Annapolis, MD (October 10, 2023) - Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman issued the following statement regarding the opening of the Grain Elevator in Lothian, MD.
“Friday’s opening of the Lothian Grain Elevator is probably the most impactful local government action on behalf of agriculture in the history of our county.
When it’s time to harvest the corn, the beans, or the wheat grown on over ten thousand acres of our county, it needs to get trucked somewhere for storage on its way to market. The closer that somewhere is, the quicker that field can get harvested.
Without a local elevator, growing grains just isn’t feasible. We’ve already lost thousands of acres of our county’s farmland, and we can’t afford to lose more.
That’s why when Perdue made its final decision to shut this facility down, Senator Sarah Elfreth and I convened stakeholders to save it.
The funds to buy this elevator from Perdue and to make the repairs needed to get it operating came from the State of Maryland. That happened not only because Senator Elfreth, Senator Jack Bailey, and our entire southern Maryland delegation supported the allocation in this year’s budget, but also because Secretary Kevin Atticks went to Governor Wes Moore and got his support.
The Southern Maryland Agriculture Development Council, Maryland Farm Bureau, Anne Arundel Farm Bureau, and Calvert County Commissioner Buddy Hance were all instrumental in making the case that the elevator must be saved.
Once funding was secured, it was left to the Anne Arundel County Office of Central Services (OCS) to close the deal with Perdue and contract with an operator. This was not a simple assignment. The first Request for Proposals only attracted one operator, and that company was unwilling to open this fall. That wasn’t good enough. Our Central Services team canceled that procurement and did an emergency procurement. That’s how we were able to engage Warfield Brothers from Howard County as the facility operator.
Director Susan Herrold, Purchasing Agent Catrice Parsons, and Southern Facilities Manager Mike Davis are the people at Central Services who made this happen. They were able to create in record time a public private partnership with Kenny Warfield to get this facility operating once again to serve the good farmers of Anne Arundel County and southern Maryland.”
The 5 Million Trees Initiative began with legislation passed in 2021 by the Maryland General Assembly and solidified into a final plan to grow 5 million native trees in the state of Maryland by 2031. This multi-agency effort builds upon the state's existing investments in climate action, ecosystem restoration, and forest management. It also places an emphasis on equity with a commitment to grow at least 500,000, or 10%, of these trees in urban underserved areas of the state.
As part of the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org, Maryland has pledged this 5 million trees goal as part of a broader commitment by U.S. based companies, non-profits, and governments to conserve, restore, and grow one trillion trees globally by 2030.
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