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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 in 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 FY20 Operating Budget for the Office of Agriculture is $966,373, a decrease of $5,814 or 0.60 percent from the FY19 Approved Budget of $972,187. Personnel Costs comprise 71.25 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 28.75 percent of the FY20 budget.

County Priority Outcomes

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

  • Thriving Youth and Families
  • A Greener County
  • A Growing Economy

Accomplishments

  • On July 20th, the OAG hosted Montgomery County Farmers and County Officials at an event to recognize and celebrate the County's 50 years of Conservation Tillage. Councilmembers Craig Rice and Sidney Katz presented a Proclamation to Robert Raver, a retired extension agent honoring him as the "Father of no-till agriculture in Montgomery County."
  • The OAG organized its 29th Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale. This event was a huge success based on feedback from the participating farms like Kingsbury' s Orchard who wrote, "Thanks to all of you for a very successful 2018 Farm Tour! We had hundreds of customers here at Kingbury's Orchard including many new faces. Saturday was our busiest day of the summer. You did an outstanding job of getting the word out, and we appreciate all of your hard work and support for farmers in Montgomery County."
  • In August 2018, the OAG along with agriculture agency partners shared an exhibit tent at the Montgomery County Fair to educate the public about the Agricultural Reserve, the County agricultural industry, and the opportunities that exist to obtain fresh, local food. The OAG tent received a blue ribbon champion award for its educational display.
  • On September 25th, the OAG and Montgomery County Soil Conservation District hosted Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder, along with other officials from the Maryland Department of Agriculture to a tour of several County farms including: Brooke Grove Farm (an equestrian facility), Pleasant Valley Farm (a commodity and produce farm), Waredaca Brewery (the County's first Farm brewery), and Rockhill Orchard and Woodbourne Creamery (the County's only fully robotic dairy). The tour provided the Secretary a first hand look at the diversity of Montgomery County agriculture, as well as, providing the opportunity for the farmers to meet and speak directly with MDA officials about their operations.
  • From October 8 through October 26, 2018, approximately 4,000 fourth grade students and teachers 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, and agriculture) that are conducted by the staff of OAG and its agency partners. The evaluation responses received from the participating MCPS and private schools illustrated the programs success. This year, the County Cable Office filmed parts of the program to produce a segment that will be featured in their Montgomery Heartland series.
  • The OAG and DTS received a National Association of Counties (NaCo) award for the interative GIS based map of the farms participating in the 2018 Farm Tour and Harvest Sale.

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Initiatives

  • The OAG began working with the County's Department of Technology Services to create a new website. The re-designed site is envisioned to be more interactive and aesthetic and will better meet the objectives of educating the public about the County's Agricultural Reserve and agricultural industry, serving as a resource for both farmers and residents, and promoting our farms and agricultural businesses.

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Collaboration and Partnerships

Cost Share Program

The OAG is partnering with Maryland Agricultural & Resource Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) to provide a cost share grant program for farmers. This is a public-private partnership that assists farmers in cost sharing a portion of the installation cost of deer fence and other agricultural needs.

 
Sugarland Road Broadband Pilot Project

The Office of Agriculture is continuing its partnership (which began in 2013) with DTS and Comcast to obtain the easements required for future phases of the project. Phase I is expected to be completed in late Summer 2019.

Additional information can be found at: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/cable/Sugarland/sugarland-comcast.html.

Partners

Department of Technology Services

 
Agricultural land preservation funding

The Office of Agriculture is collaborating with the County Delegation, the Office of Intergovernmental Relations and the Department of Finance to identify a long term, sustainable source of funding for the County's Agricultural Preservation Program.

Partners

Department of Finance, Office of Intergovernmental Relations

 

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. Staff members assist farmers and agricultural landowners with resource concerns on their land. The mission of the Soil Conservation District is to improve the quality of the air, soil,...

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  University of Maryland-Extension (UMD-Extention)

The Montgomery County 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...

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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
FY18
Budget
FY19
Estimate
FY19
Recommended
FY20
%Chg
Bud/Rec
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages444710.00501356.00 466318.00 515379.002.8
Employee Benefits161395.00165626.00 156407.00 173184.004.6
County General Fund Personnel Costs606105.00666982.00 622725.00 688563.003.2
Operating Expenses319717.00305205.00 367198.00 277810.00-9.0
County General Fund Expenditures925822.00972187.00 989923.00 966373.00-0.6
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 Revenues4905.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Other Intergovernmental72199.0097000.00 97000.00 97000.000.0
County General Fund Revenues77104.0097000.00 97000.00 97000.000.0
FY20 Recommended Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY19 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION9721874.15
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: Champion Trees Publication [Agricultural Services]50000.00
Reduce: Maryland Agriculture Education Foundation [Agricultural Services]-334730.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY20 Compensation Adjustment185050.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY19 Personnel Costs26540.00
Increase Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment10780.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment4220.00
FY20 RECOMMENDED9663734.15
Program Summary
Program NameFY19 APPR
Expenditures
FY19 APPR
FTEs
FY20 REC
Expenditures
FY20 REC
FTEs
Agricultural Services5827212.255691152.25
Soil Conservation2322451.902400371.90
University of Maryland-Extension (UMD-Extention)1572210.001572210.00
Total9721874.159663734.15
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY19
Total$
FY19
FTES
FY20
Total$
FY20
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Environmental ProtectionWater Quality Protection3257152.103619022.10
CIPCapital Fund2277662.252235302.25
Total5534814.355854324.35
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY20FY21FY22FY23FY24FY25
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY20 Recommended966.000000966.000000966.000000966.000000966.000000966.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Labor Contracts0.0000003.0000003.0000003.0000003.0000003.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures966.000000968.000000968.000000968.000000968.000000968.000000