Governor Moore and the Maryland Department of Agriculture Host 16th Annual Buy Local Cookout

Published: 7/21/2023

Event kicks off Maryland Buy Local Week, Buy Local Challenge 

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore hosted the 16th annual Buy Local Cookout at the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Annapolis last evening, sampling dishes prepared by local chefs with local ingredients, live music and exhibits featuring Maryland Department of Agriculture programs. Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, agricultural leaders, producers, chefs, and local and state officials joined the governor at the event to officially kick off Maryland Buy Local Week and the Buy Local Challenge, which runs today through July 31.

“Buying local is good for our state—it supports our small businesses and keeps our state’s economy competitive,” said Gov. Moore. “We encourage all Marylanders to buy local and enjoy the premium quality and broadly diverse offering that Maryland’s growers, producers, farmers, and watermen have to offer.”

Buy Local Cookout 1 

Maryland’s agriculture and seafood industries contribute more than $16 billion to the state’s economy and account for more than 68,000 jobs, according to a 2018 study from BEACON at Salisbury University. The Buy Local Challenge, created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced, or harvested product into their meals each day and has grown into a statewide initiative that has continued to expand. 

“Here in Maryland, we have world-class produce, seafood, and dairy products right in our own backyard,” said Lt. Gov. Miller. “Buying locally gives Marylanders the unique opportunity to support our state’s economy and local producers, and to see where their food comes from.”

Buy Local Cookout 2 

For the 2023 cookout, chefs submitted recipes featuring at least one local vegetable, fruit, or blue catfish, showcasing the ways the average Maryland family can prepare delicious, nutritious meals with locally produced food at home. Chefs participating in the cookout created samples for attendees to taste and vote for the People’s Choice Award. Miss Shirley’s Cafe of Baltimore City took home the prize for their crabby grilled cheese.

This year also marked the first time the event was waste free. Working in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Environment and Annapolis Green, all disposables were compostable, with water provided by Naptown Taps.

Marylanders are encouraged to participate in Buy Local Week and the Buy Local Challenge. Visit to find local Maryland products, locate a farmers market, and more.

“Buying local has never been more important—to our farmers, for our health, and for our economy,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “From produce to fresh fish and oysters, from cheese to fine wine, let’s celebrate our state’s bounty by savoring all things local.”

Buy Local Cookout 3 

The press kit for the 2023 Buy Local Cookout is available on the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s website. Information includes: