Resources for Farmers
Southern Maryland Meats is one of Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission’s (SMADC) most popular branding programs. It was developed in response to the high consumer demand for local, farm-raised meats. In order to be a part of this brand, farms must be in one of the five Southern Maryland counties, agree to raise, slaughter and package their products according to strict SMM standards, and follow clear labeling procedures.
To further our mission of enhancing agriculture in Southern Maryland, we have compiled a list of resources for farmers who are producing meat or wish to start producing meat. If you have any questions, please contact Craig Sewell, SMM Livestock and Marketing Specialist at email@example.com or (240) 528-8850 or Susan McQuilkin, SMADC Marketing Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Southern Maryland Meats
If you are a meat producer in one of the five Southern Maryland counties and are interested in participating in the Southern Maryland Meats program, click the link on the right for the SMM Meat Producer Application.
Resources for Compliance
Resources for Meat Producer Compliance
It is the expectation of the Southern Maryland Meats program that producers are in compliance with local, county, and state regulations such at Nutrient Management, Zoning, etc. Click individual links below for specific resources.
- Nutrient Management Plan Fact Sheet
Published by the University of Maryland Extension, this two page resource walks farmers through the basics of a nutrient management plan and how to obtain one.
- Poultry & Rabbit Processing Guidelines
Producers that participate and receive certification in Maryland’s voluntary Poultry and Rabbit program will be considered an approved source by DHMH and can sell both parts and whole poultry and rabbits certified by this program anywhere intrastate (consumers, restaurants, retailers, farmer’s markets).
- Requirements for Direct Sales of Poultry or Rabbits from the Farm – Continuous inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is not required if you are producing and processing less than 20,000 birds for meat annually. No permit or fee is required by MDA, Maryland Department of Health or the local health department. For verification of exempt status, contact the USDA/FSIS Raleigh, North Carolina District Office at 1-800-662-7608.
- Producer Mobile Farmer’s Market Unit License Guidelines
Maryland Meat Producers may be issued a permit through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in order to safely transport and sell potentially hazardous food products at Maryland farmer’s market:
- Produced or stored on the farm by the licensee under an on-farm home processing plant license (e.g. USDA processed and on-farm stored meat and poultry);
- Produced or stored on the farm by the licensee, as authorized by the Department in regulation; or
- That have been inspected, licensed, or certified for food safety by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (e.g. MDA certified rabbit and poultry).
- On-Farm Processor License for Meats
Licensed on-farm producers can sell their USDA-slaughtered and processed meat products on the farm premises to individual customers, and/or transport their meats from their (on-farm) freezer storage for sale to restaurants, stores and other retail venues or farmers’ markets. NOTE: Further licensing is required for farmers’ market sales (see resource listed above).
- Guidelines for Small Producers Selling Eggs
All producers/packers of shell eggs must register with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) annually. The MDA Egg Inspection program is responsible for enforcement of the Maryland Egg Law enacted to provide Maryland consumers with wholesome, high quality eggs. The law also provides fair trading practices for the egg industry as all sellers of eggs must comply with the requirements (safe handling, storage, and proper packaging).
- Nutrient Management Plan Fact Sheet
Soil Conservation Districts Fact Sheet
Soil Conservation Districts are an important partner for farmers. Download this fact sheet or see below for local district contact information.
Anne Arundel Soil Conservation District
Heritage Office Complex, 2662 Riva Road, Suite 150, Annapolis, MD 21401
Calvert County Soil Conservation District
489 Main Street, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Charles County Soil Conservation District
4200 Gardiner Road, Waldorf, MD 20601
Prince George’s County Soil Conservation District
5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Suite 100, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
St. Mary’s County Soil Conservation District
26737 Radio Station Way, Suite B, Leonardtown, MD 20650
USDA Meat Processing Facilities
SMM has compiled a list of UDSA processing facilities within 150 miles of Hughesville, MD, available to regional livestock producers. Listings include contact information, travel distances, species processed, dry aging ability, specialty product processing and other information important when looking for a processor.
Due to COVID-related and other administrative challenges some meat processing facilities may have closed temporarily or permanently. As a result, the demand for regionally accessible meat processing is unprecedented and wait times to schedule your livestock maybe upwards of 8 months to well over a year. Please call or check websites for details and operational status
Have you heard about the Southern Maryland Regional Agricultural Center?
in 2019, St. Mary’s County was awarded a $1 million grant from the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission to develop a regional agriculture center. The RAC complex will be located in St. Mary’s County in the town of Charlotte Hall, close to an existing transfer station site. The facility will be a public/private partnership providing a set of complementary services with the capability of adding value and profitability to products from Southern Maryland farmers.
The Southern Maryland RAC is a dynamic and multi-faceted model for regional economic development and is the vehicle to allow an unprecedented expansion of markets accessible to Southern Maryland producers. It is a production facility, an instructional facility, and an incubator, built to serve the farming community and their customers.
The RAC will aggregate meats and produce for volume and institutional sales, instruct budding entrepreneurs on regulatory issues, empower meat industry apprenticeships, and even teach children and adults how to cook. The RAC will take Southern Maryland agriculture to the next level by opening new markets and strengthening existing ones; it will be an agricultural and economic engine for Southern Maryland.
Commercial Meat Freezer Trailers
Used to transport locally raised (USDA slaughtered, vacuum packed and frozen) meat cuts directly from the slaughter facility to the farm for sale to consumers, restaurants and stores. Available to any livestock producer in the five counties of Southern Maryland. Managing entities for the freezer trailers are Calvert County Farm Bureau, the Home Grown Farm Market LLC and Prince George’s County Farm Bureau. For complete specifications, towing guidelines and rental details visit the Farm Equipment Rentals page at smadc.com.
To find out more and how you can use the trailers, please contact the following:
Calvert County: JR Cosgrove, (443) 532-5763
St. Mary’s and Charles County: Willie Goddard, (301) 475-5190
Prince George’s and Anne Arundel: Jennifer Cross, (240) 508-2326
Livestock Handling Equipment
Commercial Livestock Handling Equipment
For complete specifications, towing guidelines and rental details visit the Farm Equipment Rentals page at SMADC.com.
*NEW* Mobile Poultry Processing Unit
Anne Arundel County equipment rental program currently offers a mobile poultry processing unit funded in part through a grant from the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC). The unit is available for rental by producers in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties. All renters must complete the MD State Poultry and Rabbit Certification. For equipment and rental details visit the AAEDC Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Rental Program.
To find out more and how you can use the scales and chutes, please contact:
Anne Arundel, Calvert and Prince George’s: Lisa Barge (410) 222-7410 or visit AAEDC Farm Rental Program
Charles County and St. Mary’s County: David Hancock (301) 752-8723 or email email@example.com
SMM Logo & Marketing Materials
NOTE: Only those farms that have signed the SMM contract may use the logo on their products and advertising.
Southern Maryland Meats Logo
Right-click on either link below and click “save target file as,” then save file to your computer. (These versions of the logo are larger files suitable for desktop printing or press.)
For the Web:
Right-click on the image and click “save image as,” then save file to your computer in the same directory as your html page. (This version of the logo is small and optomized for web use.) Please link the image on your website to http://www.southernmarylandmeats.com
Southern Maryland Meats Signage
Official SMM members are invited to download and print this “SMM Available Here” sign to display at point of purchase. This prints at 8 in. x 10 in. and can be placed in a standard plastic bracket designed to display on a counter. (Can also be printed smaller).
RIGHT click on a link below and click “save target file as,” then save file to your computer.
Printable Consumer Buying Guides
Download and print these tri-fold brochures and distribute to your customers to help them understand how and why to purchase local meat.
Additional Consumer Resources:
SMM has compiled some tips and resources for marketing meat for ethnic holidays. Discover what consumers are looking for when purchasing meat for ethnic holidays (preferred species, cuts, and raising practices) and at what times of the year these meats are in demand.
by Matthew LeRoux/Cornell Cooperative Extension
This resource contains helpful marketing hints for producers who are thinking about direct marketing their meats including guidance on pricing for profit and how to build and keep your customer base.
Grants & Financing
SMADC Farm Grants and Financing Opportunities
As part of its ongoing mission to support farming in Southern Maryland, SMADC makes grants and financing assistance available to individual farmers, groups and ag-related entities to fund projects, acquisitions, research and development and more.
SMADC Farmer Mini-Grant Program
Assists farmers with small start-up projects and with diversifying their farming enterprise. Awards up to $2,000 to individual farmers (with a one-to-one match by the farmer).
Southern Maryland Agricultural Equity Incentive Matching Fund
Offered in conjunction with MARBIDCO, this program is designed to incentivize loan requests from farmers and to help them meet certain down-payment (equity) requirements, in order to help improve the credit quality of their applications.
Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund
For agricultural and shellfish aquaculture producers, this loan program is designed exclusively for Southern Maryland applicants to assist with purchases and upgrades. Loans available from $10,000 – $20,000.
Small Acreage Next Generation Program
Available to help qualified young or beginning farmers who have trouble entering the agricultural profession, because of relatively high farmland costs and lack of access to adequate financial capital, to purchase smaller farmland properties that are between 10 to 49 acres.
Junior Membership Program
Junior Membership Program
The Junior Program is open to youth ages 8 to 21 years, living and raising your animals in one of the five Southern Maryland counties (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s). Junior members must have an eligible livestock project for meat animals (beef, lamb, pork, poultry, rabbit, and goat/chevron).
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