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Become a Friend of MCA!

Local boy & local lamb

that depends on donation support from individuals passionate about protecting Montgomery County’s rural areas. There are several options for donation. Become a Friend today!

Dave at his store on Comus Rd.

Supporting our local producers & growers in the Ag Reserve and throughout the county provides a greener, healthier alternative to food production and consumption.  It offers individuals a way to make the community more sustainable while enjoying the fruits of our Reserve.  As we increase support for locally grown goods, decision makers are more likely to back current production and provide opportunities for more! Check out our Support Local tab to see what’s available.

Volunteer

MCA Volunteers

MCA has a small full time staff and there are always volunteer opportunities available. Opportunities range from general office assistance, events, making phone calls, and research assistance in the office. We will try to find opportunities that align with your interests. Fill our our easy form today!


Sustainable Food- Growing Tomatoes, and Jobs

When people talk about the “Green Collar Economy,” the name given to the boom in jobs related to environmental sustainability, they often leave out one big economic sector- Agriculture and Food.

Green for All, an organization that links economic growth and an end to poverty with a cleaner environment, has just published an exhaustive study of the growing sustainable food sector, including where the next big job growth is going to come from.

MCA is working to meet the demand for both jobs and farm labor with the new Labor Link program. The program would be a database where farm needs could be matched with un- or underemployed people looking for farm work. This program is still in the beginning stages, accessing what needs farmers have. Want to be involved? Drop us a line at info@mocoalliance.org.

Resource: Sustainable Food Jobs

Hard work...but oh the benefits!

Here’s  a great resource for all you folks that want to work in sustainable ag.

Stewardship Day Outreach at Sandy Spring Friends School

MCA staffer Kristina helping SSFS teacher Michelle plant tomato seeds

Although the day started with Tornado warnings, Stewardship day at Sandy Spring Friends School was still a great time. MCA was invited to discuss local food with a group of 6th grade and 9th grade students. We also got to plant some of our own local food to take home, organic roma tomatoes!

“what smells like french fries? Ohhhh….I get it.”

Jessica Weiss of GrowingSOUL was also there, demonstrating her veggie oil powered truck used to take food scraps from Manna food bank and local restaurants out to farms for composting, making great new soil that can in turn grow more food.

Would you like MCA to come out and present at your school or gathering? Let us know! info@mocoalliance.org

Wash Post Live: The Future of Food



Wendell Berry

“This conference brought together many of the world’s leading experts on food, including The Prince of Wales, a lifelong environmentalist and organic farmer, Eric Schlosser, author of “Fast Food Nation,” and Wendell Berry, winner of The National Humanities Medal.  Experts from some of world’s biggest food companies, academia and nonprofits discussed trends in agriculture and consumer behavior that is shaping the future of food.”

See more

Op-Ed by Food, Inc. Producer- Good Food for All is not “Elitist”

An op-ed in the Post last week by Eric Schlosser (author of “Fast Food Nation” and co-producer of Food, Inc.) decries healthy/local food enthusiasts being called “elitist”.

This falls in line with what the Reserve’s small farmers are seeing- the people who sign up for CSAs or visit the market each week are not wealthy, but just regular people. “I have people using their tax refund to buy a CSA share, or people that are interested in our food because of health issues,” one farmer told us.  A very successful program run by the MD Department of Ag  allows low income folks to use food vouchers at area farmers markets.

In fact, Schlossher writes, working toward healthy food for all is an exercise in democracy against the increasingly monopolized food system, an effort that will help the poor most of all:

Calling these efforts elitist renders the word meaningless. The wealthy will always eat well. It is the poor and working people who need a new, sustainable food system more than anyone else. They live in the most polluted neighborhoods. They are exposed to the worst toxic chemicals on the job. They are sold the unhealthiest foods and can least afford the medical problems that result.”

Remembering George Kephart, Reserve Champion

It is with great sadness that we share the news that our friend and Advisory Committee member George Kephart has died. His daughter Perry says that he was in one of his favorite places, the Great Smoky Mountains, with family and friends celebrating the life and work of his great grandfather Horace.

Royce Hanson, Chair of MCA’s Advisory Board, puts it “George was a conscience of the community, steeped in its history and values.  A cosmopolitan with roots in the land, a sailor guided by a moral compass that was ever true, he was a firm and honest friend, who as citizen and official helped us understand the importance of preserving our history as the anchor for our future, and that the land is more than a commodity. His friendship and passion were rare gifts with no expiration dates.”

Click here for Service Information and Obituary.

Read on for more about George’s many years of work for the Ag Reserve.

MCA’s 2007 Royce Hanson Award Recipient George Kephart

Royce Hanson & George Kephart


George Kephart grew up in Takoma Park. His father was an agronomist with the United States Department of Agriculture and later the World Bank. His grandfather was the writer and cultural historian, Horace Kephart, who was the advocate credited for creating the Smokey Mountain National Park. His uncle was George Kephart, the forester with the United State Department of Interior who fought for Native American forestry rights out in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Like his family George wore many important “hats” in his long career of public service including a j-boat skipper,an air & sea rescue helicpoter pilot for the the Coast Guard, business owner, CIA official, and community planner. It was in the last role as a planner that George made his historic contributions to rural preservation in Montgomery County. George served on the Montgomery County Park and Planning Commission Board for two terms ending in 1979 – 1980. He worked with Royce Hanson on some key master plans including the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation, and the Preservation of Agriculture & Rural Open Space Master Plan. George was very proud to have cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the Agricultural Plan which created the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve in 1980.