Viewpoint: Agriculture at the heart of Queen Anne’s County – The Star Democrat

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For the previous 300+ years, agriculture has been The center of Queen Anne’s County. The crops grpersonal By way of the years have modified, from tobacco and orchard crops, to fruit and vegetable truck farming, to row crops and grains. However what hasn’t modified is the fantastic extreme quality of the soils, laid dpersonal over millennia – or the dedication and resiliency of the hardworking farming households of Queen Anne’s County.

These farm households and the lThey typically have a tendency have made the “Gateway to the Japanese Shore” The Excellent spot to stay that It is. Embedded Contained in the agricultural historic previous of Queen Anne’s County, are the small cities, the shielded neighborhoods, the human-scale schools and church buildings. It is agriculture that has created our panorama of fields and woods, crossed by nation roads, with wildlife and water by no means very Distant. And It is agriculture all through the years that has been the County’s primary financial assist.

Queen Anne’s County is The Most very important grain producing county Inside the State of Maryland, accounting for some $180+ million in agricultural merchandise purchased and a myriad of associated jobs On this very important financial sector. Agriculture is The primary enterprise sector in Queen Anne’s County!

Taken all collectively, what our agricultural group has created is worth preserving, And worth preventing To shield when it’s threatened. What We now have right here is the flag-waving supplies of America that we profess to worth, but too typically give As a lot as metropolis and submetropolis sprawl. Will we in Queen Anne’s County go dpersonal The identical self-damaging path of so many completely different parts of the nation or can we do greater?

Enchancment strain is pushing in from all sides. Everyone is Aware of it, and it’s On A daily basis tempting to some to money in, to take new, leveraged money And change rural areas aprolongedside extremeways into truck sprimes, comfort shops, and strip malls. It’s tempting To transform farming lands into sandpits, To place industrial-scale photo voltaic tasks on prime farmland Rather than on brpersonalfields and completely different websites lacking prime-extreme quality soils, To place large warehomakes use of As a lot as serve the distribution wants of distant firms.

To make sure, tright here are some authorized shieldions in place To sprime rural sprawl, but tright here are furtherly too many loopholes and clever amendments that facilitate incompatible development proposals. At current, the County zoning code permits some 35 makes use of for agricultural lands Which have little or nothing to do with agriculture! Municipalities have Their very personal legal guidelines, with Their very personal development alternatives, They typically can attain out and annex adjoining farmland anytime an influential developer has a enterprise enterprise he Desires to launch.

Destructive development has occurred earlier than, and It might happen as quickly as extra if residents Aren’t vigilant about what their native authoritiess are being importuned to do. Builders and their legal professionals know The sport greater than residents, They typically routinely practice political affect and recreation the system. Take A look In any respect the misplaced farms on Kent Island, or A pair of of the loopy proposals Which have been floated recently – or the bullets the County has dodged Prior to now, like an anti-terrorism teaching facility shut to Ruthsburg or a nuclear power plant on the Chester River. Dropping An important An factor of Queen Anne’s County historic previous and heritage isn’t some far-off impossibility – it’s an ever-current hazard!

Queen Anne’s County not solely leads the State in agricultural manufacturing, but is second Inside the State in its land preservation efforts. These notable accomplishments have been made potential by farming households, involved residents, And native authorities with the prolonged-time period imaginative and prescient To shield an irreplaceable asset – and the land all of us love.

I think about that We will – and should — do Much extra. Over The subsequent a quantity of years The event strain Goes To intensify. To face up to it, we should obtain further County and State assist for preserving the agricultural belongings of Queen Anne’s County. We should undertake a Full Plan and Zoning Code that mirror what residents worth, what the People who stay right here and have stayd right here want — not what the quick-buck developers, land speculators, legal professionals, and absentee buyers want.

Do You’d like to like dwelling in rural-agricultural Queen Anne’s County; if you worth wildlife and nature, searching and fishing; if you take pleasure in dwelling wright here crime costs are minimal, wright here church And school events and the County Truthful are centerpieces of the group, wright here tractors driving dpersonal the road are simply as odd as automobiles; If You’d like to your youngsters and grandyoungsters To have The power to see The celebs at Evening time And Take heed to the birds Inside the day, then I urge you to Get entangled with The good Plan course of. Regulate what your elected and appointed officers are doing as this Plan strikes in the direction of undertakeion After which implementation Inside the County Code.

Jay Falstad is The chief director of Queen Anne’s Conservation Affiliation. Reach him at [email protected]

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