O’Malley Hosts Sixth Annual Buy Local Cookout

July 28, 2013

Governor Celebrates “Buy Local Challenge” Week July 20-28 with cookout featuring local products, local recipes, local chefs

Governor Martin O’Malley and First Lady Katie O’Malley hosted the sixth annual Buy Local Cookout at Government House and officially recognized Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week, which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day. Governor O’Malley designated July 20-28 as “Buy Local Challenge Week” to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local products.

“Buying locally is key to ensuring a smart, green and growing future for Maryland families. It preserves farmland, protects the environment, bolsters local economies, and provides wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting fresh food,” said Governor O’Malley. “Katie and I challenge our fellow Marylanders to find local farmers markets and purchase locally grown products for their favorite dishes.”

The Buy Local Challenge, created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, has grown into a statewide initiative that has continued to grow. In its 2010 Policy Choices Survey, the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that more than 78 percent of Marylanders said they want to buy produce grown by a Maryland farmer.

“Today, there are 144 farmers’ markets in Maryland and more demand for local products than ever before,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “We are working hard to connect local producers with local consumers, and we invite everyone to check our searchable database at www.marylandsbest.net to find the local products and markets near them.”

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