The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) has six faculty members with Extension appointments. AREC Extension programs are under the auspices of the University of Maryland Extension (UME), which is a statewide, non-formal education system within the college of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
UME educational programs and problem-solving assistance are available to citizens and are based on the research and experience of land grant universities such as the University of Maryland, College Park. In Maryland, UME employs approximately 200 faculty and approximately 200 support staff and contractual employees located at the University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; 23 counties; Baltimore City; and four research and education centers. Many UME faculty members located on the College Park and Eastern Shore campuses have joint appointments with research and academic programs. These joint appointments promote the exchange of knowledge between the universities and among academic specialties.
In 2013, Professor Loretta Lynch and graduate student Jeffrey Ferris conducted a study that looks beyond the revenue generated from farm products ($1.8 billion) and takes an in-depth look at how the agricultural and forestry industries weave their way into nearly every sector of Maryland’s robust economy. The study found that the impact of agriculture on Maryland’s economy amounted to $8.25 billion annually. The study, the first of its kind since 2005, also highlights the changing face of agriculture in Maryland. While the number of farms in the state continues to decline, farmers are adapting, modernizing and becoming highly efficient, producing more with less for local, regional, national and international markets. Steady profits, however, are necessary to keep Maryland operations from shutting down and causing a snowball effect on the state’s economy. The report is available here (http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/14405). A summary of the report is available here (http://drum.lib.umd.edu/handle/1903/16044).