June sym­po­sium high­lights So. Md. to­bacco cul­ture, tra­di­tions

Maryland Independent - - News -

The her­itage of Mary­land’s to­bacco in­dus­try is the fo­cus of a sym­po­sium from 1-3 p.m. Satur­day, June 11, in­side the to­bacco barn at Seren­ity Farm in Bene­dict.

The dis­cus­sion, mod­er­ated by Buddy Hance, for­mer Mary­land Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture, will high­light the role of bas­ketry used to trans­port to­bacco to mar­ket, early uses of to­bacco by Amer­i­can In­di­ans, the role of to­bacco in the found­ing of St. Mary’s City and Port To­bacco and the so­cial and fam­ily cul­tural fab­ric and com­mu­nity her­itage rais­ing to­bacco. Lastly, the event will ex­am­ine the trans­for­ma­tion of farm­ing since the state buy-out of to­bacco farms and the Farm Her­itage Con­ser­vancy’s preser­va­tion of South­ern Mary­land farm­land.

To­bacco plays a prom­i­nent role in Mary­land’s his­tory. Known as the “Money Crop,” it brought fi­nan­cial suc­cess and good for­tune to Mary­land farm­ers un­til 1998 when the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, 46 states and the to­bacco com­pa­nies signed the Mas­ter Set­tle­ment Agree­ment (MSA), which re­sulted in more than 90 per­cent of Mary­land to­bacco farm­ers ex­it­ing the in­dus­try, ef­fec­tively end­ing the tra­di­tion of to­bacco ware­houses and the auc­tion mar­ket in Mary­land.

To help pre­serve to­bacco’s unique his­tory in the state, the Cen­ter for Re­search in Bas­ketry (CRB), the South­ern Mary­land Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion (SMADC), the Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Ex­ten­sion Ser­vice of St. Mary’s County, Seren­ity Farm and the Farm Her­itage Con­ser­vancy are hosting the sym­po­sium. Seren­ity Farm, which is do­nat­ing its space for the event, will also of­fer a visit to the sa­cred burial ground of en­slaved African Amer­i­cans, and shop­ping in its Har­vest House.

The sym­po­sium specif­i­cally rec­og­nizes the role of bas­ket flats and the in­flu­ence of cooper­ing (hogsheads) used to trans­port to­bacco to mar­ket. Un­til the 1900s, hogsheads (or bar­rels) were packed with to­bacco and rolled to ships that trans­ported the crop to Bal­ti­more and be­yond. At the same time, to­bacco bas­kets were made in North Carolina un­til the buy-out to trans­port, weigh and mea­sure to­bacco.

Dur­ing the sym­po­sium, many to­bacco bas­kets will be on dis­play, as will an ex­hibit of Czech fam­ily to­bacco ar­ti­facts and a still, and an ex­hibit of tools used in plant­ing and har­vest­ing to­bacco. To­bacco sticks and crafts will be sold. The Mar­shal Sheets Cooper­age will demon­strate the art of cooper­ing and sell coop­ered dog bowls. Book sales in­clude Mem­o­ries of Sot­terly, by lo­cal res­i­dents Richard and Shawn Knott, and Faith and To­bacco, by Franklin Robin­son. Ex­hibitors in­clude Port To­bacco, the Farm Her­itage Con­ser­vancy, SMADC, Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Ex­ten­sion Ser­vices, St. Mary’s County and the Mary­land Capi­tol Park and Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

Vol­un­teers needed for adult den­tal clinic

South­ern Mary­land Mission of Mercy needs vol­un­teers for their den­tal clinic to be held 6 a.m.-4 p.m. July 29-30 at North Point High School, 2500 Davis Road, Wal­dorf. Mission of Mercy is a free adult den­tal clinic pro­vided by volunteer den­tal pro­fes­sion­als and volunteer staff. Volunteer den­tal pro­fes­sion­als (den­tists, hy­gien­ists, and den­tal as­sis­tants) are needed. Vol­un­teers also needed in ar­eas of se­cu­rity, park­ing, volunteer and pa­tient reg­is­tra­tion, meals, es­cort­ing pa­tients through­out the clinic and more. Morn­ing and af­ter­noon shifts for each po­si­tion needed. To volunteer or for in­for­ma­tion, go to www.south­ern­md­mom.org (click ‘Volunteer’ tab to reg­is­ter as volunteer). For more in­for­ma­tion, call 301-884-4438.

Job Match Re-Em­ploy­ment Pro­ject to host free net­work­ing event

For four years, the “Nine In­nings of Net­work­ing” hir­ing event con­nected a wide va­ri­ety of em­ploy­ers with more than 1,800 job seek­ers for face time with gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers last year alone. This year, the event will be noon-4 p.m. June 27 at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium, Wal­dorf, hosted by the South­ern Mary­land Work­force De­vel­op­ment In­vest­ment Board of the Tri-County Coun­cil (TCC), the Job Match Re-Em­ploy­ment Pro­ject, The Amer­i­can Job Cen­ters/ JobSource and the Mary­land Depart­ment of La­bor, Li­cens­ing and Reg­u­la­tions (DLLR).

The “Nine In­nings of Net­work­ing” team plans to bring to­gether em­ploy­ers rep­re­sent­ing a range of com­pa­nies from var­i­ous sec­tors, in­clud­ing de­fense con­trac­tors, home ser­vices, trans­porta­tion, con­struc­tion, health ser­vices, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, hos­pi­tal­ity, staffing, re­tail and home-based busi­nesses. A Busi­ness2Busi­ness re­cep­tion will be held in the Leg­ends Room from 5:30-7 p.m.

Nom­i­nally-priced spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able, rang­ing from $500 to $2,500. All spon­sor­ship lev­els of­fer a va­ri­ety of in­cen­tives, in­clud­ing ad­ver­tis­ing and com­pli­men­tary game tick­ets to the cham­pi­onship-win­ning Blue Crabs base­ball game later in the evening.

Space is lim­ited and early reg­is­tra­tion is rec­om­mended. To be­come an em­ployer or spon­sor of “Nine In­nings of Net­work­ing,” con­tact Eleanor Nel­son, di­rec­tor of Job Match Re-Em­ploy­ment Pro­ject, at 240-419-3367 or e-mail job­match­pro­ject@gmail.com. More in­for­ma­tion and on­line reg­is­tra­tion is avail­able at www. job­match­pro­ject.com.

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