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Refurbished Rockhold Creek barn to host agricultural programs for students

| July 28, 2019, 04:12 PM

Rams Head

State Senator Sarah Elfreth speaks while County Executive Steuart Pittman and AAEDC CEO Jerry Walker look on.
PHOTO: AAEDC

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, county officials and area educators took part in the official ribbon-cutting for the refurbished Rockhold Creek Barn in West River, a site for future agricultural programs for county youth.

“When fully restored and operating, the barn will be an important resource in educating students from all over Anne Arundel County,” said Mr. Pittman. “It will be a wonderful hands-on learning opportunity for our children to better understand the relationship between our land and the food and products in and around our homes.”

In 2018, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) began working with the county and its Department of Recreation and Parks, which manages the barn, on a restoration initiative.  The barn will be licensed to AAEDC, then sub-licensed to the Friends of Rockhold Creek LLC.  The organization will operate a 4-H/FFA Livestock program on site.

Other facets of the agricultural curriculum will be a new and expanded 4-H program, attendance at regional county fairs and livestock shows, and participation in the JR Southern Maryland Meats program, an initiative of Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC).

“These learning opportunities aim to positively impact the agricultural industry as well by spurring new business opportunities and highlighting the relevance of farms in our economy,” said Dr. Stacy Eckels, Southern High School Agriculture Science teacher and FFA Advisor.

Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks invested over $250,000 for asbestos remediation and roof repairs. AAEDC received grant funds for painting, interior demolition and the installation of new stalls and electric service. During the ribbon-cutting, AAEDC CEO Jerry Walker stressed the need for more support as the barn restoration still has a long way to go. “This project’s to-do list still includes the installation of windows, lighting, and receptacles and repairs to improve road access and paddock areas. We hope more donors step up to support this worthwhile project to make the barn fully operational.”

As a 501c3 organization, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation will facilitate the collection of tax deductible donations.  Donors interested in supporting the Rockhold Creek Barn restoration project should write checks made out to the AAEDC and mailed to its offices at 2660 Riva Road, suite 200, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. Checks note “Rockhold Creek Barn Restoration” on the memo line.

Rams Head

Category: Local News, NEWS

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