During the 2023 Session, the Maryland General Assembly created a Value-Added Agricultural Specialist position within the Maryland Department of Agriculture (HB 389/SB34) The role of this Specialist is to assist Maryland farmers and agricultural stakeholders by providing information regarding value-added agriculture. In addition, the Specialist offers technical guidance and support to value-added agricultural endeavors.
The term “value-added agriculture" is defined by law as “the alteration or enhancement of a raw agricultural product, including livestock, or an agricultural service in a way that increases the product or service's worth to a consumer and brings more revenue to a farmer, producer, or processor. This includes all enterprises, including those providing equine activities, in which an agricultural business or the agricultural business's products or services are altered, marketed, produced, or processed in a way that adds income to a farmer, producer, or processor."
A February 2020 economic analysis of Maryland's value-added agricultural industry, utilizing data from the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network of Salisbury University, reveals that this sector plays a significant role in the state's economy by supporting close to 74,000 jobs and delivering a total economic impact of more than $20.6 billion annually.
State Value-Added Agricultural Specialist
Phone: (443) 924-0329