Potomac, MD, April 4, 2011—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (www.cbf.org) said Monday that it strongly encourages Montgomery County to keep intact Nick’s Organic Farm in Potomac, because a farm like this provides many benefits, including protecting water quality, providing healthy food and investing in the local economy.
“CBF strongly encourages Montgomery County to ensure the Maravell farm remains a viable, well-operated farm,” says Kim Coble, CBF’s Maryland Executive Director. “We also support the proposal to include an education program as part of the farm. By doing so, the County is investing in a both the local economy as well as, the local environment,” Coble says. “A well operated farm is one of the best land uses for saving the Bay. It provides a multitude of benefits including, protecting our water quality and environment, providing healthy food to many and also maintaining a sense of rural Maryland.CBF believes in the benefits of locally grown food and in fact leads the initiative Buy Fresh Buy Local – Chesapeake to promote local farms generating local food.”
The site of Nick’s Organic Farm in Potomac will be the subject of a public meeting Monday, April 4, hosted by the Montgomery County Department of General Services, “about the Brickyard Road Soccer Field project,” planned for the site where Nick’s Organic Farm has operated organically for thirty years. It will be held at 7:30 pm at Potomac Elementary School, 10311 River Road, Potomac.
Amid the controversy surrounding the plan, several nationally recognized figures in the fields of organic agriculture and the environment are expected to attend, bringing their expertise and perspective, including:
·Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, Washington, DC;
·Ferd Hoefner, Policy Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), Washington, DC;
·Mike Tabor, Farmer, Licking Creek Bend Farm, Needmore, PA; and
Nick’s Organic Farm is a unique asset to the County for many reasons, including:
·NOF is a successful, long-established model for agriculture on the urban fringe, the type of farm that is increasingly gaining attention as the farm-of-the-future;
·It is uniquely isolated from other farms generating genetically modified (GMO) pollen, so it can produce organic GMO-free seed that is especially adapted to the local climate;
·Having been tended by a nationally renowned organic farmer who has been appointed by USDA Secretary Vilsack to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the farm would be a perfect down-County anchor for ag education, in the tradition ofMontgomery County’s Ag Reserve, and in the vision of the USDA “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative; and
·The site could serve as a mentoring and incubator facility for the next generation of farmers.
The County Food and Agriculture Policy Council would be in line with the County’s existing efforts to advance food and agriculture policy through the Green Economy Task Force, the Small Farm Incubator Initiative, the Sustainable Community Food Initiative, and the long tradition of preserving agriculture in the County as exemplified in the nationally recognized Agricultural Reserve.
Nick’s Organic Farm LLC (www.nicksorganicfarm.com) is a certified organic farm with operations in Potomac and near Buckeystown, MD. Nick Maravell, owner of Nick’s Organic Farm, is a nationally recognized organic farmer who is often called upon as a speaker, is quoted in the national media, and is called to testify at federal and state levels.Maravell has farmed organically since 1979. He has been active at the national and state level in the development of organic legislation and standards, organic research priorities, and organic marketing issues.
The Montgomery Countryside Alliance (www.mocoalliance.org) is a nonprofit organization that promotes and protects farm land and open space in Montgomery County, specifically the County’s 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve. MCA educates about the environmental, economic and recreational benefits of local farmland, supports local farms to strengthen our economy and conserves the economic value and rural landscape of the Ag Reserve for current and future generations of the region
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (www.cbf.org) is the only independent 501(c)(3) organization dedicated solely to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. Since its founding 40 years ago, the CBF’s goal has been to improve water quality by reducing pollution. The CBF motto, Save the Bay, has been the battle cry for that goal.
Attachment: Speaker Bios###
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