Business and Tradition in the LESMD Region
Resource-based industries in the LESMD Region are most accurately defined by recognizing the distinction between land-based and water-based activities. Land-based industries include both large scale agri-business as well as smaller value-added operations as a function of farm diversification. Water-based industries include traditional commercial fishing as well as aquaculture in controlled conditions. Forestry, though distinct, falls within the definition of resource-based industries included under the category of agriculture.
The Lower Eastern Shore is home to approximately 1,118 farms spanning 247,238 acres with an average farm size of 227 acres (Delmarva Index Infographic – USDA Agricultural Census, 2017). Production of soybean, corn for grain, wheat, vegetables, barley, forage top the list in crops per acre.
Poultry and eggs hold a combined total of $684.1 million in market value products sold. (Delmarva Index Infographic – USDA Agricultural Census, 2017)
Agriculture on the Lower Eastern Shore contributed over $1 billion to the state economy (30.2% of state agricultural impact), supported 3,717 jobs (15.6% of state agricultural job impact), and added over $17 million in combined state and local tax revenue (16% of state agricultural tax impact). The Impact of Resource-Based Industries on the Maryland Economy 2018
By the numbers
Regional education ties to agriculture
Regional education institutions and industry partners recognize the impact of Agriculture and have developed programming and course tracks to build the workforce of the future.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences at UMES prepares students for careers in food and fiber processing, animal management and production, natural resource sciences, plant breeding and biotechnology, greenhouse & nursery management amongst an extensive list of other concentrations.
Worcester Technical High School and Worcester County Economic Development offer an Agriculture Science and Animal & Plant Biotechnology program track, designed to introduce students to a career in agricultural sciences and provide a foundation for post-secondary education.
A new statewide industry sector focused on agriculture, aquaculture, and environmental technology.
Provides farm loans for land, equipment, livestock, and production; crop insurance; and rural home mortgages.
Maryland Agriculture Resourced-Based Industry Development Corporation. A resource for rural business development financing assistance.
Rural Maryland Council (RMC) brings together citizens, community-based organizations, federal, state, county, and municipal government officials as well as representatives of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to collectively address the needs of Rural Maryland communities.