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Mission Statement

The Office of Agriculture (OAG) was created in July 2016 and exists to promote agriculture as a viable component of the County's economic sector, as well as to preserve farmland as a resource for future agricultural production. The goal of the OAG is to promote Montgomery County as a leader the agricultural industry by providing support to our farm community and working to educate our residents.

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Budget Overview

The total recommended FY19 Operating Budget for the Office of Agriculture is $972,187, a decrease of $17,008 or 1.72 percent from the FY18 Approved Budget of $989,195. Personnel Costs comprise 68.61 percent of the budget for eight full-time position(s) and one part-time position(s), and a total of 4.15 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 31.39 percent of the FY19 budget.

Linkage to County Result Areas

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following are emphasized:

  • Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • Strong and Vibrant Economy
  • Vital Living for All of Our Residents

Accomplishments

  • In August 2017, OAG along with its agricultural agency partners shared an exhibit tent at the Montgomery County Fair to educate the public about the Agricultural Reserve, the County's agricultural industry, and the opportunities that exist to obtain fresh, local food. OAG is currently working on some additional marketing materials to further enhance the education component of the exhibit.
  • In October 2017, approximately 4,000 fourth grade students visited the Agricultural History Farm Park to participate in the Close Encounters with Agriculture (CEWA) Program. This multi-phased, interactive program consists of three educational tracks (the Environment, Nutrition, Diet and Health) that are conducted with OAG staff assistance and all of its agency partners located at the Farm Park. The program evaluation responses illustrate the programs' success.
  • In October 2017, OAG partnered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to host the Annual Legislative Farm Tour. During this all-day event, Joe Bartenfelder, Secretary of MDA, along with many of the Montgomery County Delegates had the opportunity to travel through the agriculture Reserve and learn about Agriculture in Montgomery County. Along the way, they stopped at three of the County's farms where the participants were able to meet and have a dialogue with the farmers.
  • Continue working with Data Montgomery to transition its static, PDF-formatted informational documents into usable data sets for publication and use by the community. The enhanced 2017 farm tour interactive map is one example that received favorable response from the community. The Department is currently working on a second interactive map with searchable data, incorporating the farm directory and local food and beverage guide.
  • Continue working with the Department of Technology Services to update and revise its website to make it more aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, and interactive for both its internal and external clients. The website is a vital tool in achieving the OAG mission of promoting agriculture as a viable component of the County's economy, as well as, the preservation of farmland as a resource for future agricultural production.
  • OAG is enhancing its agricultural marketing and educational outreach by forming partnerships, working on joint projects, and utilizing various social media in conjunction with the website.
  • OAG is expanding the New Farmer Program, a program that includes new and small farmer training workshops, farm equipment share, and connecting new and small farmers with landowners for the production of table food.

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Initiatives

  • In partnership with the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO), OAG will initiate a new cost share grant program for farmers. This public-private partnership will assist farmers in reducing their portion of the installation cost of deer fencing needed to reduce the economic losses resulting from deer related crop damage.
  • The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), Department of Permitting Services (DPS), OAG, and Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA) are all stakeholders participating on the Agritourism Study Advisory Committee that was initiated in November 2017.

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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • In October 2017, OAG completed an extensive IT infrastructure upgrade to expand internet access and improve the Voice Over Internet Protocol phone connections.

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Collaboration and Partnerships

Mobile Science Laboratory

OAG is continuing its partnership with the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to promote agriculture in the classroom for the County's elementary students. This program involves the MAEF mobile laboratory visiting MCPS schools each week throughout the year to provide students with the opportunity to provide hands-on science projects focused on the topic of Food, Fiber, and You. In the two years since this partnership was established, the lab has visited 51 elementary schools and educated 35,000 students.

Partners

Montgomery County Public Schools, Non-Profits

 
Montgomery County Food Council

OAG will continue its collaboration with the Montgomery County Food Council to promote a local food economy and expand agriculture in both rural and urban areas. Transforming and combining both Montgomery County Food Council's printed Local Food and Beverage Guide and the OAG's Farm Directory into a searchable, interactive, GIS-based web based resource is one example of a collaborative project currently underway with the assistance of Data Montgomery and the GIS team.

Partners

Non-Profits

 
Tax Credit Programs

OAG will continue to work with the Montgomery County Department of Finance in the administration of the new Urban Agriculture Tax Credit as a result of Bill 31-16 which became effective in March 2017.

Partners

Department of Finance

 
Montgomery Soil Conservation District

OAG is partnering with the Montgomery Soil Conservation District to procure a contractor that will work with both agencies to expand their social media marketing presence.

 

Program Descriptions

  Agricultural Services

OAG is responsible for the coordination of programs offered by its partner agencies, which are all co-located at the Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood. These Federal, State, and local partners include University of Maryland-Extension, the Montgomery Soil Conservation District, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Farm Service Agency....

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  Soil Conservation

The Montgomery Soil Conservation District (MSCD) is a political subdivision of the State staffed by County, State, and Federal employees that assist farmers and landowners with Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plans designed to help protect local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, as well as achieve State mandated nutrient reduction...

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  University of Maryland-Extension (UMD-Extention)

The Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Office serves as the agricultural outreach and education component of the University of Maryland Extension. This agency is funded cooperatively through local, State, and Federal governments. Farmers, families, and youth are the primary audiences of the Extension Office. Educational programs for farmers include raising crops...

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Budget Trends
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Program Contacts

Contact Jeremy Criss of the Office of Agriculture at 240-590-2830 or Jane Mukira of the Office of Management and Budget at 240-777-2754 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY17
Budget
FY18
Estimate
FY18
Recommended
FY19
%Chg
Bud/Rec
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages449605.00477819.00 444604.00 501356.004.9
Employee Benefits151440.00165614.00 158442.00 165626.000.0
County General Fund Personnel Costs601045.00643433.00 603046.00 666982.003.7
Operating Expenses360639.00345762.00 326816.00 305205.00-11.7
County General Fund Expenditures961684.00989195.00 929862.00 972187.00-1.7
PERSONNEL
Full-Time8.008.00 8.00 8.000.0
Part-Time1.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
FTEs4.154.15 4.15 4.150.0
REVENUES
Miscellaneous Revenues3995.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Other Intergovernmental83093.0056255.00 56255.00 97000.0072.4
Other Licenses and Permits5555.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
County General Fund Revenues92643.0056255.00 56255.00 97000.0072.4
FY19 Recommended Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY18 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION9891954.15
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY19 Compensation Adjustment142620.00
Increase Cost: Position Reclassifications [Soil Conservation]142410.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY18 Personnel Costs30950.00
Increase Cost: Printing and Mail570.00
Decrease Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment-9490.00
Decrease Cost: Retirement Adjustment-80490.00
Decrease Cost: Reduce Operating Expenses [Agricultural Services]-396650.00
FY19 RECOMMENDED9721874.15
Program Summary
Program NameFY18 APPR
Expenditures
FY18 APPR
FTEs
FY19 REC
Expenditures
FY19 REC
FTEs
Agricultural Services6403722.255827212.25
Soil Conservation2116021.902322451.90
University of Maryland-Extension (UMD-Extention)1372210.001572210.00
Total9891954.159721874.15
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY18
Total$
FY18
FTES
FY19
Total$
FY19
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Environmental ProtectionWater Quality Protection3246832.103257152.10
CIPCapital Fund2610722.252277662.25
Total5857554.355534814.35
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY19FY20FY21FY22FY23FY24
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY19 Recommended972.000000972.000000972.000000972.000000972.000000972.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Labor Contracts0.0000008.0000008.0000008.0000008.0000008.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures972.000000980.000000980.000000980.000000980.000000980.000000