SMADC Announces Book Release


Staff member
SMADC Announces the Release of Taking Stock - A new book about The Stories and Faces behind the Southern Maryland Meats Program

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is proud to announce the release of Taking Stock, a quality bound coffee table book, featuring photographic portraits and conversational insights which reveal the personalities and the faces of the farming families of SMADC's Southern Maryland Meats (SMM) marketing program.

As the title of the book suggests, 'taking stock' can have many meanings; in the literal sense of 'being aware' as a person, or in 'making an inventory' as a business, and as a 'shepherd and steward' of livestock and the land. The book's author, Craig Sewell, Southern Maryland Meats' new Livestock and Marketing Specialist, set himself an ambitious schedule to 'take stock' of the 52 livestock producers of the SMM program by personally visiting every farm. During his visits Sewell was invited to "sit a spell" and listen to their stories. "Something extraordinary happened when they spoke and revealed their hopes and hardships," he recalled. From that point forward Sewell was inspired to capture each conversation and share his experiences.

The Southern Maryland Meats program was created in 2011 to promote and raise awareness for Southern Maryland’s farm-raised raised meats. The “Southern Maryland Meats” logo and standards were co-created by SMADC and regional livestock producers to assure transparency and product authenticity in the market place, so that consumers know exactly how their meat is raised and where to buy it. Participating farms’ raising practices are verified to maintain integrity of the SMM brand. “We are especially pleased that from cover to cover ‘Taking Stock’ is an all local project,” noted Craig Sewell. “The livestock producers, our designer Jamie Tiralla of All Ag Media, and the book’s printers, Linemark, Inc., are all located right here in Southern Maryland.”

The book’s 152 pages are illustrated with vibrant full color photo-biographies, by accomplished agriculture photographer Lena McBean, of Remsberg, Inc., who expertly captures the character of her subjects and Southern Maryland’s farmscapes. “The publication of a photo-documentary coffee table book is an exciting new project for SMADC,” commented SMADC Director Shelby Hampton-Watson. "We recognized the dynamic potential of this book to re-energize and invigorate our livestock project and also as a unique way to introduce the general public to the remarkable farms and families that provide us with our food."

A first edition run of 500 copies will be in stock by December 14, 2018. The cost of the book is $35 (plus shipping). Pre-order and purchase online at and

Photography for "Taking Stock" was made possible in part, by a grant from the Rural Maryland Council and their Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF).