County Executive Barry Glassman welcomed area officials on Saturday, May 5 for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at Harford County’s new Agricultural Center located at 3525 Conowingo Road in Street. Operating since January, the Center successfully consolidated several agencies serving the agricultural community under one roof to improve efficiency and collaboration. The Center will also promote the future sustainability of the agricultural industry while serving as an educational resource center.
“Now that we’re together, it’s easy to walk across the hall to ask questions or touch base on projects and activities,” said Alice Archer, secretary/treasurer of the Harford County Farm Bureau. “Many of our efforts cross-pollinate between our organizations, so it’s a great advantage to be in meetings together or to share what’s happening with our respective boards and committees. Additionally, new partnerships have formed. For example, with Harford Community College and the agricultural community, and with Steppingstone Museum.”
The consolidation of state and local organizations at the Center will save Harford County government $52K in rent per year and will generate approximately $27K in lease income. Future phases of the project include an open-air farmers’ market, agriculture expo center, and a walking trail connecting to county-owned open space adjacent to the property.
Current tenants of the Center are Harford County Soil Conservation District (state and local offices), University of Maryland Extension Office, Maryland Department of Forest Pest Management, and the Harford County Farm Bureau. The site includes adequate parking for staff and visitors, a large meeting room with a teaching kitchen, and two conference rooms. The Center has additional space available to accommodate the federal Farm Service Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service in the future.
Rather than construct a new facility the County purchased the existing building, formerly the location of Glen Echo Furniture, and constructed the new parking lot and additional improvements. The Center is next door to the historic Joesting-Gorsuch House, which the Glassman administration saved, relocated and restored in 2016.