Gov. Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan hosted the 12th annual Buy Local Cookout at Government House this evening and officially recognized “Maryland Buy Local Week,” which encourages Marylanders to take the Buy Local Challenge by incorporating at least one locally grown, produced, or harvested product into their meals each day. Gov. Hogan officially declared July 20-28 as “Maryland Buy Local 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 and Maryland Buy Local Week allow our citizens to celebrate our hard working farmers, watermen and producers while showcasing our state’s vibrant culinary offerings,” said Gov. Hogan. “Each year I am amazed by the creativity of the recipes and the wide variety of ingredients grown and produced right here in Maryland. I want to encourage all Marylanders to participate in the Buy Local Challenge, to incorporate at least one local product in each of your meals throughout the week.”
The Buy Local Challenge, created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, has grown into a statewide initiative that has continued to expand. 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. 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.
“In addition to providing fresh, nutritious products throughout the region, Maryland’s agriculture and seafood industries are the economic engine of our rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The Buy Local Challenge is a great opportunity to support our state’s top industry and learn more about where our food comes from.”
Earlier this year, Gov. Hogan invited teams of local chefs and producers to submit original recipes that highlight the diversity of Maryland’s products. Over 40 recipes were submitted and 16 were selected. First Lady Yumi Hogan and Government House chefs provided an entrée and dessert for the cookout. This year also featured recipes by student chefs from Crossland High School in Prince George’s County, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at the Universities at Shady Grove in Montgomery County and the Chesapeake Culinary Center in Caroline County.
All recipe submissions have been compiled and published in the Recipes from the 2019 Maryland Buy Local Cookout cookbook, which includes wine, beer or spirits pairing recommendations. This year’s cookbook and all previous cookbooks are available on the department’s website.
In addition to those contributing to the recipes featured at the cookout, the Brewers Association of Maryland, Maryland Distillers Guild, Maryland Wineries Association, George’s Mixes, Honest Tea, Greenstreet Gardens, Hiddenvale Flowers and four of the nine dairy farms on the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail — Kilby Cream, Prigel Family Creamery, South Mountain Creamery and Woodbourne Creamery at Rock Hill Orchard — also provided products for the event. Musical entertainment was provided by The Geckos.
Attendees included agricultural leaders, producers, chefs, buyers from grocery stores, restaurants and institutions and legislators.
If you plan to participate in Maryland’s Buy Local Week and the Buy Local Challenge, use marylandsbest.net to find local Maryland products, locate a farmers market and more.