The mission of the Cecil County Office of Economic Development's Agriculture section is to be the "Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture." Its goals are to unite the agriculture community of Cecil County, to promote and enhance the economic vitality of all sectors of agriculture, to advise government (local, state, national) on the interest of agriculture, to raise the public awareness of the importance of agriculture and to increase public understanding of modern agricultural production processes.
Cecil County Agriculture
Agricultural pursuits have dominated the Cecil County landscape and economy for centuries. Though its land base is shrinking, agriculture is still an important and growing industry, and county farmers produce products for local, regional, national and international marketplaces.
Cecil County comprises 222,824 acres. Cecil County also offers opportunities to pick-your-own in orchards and fields (apples, berries, cherries, peaches, vegetables, etc.), cut-your-own (Christmas trees) and numerous festivals and arts and crafts shows to make-your-own (scarecrows, wreaths, flower arrangements, etc.). About 34.6% (77,097 acres) is farmland. Much of the agricultural land is devoted to cash grain and dairy farms.
Principal crops are corn, soybeans and wheat. Secondary crops include hay, barley, tree fruits (apples, peaches, pears), vegetables and berries.
Agriculture's contribution to the local economy is significant. According to data published by the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Statistics Service for the year 2000, Cecil County produced a grand total of $19,843,145 million in wholesale value. Of this amount, $12,958,145 represents barley, corn for grain, soybeans, winter wheat, and dry hay, and $6,885,000 represents dairy cows.
Not included in the above figures are crops such as tree fruit, small fruit, squash and pumpkins, vegetables, Christmas trees, greenhouse and nursery stock, and livestock ventures such as sheep and wool, chickens and eggs, hogs, beef cattle and horses.
The county is well adapted for raising horses and has several large standardbred and thoroughbred farms and many smaller farms producing horses for racing and pleasure.