PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(April 27, 2021)-University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension is offering a free online lecture series for produce growers and consumers, “Ingenuity and Innovation in Agriculture: Talk with a Farmer,” beginning Saturday, May 1.  The first installment features John McMahon, founder and farm manager of an organic, controlled-environment farm, Schuyler Greens Company near Charlottesville, Virginia.

UMES Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor of Horticulture Dr. Naveen Kumar Dixit invites McMahon to share his experiences establishing the growing operation and the selection of his product (hydroponic greens) through the five-year evolution of his business model from wholesale direct to restaurants to that of distributors, institutional customers, and grocery stores.

McMahon also addresses how the company has survived the pandemic despite a downward swing in restaurant sales through bolstering grocery store sales, which are up, and a new direct-to-consumer home delivery e-commerce system. He attributes the success, in part, to continual increases in automation and technology that lead to more efficiency and profitability.  Controlling the growing environment, he said, also results in more consistent yield and better quality crops.

The webinar starts at 10 a.m.  Pre-registration is required by visiting or call 410-621-3650.

Gail Stephens, Agricultural Communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences,, 410-621-3850.

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