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More on marketing, please

December 01, 2005

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday gave a cool reception to a task force proposal for an agricultural marketer.

The chill descended on the plan because there wasn't much information presented on what the marketer would actually do. Before the commissioners reject the idea completely, they need more information on what such a person would do.

The best way to do that would be to look at what neighboring Frederick County is doing.

Two years ago, The Herald-Mail wrote about Frederick County's farm marketing effort.

It includes a page on that county's EDC Web site that directs customers looking to buy anything from a horse to a jar of jelly to farms that carry those items.

There is also a "home grown" program to promote the purchase of Frederick County-grown items and an education campaign which tells non-farming residents about the tax savings that result from preserving farms.

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The Frederick County EDC marketer also assists farmers who want to get into related businesses such as cheese plants, dairies or bed-and-breakfast operations.

As Commissioner John Munson said, most farmers know how to run their operations. But most, we would bet, would appreciate some help with sales and promotion.

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