Southern Maryland Meats Junior Membership Program

Now Open for 2021

2021 Junior Membership Program

Since the inception of the Junior Membership Program in FY’17, 72 youth have signed up to participate. The Junior Program seeks to inform a new generation of young/beginning farmers about SMM livestock quality and raising standards, and ultimately incentivize participants in the adult SMM program.

Southern Maryland youth and juniors raising livestock are invited to participate in the 2021 Southern Maryland Meats Junior Membership Program.

Applications Deadline Extended - June 30, 2021

Interested in sponsoring the Junior Membership program?

Please contact SMADC Director, Shelby Watson-Hampton, for more information. 

Criteria

  • Open to youth ages 8 to 21 years
  • Must be resident and raising your animals in one of the 5 Southern Maryland counties
    (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s)
  • Eligible livestock projects are for meat animals (beef, lamb, pork, poultry, rabbit, and goat/chevron)

Requirements

  • Sign up for the Southern Maryland Meats Program by June 15
  • Raise your animals in accordance with the Southern Maryland Meats Quality Standards
  • Write a one page essay about your livestock project using the Southern Maryland Meats Standards

Benefits

  • No participation fees
  • Free promotional materials
  • Free Southern Maryland Meats T-Shirt
  • Program Completion Certificate – Pending when your animals have been sold and your essay reviewed by the SMM Marketing and Livestock Manager
  • $100 ‘completer’ reward – Awarded at project completion
Southern Maryland Meats Producer Agreement

Southern Maryland Meats marketing program is dependent on an honor system and the integrity of its participants. SMM producers are expected to comply with SSM quality standards; failure to do so may result in the loss of the privilege to participate in the marketing program.

  • Southern Maryland Meats are quality meat products that are naturally raised by family farmers from the five Southern Maryland Counties of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s. We are proud of our animals, our communities and our region’s agricultural heritage. We treat our animals humanely; our animals are never fed animal by-products and we are conscientious stewards of the environment.
  • Southern Maryland Meats allows consumers to have a choice. By assuring consumers that the meat products they purchase are genuinely raised in Southern Maryland they know they are helping to support and sustain Southern Maryland’s small family farms and its rich agricultural tradition.
  • The Southern Maryland Meats logo symbolizes high quality meat products raised in accordance with SMM standards. Producer /farms voluntarily participate in the SMM marketing program. In so doing, they recognize the value of the SMM logo and all that it implies.
  • Southern Maryland Meats producer/farms are eligible to use the SMM marketing brand logo on labels and other promotional materials (newsletters, flyers, website, signage, etc).  
  • To ensure that the Southern Maryland Meats logo remains synonymous with the quality and authenticity consumers expect from SSM farm products, producers must agree to the expectations and standards of the “Southern Maryland Meat Quality Standards”.
  • The SMM logo, labels and other promotional materials can only be used with genuine SMM products.
Southern Maryland Meats Quality Standards

Participation in this program is voluntary. Farmers who choose not to participate in the Southern Maryland Meats (SMM) program are free to raise, slaughter and sell their animals in any way they wish, but will not be eligible to use the marketing logo and Southern Maryland Meats retail display cases. Meats for retail sale to stores, restaurants and farmers’ markets are slaughtered and processed at USDA inspected facilities and compliant with DHMH On-Farm Processor license requirements. Poultry and Rabbits for retail sale to stores, restaurants and farmers’ markets are slaughtered and processed at farms certified and licensed by Maryland Department of Agriculture for On-Farm Poultry/Rabbit Processing.

 

All Species:

  • If an animal is finished by a certified Southern Maryland Meats producer/participant and processed according to the Southern Maryland Meats Guidelines it can go under the Southern Maryland Meats label.
  • Humane treatment
  • Feed containing mammalian derived protein sources is not permitted, with the exception of milk and milk derived products.
  • Correct use of the terms “grass-fed”, “grass-finished”, “corn-fed”, corn-finished” in product labeling.
  • No antibiotics administered unless medically necessary
  • No growth implants

Cattle/Buffalo:

  • Less than 30 months of age (for both grain or grass-fed animals)
  • Dry-aged only (no wet-aged).
  • Sick animals should be separated to avoid transmission to healthy animals and either treated or culled. Withdraw time limitations should be strictly followed.
  • Females must not have been used for breeding or be in calf at time of slaughter.
  • Correct use of the phrases “naturally raised,” “grass-fed,” and “grain-finished.”
  • If the animal has never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic- free”

Hogs:

  • Maximum of 8 months of age, 220-300 pounds
  • Sick animals should be separated to avoid transmission to healthy animals and either treated or culled. Withdraw time limitations should be strictly followed.
  • Correct use of the phrases “naturally raised,” “grain-fed,” and “grain-finished”.
  • If animal never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic-free”

Sheep:

    • Lamb: Less than one year of age, 80-140 pounds. No permanent incisors
    • Mutton: over one year of age.
    • Sick animals should be separated to avoid transmission to healthy animals and either treated or culled. Withdraw time limitations should be strictly followed.
    • Pasture raised and/or grain finished.
    • Farmers decide how to label their product since the animals require both pasture and grain. “Naturally-raised” is the most accurate label for lamb products.
    • If animal never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic-free”

 

Goat:

    • Goat/Chevon: Less than one year of age. Weight 50-110 pounds.
    • Cabrito: goat kids slaughtered at 1-3 months of age, weighing less than 50 pounds.
    • Sick animals should be separated to avoid transmission to healthy animals and either treated or culled. Withdraw time limitations should be strictly followed. For example: During the treatment of coccidia an animal should NOT be harvested while ingesting amprolium or within 48 hours after treatment has ended.
    • A combination of pasture and grain.
    • Farmers decide how to label their product since the animals require both pasture and grain.

“Naturally-raised” is the most accurate label for goat products.

  • If animal never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic-free”

Poultry (Chicken & Guinea Hens):

  • All poultry raised and marketed within industry standards
  • 4-12 weeks of age, depending on the body weight desired.
  • No sick animals slaughtered for human consumption.
  • Farmers decide how to label their product since the animals can eat both pasture and grain.
  • If animal never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic-free”

Poultry (Turkeys):

  • All poultry raised and marketed within industry standards
  • Under 6 months of age.
  • No sick animals slaughtered for human consumption.
  • Farmers decide how to label their product since the animals can eat both pasture and grain.
  • If animal never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic-free”

Rabbit:

  • Should be avoided; sick animals should be separated from other animals and/or slaughtered.
  • No older than 11 weeks
  • No sick animals should be slaughtered for human consumption.
  • No supplemental growth hormones
  • Farmers decide how to label their product since the animals can eat both pasture and grain.
  • If animal never received antibiotics, can label “antibiotic-free”
2021 Essay Questions

For 2021, each Junior Participant will be required to submit an essay on one of the four topics listed below to be eligible for the Completion Award:

  • Imagine it is your job to teach someone younger than you how to properly care for an animal. What would you teach them?
  • Many kids who live in cities have never visited a farm and think their food comes from the grocery store.  What would you teach them?
  • What are your personal rewards for raising a healthy animal? What are some tough things that you have learned?
  • Has raising healthy animals taught you anything about yourself? What are those things?