Ongoing Campaign to Support Harford’s Farming Community
(Bel Air, MD – June 25, 2009) – – It is with great excitement that the Harford County Economic Development Agricultural Advisory Board announces the completion of the latest initiative in the Division of Agriculture’s Buy Local campaign.
In an advertising project reminiscent of the days when barns were used to promote everything from chewing tobacco to the local five & dime, two barns in Harford County were recently painted to feature the County’s ag logo, the slogan “Support Harford’s Farms – Buy Local,” and the County’s ag marketing website, www.HarfordFarms.com.
The purpose of the Buy Local campaign is to raise the public’s level of awareness about the availability of locally-grown food and other agricultural products. “In these tough economic times, it’s so important that as many of our hard-earned dollars as possible stay right here in Harford County,” stated Ag Advisory Board chairman Richard Holloway, a Darlington cattle farmer. “It’s about neighbors helping neighbors.”
Planning for the project began last year, when the Ag Advisory Board surveyed the farming community and asked farmers to nominate their barns to be a part of the project. Out of eight nominations received, the Board selected the barns of David and Michelle Hopkins of Havre de Grace, and Butch and Jamie Bachman of Fallston for this first round of paintings. They were selected primarily for their visibility and location along highly-travelled roadways. The Hopkins family sells produce from their farm stand, while the Bachmans’ son Andy sells eggs, broiler chickens, and bedding plants from the farm.
The County Executive’s Division of Agriculture handled the planning and execution of the project, working with the barn owners and arranging for barn artist Scott Hagan of Jerusalem, Ohio to complete the artwork.
The formal unveiling took place at the Hopkins barn in Havre de Grace on
Friday, June 26.
According to C. John Sullivan, III, Deputy Chief of Staff for Agriculture, the
next steps in the Buy Local campaign are to place the image of the barns on a billboard in the Route 40 corridor, and to reach out to Harford County restaurateurs and encourage them to add locally-grown food products to their menus.
“The public is really beginning to take note of where their food comes from,
and smart restaurant owners are catching on as well,” Sullivan stated. “For example, Bruce Bitner’s Grill, Little NY Deli, and My 3 Sons offer burgers made with all local beef, and many other restaurants have a selection of Harford County wine. We hope to expand upon this, and work to connect farmers with local restaurants.”
The Ag Advisory Board is comprised of 21 members of the agricultural
community, each of whom represents a specific agricultural interest. Its purpose is to advise the County Executive, the County Council, and the County Delegation to the General Assembly on agricultural issues of concern to Harford County’s agricultural community and to protect and enhance the profitability of agriculture.
For more information on Harford County Agriculture, log on to
3827 Rider Lane
Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078
2601 Harford Road
Fallston, Maryland 21047