ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Agriculture does more than just work with farmers to ensure sound farmland management practices. It also promotes local agricultural and seafood products, ensures the wise use of fertilizers and pesticides, monitors the accuracy of weights and measures, controls mosquito populations, protects the health of Maryland plants and livestock and so much more.
The department will highlight many of the services it provides to improve the quality of life in Maryland during the 137th Maryland State Fair, Aug. 23 to Sept. 3 at the State Fair Grounds in Timonium. The 12-day festival will feature thousands of home arts and agricultural exhibits, daily livestock and horse shows, a wide variety of midway rides and games, thoroughbred horse racing, and national entertainment. The department will provide a variety of displays in the Cow Palace throughout the duration of the fair, including the following:
- Friday, Aug. 24 — The department’s Resource Conservation program will have a model dairy farm on display from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for kids to see what working on a dairy farm is really like. Activity books will also be available throughout the day.
- Saturday, Aug. 25 — The department’s State Chemist program will show kids how to make slime and snow. They will be creating slime from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. They will be making snow from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 26 — The department’s Spay and Neuter Board will be addressing the topic of controlling pet overpopulation and how Marylanders can help. They will also provide an Agriculture Encounter for Kids activity book and a coloring station all day.
- Monday, Aug. 27 — The department’s Mosquito Control program will talk about the department’s efforts in reducing mosquito populations around the state and how Marylanders can reduce potential breeding grounds in their own backyards. They will also show kids how to make snow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will have a coloring station all day.
- Tuesday, Aug. 28 — The department’s Plant Protection and Weed Management program will address efforts in monitoring for the spotted lanternfly around the state. They will also showcase the state’s Chief Apiary Inspector Cybil Preston and her bee inspecting dogs from 10 a.m. to noon A coloring station will also be available from noon to close.
- Wednesday, Aug. 29 — The department’s Weights and Measures program — which ensures that consumers who buy anything by weight or quantity get what they pay for — will have a calibrated scale that can read people’s weight. A coloring station will also be available throughout the day.
- Thursday, Aug. 30 — Maryland’s Best, the department’s agricultural marketing program, will discuss the great products and marketing programs offered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, including: the Maryland Ice Cream Trail, the Buy Local Challenge, Home Grown by Heroes and more. Throughout the day, children can enjoy a fun coloring station and will be able to weigh themselves on a calibrated scale used by the department’s Weights and Measures program.
- Friday, Aug. 31 — The department’s Food Quality Assurance program will address food safety and how they work to ensure safe, high quality agricultural products for Maryland’s consumers. They will also make snow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and demonstrate how to candle an egg from 4 to 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 1 — The Rural Maryland Council will share their vision of a future where all of Rural Maryland is prosperous with thriving resources, vibrant economies, and healthy, connected communities. Throughout the day, children can enjoy a coloring station and will be able to weigh themselves on a calibrated scale used by the department’s Weights and Measures program.
- Sunday, Sept. 2 –The department’s State Chemist program will show kids how to make slime and snow. They will be creating slime from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. They will be making snow from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 3 — Maryland’s Best Seafood, the department’s seafood marketing program, will talk all about Maryland’s seafood industry and how the department is promoting local seafood products. Throughout the day, children can enjoy a coloring station and will be able to weigh themselves on a calibrated scale used by the department’s Weights and Measures program.
- In addition, the Maryland Horse Industry Board — a program within the department — will be at the Horseland tent throughout the fair.
The Maryland State Fair will also celebrate “Agriculture Day at the Fair” on Aug. 30. The day includes a luncheon and tour of the fairgrounds with Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder. The luncheon is invitation only.
For more Maryland State Fair information, visit www.marylandstatefair.com.
— Maryland State Fair