Maryland, The Old Line State
Only five of Maryland’s 24 counties have a designation as a non-metro county, which is U.S. Census speak for rural. Yet ten counties have less than 100,000 people living in them.
A quick look at any satellite map of the state will show outside of the I-95 corridor between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, a large portion of the state is farmland (especially on the Delmarva Peninsula), or forest parts of Appalachia.
Yet being on the east coast often evoke imagery of a massive urban expanse from Boston through D.C. With so many counties still supporting farming, but yet close enough to urban areas, it has breathed extra life into towns that would struggle in other states. As many farmers can work a farm while they or a spouse holds down a full-time job.
Small, generational owned farms are more common in Maryland, as it is with other eastern states. Add to that that chickens are a major agricultural product of the state (295 million in 2019) it’s no wonder the average farm operates on 161 acres.It’s doesn’t help that the cost of an average acre of farm land in the state can eclipse $8,000.
Corn and soybeans generating a good portion of the crops produced, but most of the farm revenue comes way of nurseries & greenhouses growing flowers and ornamental shrubs.
Even with this there are still counties seeing population decline. All five of those rural counties (Kent, Garrett, Dorchester, Talbot, & Caroline) saw a half percent, to over 2% population lose in just the first half of the decade since 2010.
Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.
•Have you lived in the same rural area since the 1970/80s?
•Were you the last class to graduate from a rural school before it closed its doors forever?
•Do you know of a small town (under 2,000 people) that is a shell of it’s former self?
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