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Focus on Maryland
Jim Baird and Maryland Governor O'Malley
AFT's Mid-Atlantic Director Jim Baird and Governor O'Malley at cookout celebrating Maryland "Eat Local Week"

Buy Local Challenge Week Grows a Big Crowd To kick off the “Buy Local Week,”

Governor O’Malley invited local farmers to a Maryland cookout on the front lawn of the Government House in Annapolis. There has been increasing interest in the local foods movement, and local foods are now easier to find than ever with greater numbers of grocery stores appealing to the demand for fresh local food. The University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that 77 percent of Marylanders are more likely to buy produce that is grown by a Maryland farmer, and 44 percent say they are willing to pay some premium for farm products that would support local farmers.

Edible Learning: Kids Discover the Value of Farmland in Sustainable Schoolyards

What do we know as a society about the value of farms? In general, the answer may be not enough. Reestablishing the importance of food production within reach of communities is critical to maintaining the environment, a safe and viable food system, and healthy communities. Public awareness is the key to encouraging change, and it all begins in the classroom: the sustainable classroom. This is the message presented by AFT expert Jim Baird at the United State Botanic Gardens on site at the sustainable schoolyard exhibit. The sustainable schoolyard, constructed with help from AFT, will be on display until October. 

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