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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

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.

Budget Overview

The total approved FY18 Operating Budget for the Office of Agriculture is $989,195, a decrease of $20,299 or 2.01 percent from the FY17 Approved Budget of $1,009,494. Personnel Costs comprise 65.05 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 34.95 percent of the FY18 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

  • The OAG, along with its Agriculture agency partners, shared an exhibit tent at the Montgomery County Fair and was awarded a "Champion" blue ribbon for best Agricultural exhibitor booth.
  • In October 2016, 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 program consists of three educational tracks (The Environment, Nutrition, Diet & Health) that are conducted with staff assistance from the Office of Agriculture and all of its agency partners. The program has been successful and there are currently 41 elementary schools on the waiting list for next year.
  • The OAG completed work to transition pdf formatted informational documents into interactive data sets for publication on Data Montgomery. The data sets include: Montgomery County Farm Directory, Agricultural Land Easement acquisitions, and mapping of County Farmer's Markets and 2016 Farm Tour.



Initiatives

  • The OAG is working with the Department of Technology Services to re-design its website to make it more 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 economic sector, as well as the preservation of farmland as a resource for future agricultural production.
  • Continue agricultural marketing and educational outreach by forming partnerships with various media and using social media to work in conjunction with the newly designed website (once completed).
  • Continue expanding the New Farmer Project , a program that includes new and small farmer training workshops, farm equipment sharing, and connecting new and small farmers with landowners for the production of fruits and vegetables - table food.

Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • Migrated from antiquated phone (analog) and internet (T1 line) systems to high speed internet and VOIP with Comcast Business Services.

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 perform hands on science projects focused on the topic of Food, Fiber and You.

Partners

Montgomery County Public Schools, Non-Profits

 
Sugarland Road Pilot

OAG is continuing its collaborative partnership with Comcast and the County's Department of Technology to conduct the Sugarland Road Pilot program to determine the feasibility of expanding access to high speed broadband to the Agricultural Reserve and other areas of the County where high speed internet is currently not accessible.

Partners

Department of Technology Services

 
Smart Agriculture Pilot

OAG will continue its collaboration with the County's Office of Innovation and Microsoft on the Smart Agriculture Test Bed Project, which is a pilot program consisting of four farmers that have volunteered to test connected devices for monitoring weather, soil conditions, pollen, and pests.

Partners

Office of the County Executive

 
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 the rural and urban areas.

Partners

Non-Profits

 

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. In addition to program coordination, the OAG serves in a variety of capacities to provide the following services: implement agricultural policies and programs; technical assistance to farmers; manage Agricultural Education programs; financial and staff support to our partner agencies; serve as a liaison between the Executive Branch and the agricultural community via the Agricultural Advisory, Agricultural Preservation, and Montgomery County Farm Bureau Boards; oversee the various land preservation programs; co-sponsor farmers' markets, an annual farm tour, and other activities that promote agricultural businesses and products; and provide mentoring and specialized business training programs.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Acres of land under easements inspected by Agricultural Services2,3146,137 6,0006,0006,000
Number of farm businesses assisted160170170170170

  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 goals for farmland. They also provide technical assistance for conservation practices, and administer a variety of Federal and State cost-share programs that help fund projects to prevent soil erosion and improve water quality. The MSCD receives funding from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Water Quality Protection Charge that is used to implement conservation practices required to meet Montgomery County's Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), which is the rural equivalent to the County's MS4 Permit for the urban area.

  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 and livestock, protecting the environment, farm and business management, marketing commodities, and pest management. Programs for families and youth include: home horticulture, family budgeting, and consumer education, with a focus on promoting positive parenting skills and healthy lifestyles, leadership development, and traditional 4-H youth development programs. The Extension Office's professional staff has an extensive network of volunteers to assist them in program delivery. Extension Office staff manage a diverse group of over 3,000 volunteers to respond to over 100,000 information requests a year. Outreach education programs are delivered informally through one-on-one contacts, telephone assistance, the internet, classes and workshops, field days, radio, television, and print media.

Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY16
Budget
FY17
Estimate
FY17
Approved
FY18
%Chg
Bud/App
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages0.00476441.00 455986.00 477819.000.3
Employee Benefits0.00159656.00 158835.00 165614.003.7
County General Fund Personnel Costs0.00636097.00 614821.00 643433.001.2
Operating Expenses0.00373397.00 398935.00 345762.00-7.4
County General Fund Expenditures0.001009494.00 1013756.00 989195.00-2.0
PERSONNEL
Full-Time0.008.00 8.00 8.000.0
Part-Time0.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
FTEs0.004.15 4.15 4.150.0
REVENUES
Miscellaneous Revenues76200.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Other Intergovernmental0.0056255.00 56255.00 56255.000.0
County General Fund Revenues76200.0056255.00 56255.00 56255.000.0
FY18 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY17 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION10094944.15
Changes (with service impacts)
Reduce: Soil Conservation General Fund Operating [Soil Conservation]-66800.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY18 Compensation Adjustment101180.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Personnel Costs60430.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment42190.00
Decrease Cost: Printing and Mail [Agricultural Services]-3860.00
Decrease Cost: University of Maryland-Extension [University of Maryland-Extension (UMD-Extention)]-40550.00
Decrease Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment [Agricultural Services]-70590.00
Decrease Cost: Agriculture Services [Agricultural Services]-94550.00
Decrease Cost: Annualization of FY17 Compensation Increases-130440.00
FY18 APPROVED9891954.15
Program Summary
Program NameFY17 APPR
Expenditures
FY17 APPR
FTEs
FY18 APPR
Expenditures
FY18 APPR
FTEs
Agricultural Services6538352.256403722.25
Soil Conservation2143831.902116021.90
University of Maryland-Extension (UMD-Extention)1412760.001372210.00
Total10094944.159891954.15
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY17
Total$
FY17
FTES
FY18
Total$
FY18
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Environmental ProtectionWater Quality Protection3230512.103246832.10
CIPCapital Fund2500662.252610722.25
Total5731174.355857554.35
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY18FY19FY20FY21FY22FY23
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY18 Approved989.000000989.000000989.000000989.000000989.000000989.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Labor Contracts0.0000002.0000002.0000002.0000002.0000002.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures989.000000991.000000991.000000991.000000991.000000991.000000