HUGHESVILLE, Md. – The Southern Maryland Meats Program (SMM) is pleased to announce the application process for the 2023 SMM Junior Livestock Program is now open.
The SMM Junior Program was developed to engage young people in raising high quality meat animals adhering to SMM standards for feed, humane treatment and responsible raising practices, and to incentivize participation in the adult SMM marketing program.
The SMM Junior Livestock Program is open to kids and youth (age 8 to 21 yrs) involved in livestock production resident in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties. More than 100 youth have signed up to participate in the SMM Junior program since its inception in 2017. Eligible SMM Junior livestock projects include beef, sheep, hogs, goats, poultry and rabbits. 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members are encouraged to apply.
“Southern Maryland Meats has always seen one of its missions as nurturing the next generation of livestock farmers,” commented Craig Sewell, SMM Marketing and Livestock Manager. “Through the creation of the Junior Promotion Program and as premier sponsor for the past 16 years of the Southern Maryland Invitational Livestock Expo (SMILE), SMM has a demonstrated commitment of support for the region’s future farmers.”
SMM Jr. Program participants receive a free t-shirt and stall card to promote their animals during the fall county fairs and, at the successful completion of the program, a stipend of $125 to help finance their on-going livestock projects. To be eligible for the final Completion Award, SMM Juniors are required to submit an essay on one of four topics:
- All SMM livestock must have access to pasture; if you are feeding grain where do you buy your feed and what are your estimated feed costs?
- If your animals are grass finished how often do you rotate your pastures and ensure balanced nutrition on limited pastures?
- Define humane handling when raising your livestock.
- What additional resources can SMADC provide to assist you with your livestock project?
Applications for the SMM Junior Program must be submitted by May, 31, 2023. Find the online 2023 Jr. Application Form and full SMM Junior Program details at News & Events on SMADC.com. The Southern Maryland Meats marketing program is a program of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), a Division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland.
Header Photo: courtesy of the Schmidt Family – St. Mary’s County.