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Montgomery County, MD

Montgomery County is located in the Piedmont physiographic region of Central Maryland, and shares a border with the District of Columbia to the south and Virginia to the west, across the Potomac River. County land area is about 495 square miles, with about 117.3 square miles, or 24% in agriculture. With a population of 915,000 and counting, Montgomery County has strived to balance growth and agricultural preservation. Average family income in the County is about $90K (2000 U.S. Census data), which ranks Montgomery County among the more affluent counties in the state and the country.

Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve is an important environmental resource for future farm enterprises. A strong agricultural heritage provides a diverse business community and a strong economic base. Combining these strengths with the commitment for farmland preservation makes Montgomery County an attractive place to live and work.

Agricultural activities occupy about one-third of Montgomery County's land area. Over half of the 93,000-acre Agriculture Reserve is preserved through transfer of development rights or easement purchase initiatives. The County's diverse agricultural industry's 561 farms and 350 horticultural enterprises produce more than $251 million in economic contribution from agricultural products and operations. The majority of Montgomery County farms are family-run operations, many reaching back several generations, which employ more than 10,000 residents. The County has 561 farmers, of whom 43 percent work full time in farming. 

Agricultural Acreage in 2007: 67,613 acres in farms; 48,563 cropland, 12,992 pasture land, 3,000 in fruits, vegetables, flowers, 4,500 in sod, and 900 in production nurseries.
Number of Farms: 577 and 350 horticultural enterprises
Number of Farm Markets: 13
Top three to five Agricultural Products: Corn = 1 million bushels, soybeans = 403k bushels, hay = 26k tons 12k horses pumpkin and strawberry production often rank near the top statewide

Total Local Economic Contribution of Agriculture:

  • Market Value of Porduction: $33,193,000
  • Market Value Average Per Farm: $59,168
  • Crop sales $ 25,344,000(76%)
  • Livestock Sales $ 7,850,000 (24%)

Other Farm-Related Products or Activities in the County: Horticultural enterprises, equestrian operations, sod farms, and farm markets

Agricultural Lands protected: 71,353 acres, 75% of agricultural reserve

Principal Agricultural Contacts:

Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
Jeremy Criss, Agricultural Services Division Manager – 301-590-2810

Farmland Preservation
Administrator John Zawitoski Montgomery County Department of Economic Development – 301-590-2810
Farmland Preservation Programs:
Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) Montgomery County Agricultural Easement Program (AEP) Building Lot Termination Program (BLT) Rural Legacy Program (RLP) Transfer of Development Rigths Program (TDR) Maryland Environmental Trust (MET)

University of Maryland Cooperative Extension
Doug Tregoning, County Extension Agent, 301-590-2812

Farm Services Agency
Missy Donnelly, County Executive Director - 301-590-3219

NRCS District Conservationist
J.G. Warfield, – 301-590-2855

Montgomery Soil Conservation District
David Plummer, District Manager - 301-590-2855

Maryland Farm Bureau:
George Lechlider - County President
Carolyn Lechlider - County Secretary
24110 Laytonsville Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20882, (301) 253-8867
thelecksfarm@aol.com

Current Partners in the
National Capital Farms Network:
Anne Arundel County Arlington County Virginia Calvert County Carroll County Charles County Clarke County Culpeper County District of Columbia Howard County Jefferson County Virginia King George County Fairfax County Virignia Fauquier County Virginia Frederick County Maryland Loudoun County Virignia Montgomery County Maryland Rappahannock County Stafford County St Mary's County Prince Williams County Prince George's County Maryland Washington County Warren County Berkeley County Morgan County
County Links

Montgomery County
Montgomery County Cooperative Extension
Montgomery Soil Conservation District
Rural Montgomery