Updated: August 10, 2022
Food Safety Plans and Compliance for Beginning Farmers
Building a good food safety plan is a top priority for a new and beginning farm business. Food safe is incredibly important for every farm, regardless of size, methods of production, or marketing outlets. It is a common misconception that food safety and the need to implement the practices necessary to mitigate contamination of fresh produce are problems of scale, concerns only for larger farms.
Updated: August 5, 2022
Farm Establishment for Maryland Beginning Farmers. Includes information on: Considerations for Acquiring a Farm Property, Understanding Zoning For New Farm Enterprises, Understanding Soil and Soil Health, Overview of Farmland Preservation in Maryland, Resources and Web links, and Farm Establishment Review.
Updated: May 10, 2022
Valuing On-Farm Heir’s Sweat Equity Is Complicated and Agreements Should Be Developed to Fairly Compensate On-Farm Heirs (FS-1079)
Determining the value of sweat equity can be both challenging and controversial for farm families. Sweat equity arises as an issue when an on-farm heir receives payment at below market rate, and the farm business grows in size due to an on-farm heir’s below-market labors. Land in the farm may also appreciate in value due to the work of the on-farm heir. It is important to note that the best solution for handling sweat equity is to agree early on to pay the on-farm heir at a market rate. Handling sweat equity early on may necessitate the on-farm heir also working off the farm for additional income if the farm cannot support an additional person full-time. It is important to discuss the farm succession plan and limit the possibility of sweat equity claims at an early stage of farm expansion. Authors: Paul Goeringer, Catherine Onumajuru, Dale Johnson, and Mason Grahame; Title: Valuing On-Farm Heir’s Sweat Equity Is Complicated and Agreements Should Be Developed to Fairly Compensate On-Farm Heirs (FS-1079)
Updated: January 26, 2022
Understanding Licenses, Permits and Certifications
As with any business, your farm operation is subject to several laws and regulations. Farm operations also receive several exceptions or special provision regarding taxes, land operations and the like. This page provides a short listing of the commonly required permits or certifications for a farm.
Updated: June 4, 2021
Launching, Refining, or Growing Your Farm Business- MREDC has Answers
The Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center, is a virtual rural business development center of the University of Maryland Extension presenting the latest and most successful business development innovations and support for Maryland's agriculture and food systems enterprises. The mission of the University of Maryland Extension’s Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center (MREDC) is to improve rural prosperity in Maryland.
Updated: March 30, 2021
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Program
HACCP (pronounced “hassip”) is a tool that can be useful in the prevention of food safety hazards. In the past, periodic plant inspections and sample inspections have been used to check product quality and ensure safety. Inspection and sample testing provides information relevant only for the specific time the product was inspected or tested. What happened to the product before or after? This method offers the public little protection or assurance that the product is safe and stable.
Updated: March 30, 2021
Good Agriculture Practices
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary audits that verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP & GHP audits verify adherence to the recommendations made in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and industry recognized food safety practices.