Horticulture provides healthy foods, aesthetic landscapes, improved air, water and green space, and Maryland’s livability. These goals are accomplished by: 1) conducting research in managed horticultural systems 2) collaborating with industry leaders, agencies, and stakeholders to improve production efficiencies, environments, livelihoods and human well-being, and 3) delivering statewide education programs through improved communication, research, and teaching techniques.
Vegetable production is changing rapidly worldwide. Major factors driving change are globalization, environmental protection, and urbanization. Globalization introduces new models of business and competition requiring global perspectives and innovation to maintain viable markets. Environmental issues demand research and implementation of production practices to achieve healthy neighborhoods and farm systems. Consumers are increasing their demand for a safe, secure, affordable local food system. Maryland’s vegetable growers have considerable opportunities to adjust rather than remain threatened with globalization and urbanization.