ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan hosted the 9th annual Buy Local Cookout at Government House this evening and officially recognized Maryland’s “Buy Local Challenge Week,” which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day. Governor Hogan officially declared July 23-31 as “Buy Local Challenge Week” to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local products.
“The Buy Local Cookout is a great opportunity to showcase Maryland’s culinary culture while supporting our local farmers and producers,” said Governor Hogan. “Many business—from grocery store chains, to distributors, and restaurants—rely on the fresh, nutritious food grown right here in Maryland, and that relationship helps keep our agricultural industry strong, diverse and sustainable. I thank all of the talented chefs who submitted recipes for this year’s event.”
The Buy Local Challenge, created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, has grown into a statewide initiative that has continued to grow. In its 2012 Policy Choices Survey, the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that more than 78 percent of Marylanders said they want to buy produce grown by a Maryland farmer.
“As demand for local products continues to grow, Maryland is now home to 147 farmers markets,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “We are committed to connecting local consumers with local producers, and I encourage all Marylanders to check our searchable database at www.MarylandsBest.net to find local products and markets near them.”
Earlier this year, Governor Hogan invited teams of chefs and producers to submit original recipes that highlight the diversity of local products. Some 45 recipes were submitted; and 17 were selected. First Lady Yumi Hogan and Government House chefs will provide an entrée, salad and dessert for the cookout.
All recipe submissions have been compiled and published in the 2016 Buy Local Cookout Recipes, which includes wine, beer or spirits pairing recommendations from the Maryland Wineries Association, Brewers Association of Maryland, and Maryland Distillers Guild. This year’s cookbook and all previous cookbooks are available free and online here.
Three of the nine dairy farms on Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail – Prigel Family Creamery, Kilby Cream, andSouth Mountain Creamery – donated ice cream. Also donating products to the cookout are: Baywater Greens,Blades Orchard, Garrett Growers, GreenStreet Gardens,Honest Tea, Nice Farms Creamery, Roseda Black Angus Farm, and Triple J Farms.
Agriculture contributes $8.25 billion annually and 45,600 jobs to our state’s economy every year, according to a University of Maryland Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics 2013 report.
Attendance at the cookout was by invitation only. The guest list included agricultural leaders, producers, chefs, buyers from groceries, restaurants and institutions, and “buy local” advocates.
Find local Maryland products, locate a farmers market and more at: www.marylandsbest.net.