Benefits of the Reserve

Benefits of the Agricultural Reserve

The Ag Reserve benefits residents throughout the region by providing:

Local Farm Productsharvest2
Fruits, vegetables, dairy, wine, wool and more are available to area residents at pick-your-own farms and orchards, as well as restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets in nearby cities and suburbs.

Environmental Protection
The Ag Reserve serves as a “green lung” that cools and cleans the air while protecting our drinking water and the threatened Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The land also supplies critical habitat for mammals, birds, trees and other wildlife.


Recreation & Rural Beauty
Hiking, biking and birding are among the many activities available in the 93,000 acres of farmland within an hour’s drive of Washington, D.C.  The Ag Reserve provides inspiration and resources to many artists, artisans, writers and historians.

Historic Preservation
The Ag Reserve also preserves historic Civil War sites, Underground Railroad routes and 18th and 19th century homes, barns, mills, and schools.

Economic Advantages
The Ag Reserve offers many economic benefits by employing thousands of people and contributing millions of dollars to the economy through its 577 farms and 350 horticultural enterprises. Farmland contributes more money to the community than the cost of the services they require. 

Quality of Life
The Ag Reserve contributes to the overall quality of life in the region and serves as a model for farmland preservation that has informed and motivated communities across the country.