) Farmers' Network (a program of Maryland FarmLINK and the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission), provided assistance and resources to new, young and beginning farmers. Formed in 2013, the group met approximately monthly to network, discuss challenges, hear from experts and guest speakers, tour successful farms and more. Several other new/young farmer groups came into being after START was created, and the group was discontinued, although SMADC's new/young farmer resources to continue to be available to Southen Marylanders.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY
MEMBERS Any beginning or transitioning farmer was welcome to join START. Simply attend a START meeting. There was no formal application process, and no fee to participate.
MEETINGS: START Farmers’ Network alternated its meetings between locally-sourced restaurants, SMADC offices and farms. Information about upcoming events and START meetings were posted to the Maryland Farmlink Facebook page and Twitter page, along with local, state and national farming news.
EVENTS: START hosted a handful of field trips and farm tours throughout the year.
RESOURCES: START members had access to SMADC's beginning farmer resources webpage, with resources geared specifically for new, young and transitioning farmers, and SMADC's main FARMER RESOURCE page, which lists a wide range of resources for all farmers.
9/4/13 FARM TOUR: START members tour of Yates Clagett’s pasture rotation operation.
7/19/13 NETWORK MEETING: START members meet with North Beach Farmers’ Market reps.
3/17/13 LAUNCH: New farmers attend the first meeting of the START Farmers’ Network.
Read more about these SMADC programs: