Trachtenberg staff toured Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve on a beautiful fall day, visiting White's Ferry, Dickerson, Poolesville, Bealesville, Barnesville and Sugarloaf Mountain.
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 577 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 577 farmers, of whom 50 percent work full time in farming.