Land Link and New Farmer Training: Progress!

Connecting land owners with farmers… Land Link Montgomery has been gaining traction and news is spreading that this program is helping to  address the primary challenge to bringing new farmers to Montgmery’s Ag Reserve:  access to affordable acreage.  MCA is working with Montgomery County Department of Economic Development to ensure broad outreach and land owner education about the benefits of Land Link.

We are also identifying host farms for new farm start up and farm mentoring programs.  These two new linkages will provide new farm businesses with necessary acreage to grow their business and, importantly, provide on farm training for our new farmers.

Please contact us at info@mocoalliance.org if you have interest in the programs!

Wendell Berry: 17 Tips For a Sustainable Economy

It’s no secret that we find the writings and philosophy of Wendell Berry to be compelling.  So when we latched on to his 17 Tips for a Sustainable Economy we wanted to make sure to share with others.

They are all good.  Here are just a few:

5. Understand the ultimate unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of ‘labor saving’ if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.

6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of national or global economy.

7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm and/or forest economy.

MCA Awards 2 Scholarships for College Bound Seniors

The winning project produced a published resource!

Member Melane Hoffmann and
Exec. Director Caroline Taylor review notes…

MCA Board members Melane Hoffmann, David Shneyer and Executive Director Caroline Taylor had the pleasure reviewing the senior Global projects at Poolesville HS again this year.  Poolesville High School’s Global Ecology Program, as well as the other excellent honors programs: Science Math, Humanities and Independent Research have helped to garner the school status as #1 high school in achievement in Maryland and #64 in the U.S.  The Global program is a County wide magnet attracting the best and brightest to the school.

Our choices:
As with last year, we were so impressed with the work presented by the high school seniors.  MCA will award two college scholarships of $500 each to Katie McFall and Taylor Karlin for their project entitled “Bridging the Gap” which produced a handsome hardcover book that the C&O Canal Association will make available to the public. It covers history of the canal and its environs. It very beautifully promotes Potomac River features including White’s Ferry and the Monocacy Aqueduct, as well as the area flora and fauna.The book also dovetails with MCA’s quest to help people, through educational outreach, fall in love with nearby resources – thus motivating activism to protect them. Both college bound students indicate a sincere commitment to pursuing careers in the environment.

Certificates of Merit – this year there were some stand outs that deserved recognition – projects with results that relate to shared goals of sustainability, stewardship, education and economic opportunity and students with enthusiasm and heart:

Alexis Klein: project with House in the Woods organic community farm
Jennifer Price: research on equine parasites and the effects/efficacy of deworming drugs on environment and animals
Kunying He, Maryiyan Sheidu, Kripa Shyamakrishnan: microcredit strategies – with implications for small farm start up
Megan Connaughton- Project Wild – 1st grade environmental curriculum

The awards, as well as others give by Sugarloaf Citizens’ Asso., Poolesville Area Chamber of Commerce and BCC IWLA will be presented Monday, May 21 at Bethesda Chevy Chase Izaak Walton League  on West Willard Road south of Poolesville.