Sound Bites: Prince George’s County Agriculture — Accokeek Foundation / P.A. Bowen Farmstead / Bald Eagle Farm

Accokeek FoundationApril 1, 2014 – Hour 2

In this week’s episode of Sound Bites, we travel to Prince George’s County and visit three farms,The Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park; P.A. Bowen Farmstead; and cattle farmer Yates Clagett of Bald Eagle Farm; for perspectives on sustainability, land stewardship, and how to remain economically viable in a shifting marketplace.

First, we visit the Accokeek Foundation, an educational farm on the Potomac River in Piscataway Park that runs programs about environmental stewardship, land conservation, and sustainable agriculture. They run training programs in organic farming, and host programs for young people, as well. We talk to: Dr. Lisa Hayes, the President and CEO of the Accokeek Foundation; Community Outreach and Education Coordinator Molly MeehanSky Harman, Ecosystem Farm Apprentice; and Livestock Manager Polly Festa.

Sally Fallon Morrel and Geoffrey Morrel of Brandywine, MD have a small herd of Jersey cows on their land, the PA Bowen Farmstead, that they milk for artisan cheese. They also raise chickens, pigs, turkeys in a mixed-species pasture-based farm that incorporates bio-dynamic methods. We started with a tour of their dairy operation.

Then, we continue our journey in Prince George’s County with Yates Clagett, a small-scale cattle farmer who has been selling his grass-fed meat locally in the region’s niche market. He is also the PG County Farm Bureau President and has spearheaded the purchase of freezers for local meat sales. He talked to us about what sustainability means to him in terms of the environment and economic viability, and he documented the challenges the current distribution infrastructure in Southern Maryland, changing state regulations, and market forces play in his quest to raise quality beef.


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show currently airs on The Real News Network. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Email us to share your comments with us.

1 Comment

  1. Aleesha Haigwood says:

    I, (Aleesha Haigwood), worked at P.A. Bowen Farmstead for 2 1/2 years, my position was store manager. May 17th 2014 was my last day of work at P.A. Bowen Farmstead. I quit to pursue other interests more fully. On April 1st 2014, before I left, the management of the farm changed hands. Barb and Mike Haigwood were the farm managers for the past 3 years. They left so that they could start their own educational business. The new managers are Brian Wort and his wife Amy McCurdy. I was curious to see if the farm would continue on as it had for the past 3 years (with full transparency to the customers) or if things would change. 
    Practices on the farm have changed. Sally Fallon Morell (Owner) and Brian Wort (Manager) have not publicly told their customers of these changes.

    Here’s a list of things they have changed so far.
    1. They are now feeding GMO Beet Pulp to the dairy cows. Which means the cheese made in 2014 will not be GMO free.
    2. An antibiotic was given to a sick dairy cow. They then gave the antibiotic tainted milk to a bull calf they were raising to be veal. After receiving sick antibiotic traced milk for a few weeks the bull calf died. I am not saying that because of this the calf died but it could be a contributing factor. They don’t know why it died. 
    3. They also fed the sick antibiotic traced cows milk to the pigs, which are being raised to sell as pork to the customers. 
    4. P.A. Bowen Farmstead is no longer GMO free, yet they have not publicly told their customers about the changes they have made. Their fliers and website still state they are GMO free and antibiotic free.

    In closing I hope that the new managers and existing owners tell the customers about the changes they have made and any further changes to come. I for one can’t support a farm that’s not transparent about their practices with their customers. I believe it is the customers right to make a informed decision for themselves and their children.

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