Maryland farmers to discuss keeping agriculture alive

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Local,Maryland,Associated Press

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) -- How to keep agriculture alive in Montgomery and Frederick counties is the subject of a conference this weekend in Rockville.

The two-day conference entitled "Farming at Metro's Edge" begins Friday at The Universities at Shady Grove. About 200 farmers, environmentalists, food buyers and others are expected to attend to discuss strategies for sustaining agriculture in Washington metro area.

Conference organizers say more than 100,000 acres have been set aside by ordinance in Montgomery County for agricultural preservation. Frederick County, meanwhile, has a large number of grain and dairy farms with increasing diversification over the past decade into wineries, Christmas tree farms and specialized organic farms.

Organizers say challenges facing farmers in the two counties include residential development, marketing, local and state regulations, and transporting their crops and livestock.

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