— Governor Wes Moore and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller today visited the 142nd Maryland State Fair
in Timonium to celebrate the work of the Maryland agricultural industry. In addition to touring the fairgrounds, Governor Moore spoke with farmers and agricultural producers during the Governor’s Ag Day Luncheon.
“Agriculture is Maryland’s number one industry and we produce some of the best agricultural products in the nation,” said Gov. Moore.
“Our farmers are the lifeblood of our state’s economy and you cannot understand the story of Maryland without understanding the stories of our farmers.”
The 2023 Maryland State Fair features 22,000 competitive events showcasing Maryland’s best animals, produce, and arts and crafts. The annual event attracts over 500,000 guests each year. Since 2005, the fair has donated nearly $500,000 in scholarships to Maryland youth.
The Governor’s Ag Day Luncheon features Maryland's finest food products made by members of the fair’s food pavilion. The annual event is attended by leaders from across Maryland’s agriculture industry, including representatives from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation, the University of Maryland, Maryland 4-H, Maryland Future Farmers of America, the State Fair Association, industry groups, local governments and many other sectors.
“The State Fair is an opportunity for Marylanders from every corner of the state to experience the exceptional and unique products of Maryland’s vibrant agricultural industry,” said Lt. Gov. Miller.
“Thank you to the farmers, vendors, volunteers, industry leaders, and of course, the hundreds of thousands of fairgoers, who helped make this year’s State Fair a success.”
Following the luncheon, Governor Moore, Lieutenant Governor Miller, and Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks walked the fairgrounds to visit exhibits, greet fair goers on rides and at games, and discuss opportunities for Maryland farmers and industry professionals.
This year, the Moore-Miller administration supported more than $1 million in general funds toward the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board’s
promotion of state and county agricultural fairs and exhibits. The board also provides financial aid to qualifying organizations to support exhibitors of agricultural displays.
In February, Governor Moore and Lieutenant Governor Miller attended the 53rd Annual Taste of Maryland Agriculture celebration
. The event promoted skills training and education, Chesapeake Bay restoration, climate resilience and environmental justice, and support for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, which preserves sufficient agricultural land to maintain a viable local base of food and fiber production for Maryland.
Governor Moore also announced
two major Maryland Department of Agriculture initiatives in April to establish new market connections between farmers, watermen, and Maryland food banks and help alleviate food insecurity in the state. Through federal partnership, the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program provides Maryland with $6.1 million to fund the purchase of local food from Maryland farmers and watermen. The Maryland Food and Agricultural program will provide an additional $200,000 annually to build food system resiliency by leveraging Maryland agricultural products and services to support the state’s food banks and charitable emergency food providers.
The 2023 Maryland State Fair ends on Sunday, Sept. 10. For more information about the Maryland State Fair, visit marylandstatefair.com