EDITION #3
July

 
Connect with Us:

      

(410) 922-3426

Colby Ferguson

Val Connelly



 
 What's Inside
EPA Ag Updates
Upcoming Events
























































  Breakfast on the Farm  
  Ryan Zimmerman, Western/Northern MD Regional Director
 
The University of Maryland's first-ever "Breakfast on the Farm" was held Saturday, June 30th at Teabow Farms in Walkersville, MD. About 675 visitors came from 6 counties and 3 states to enjoy a free buffet-style breakfast before embarking on a farm tour to learn more about proper animal care, crop production, milking cattle, and operation of farm equipment. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities, watch milking demonstrations, and get a view from a tractor seat. Frederick County Farm Bureau was a sponsor of the event and had a booth set up to engage with the public about modern-day agriculture, while discussing the benefits of being a Maryland Farm Bureau member. We hope to see this event continued in the future!

Photo courtesy of Racheal Slattery.
 

Top

  EPA Regional Administrator Meets with MFB Board of Directors  
  Emily Solis, Communications Specialist

The Maryland Farm Bureau Board of Directors recently met with Comso Servidio, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 3 Administrator. Servidio visited the Davidsonville office to discuss the next phase of the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and the impact it would have on Maryland farmers. The Board expressed some of their concerns, particularly increasing sediment build-up in the Conowingo Dam that has been trickling down from the states directly north of Maryland. Servidio praised the great work that Maryland farmers have been doing to improve the quality of the Chesapeake Bay saying, "You truly are the first environmentalists." Cosmo hopes to maintain an open-door policy between the EPA and the agriculture sector. 
 

Top

  Ohio Farm Bureau Visits to Talk Water Quality  
  Colby Ferguson, Government Relations Director

On June 19th, thirty-two Ohio Farm Bureau Board of Directors and staff expanded their Washington, DC fly-in by making a trip to the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland Farm Bureau board members and staff hosted the group. With Ohio becoming increasingly involved with improving water quality in their state, the group was interested in learning more about how Maryland farmers became the leaders in water quality and soil conservation. Click here to read the full story. 
 

Top

  Consumers Save in the Grocery Store  
 
A market basket survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation found that a summer cookout this year will cost slightly less than last year. Americans will spend approximately $6 per person on their favorite summer foods compared to 2017. Read more here.
 

Top

  Mathias Agricultural Grants  
  Every year, Maryland agricultural businesses are invited to compete for grants to support energy efficiency projects that make their operations more competitive - and sometimes healthier, too. The Maryland Energy Administration has helped dozens of poultry operations, dairies, greenhouses, grain dryers, food processors, and more become more profitable through smart energy use. Click here to learn more  

Top

  MD Agriculture Council Educational Grants Available  
  Each year the Maryland Agriculture Council, Inc. offers an opportunity to various agencies and organizations to submit grant applications for the purpose of promoting Maryland agriculture. Typical grant amounts awarded are for $300 to $800, not to exceed $1,000. Application deadline is October 1, 2018. Click here to learn more.   

Top

  EPA Ag Updates  
  Waters of the U.S. Supplemental Proposal  
  On June 29th, EPA and the Department of Army issues a supplemental proposal to the July 2017 proposed action to repeal the 2015 definition of the "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS). This proposal clarifies that EPA is proposing to permanently repeal the 2015 Rule in its entirety and recodify the pre-2015 regulations. EPA and the Army are continuing to review the comments received on the July 2017 proposal and will be accepting public comment on the supplemental proposal for 30 days following publication in the Federal Register. Commenters do not need to resubmit comments already provided to the agency in response to the July 2017 proposal. Read more here  

Top

  National Air Emissions Monitoring Study Status Update  
  EPA posted a timeline for releasing draft methods of estimating air emissions from various Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) in response to EPA's Office of the Inspector General's September 2017 recommendation. The overarching project entails developing emission estimating methodologies for certain types of AFOs, using data collected through the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS). NAEMS was funded by the AFO industry and overseen by Purdue University as part of a 2005 voluntary air compliance agreement. EPA plans to release approximately 40 draft methodologies of various animal sector, source, and pollutant combinations on a rolling basis between September 2019 and November 2020. These methods are intended to help stakeholders better estimate AFOs' air emissions. Click here to read more  

Top

  EPA Biofuels an Environment Report  
  On June 29th, EPA released the second Biofuels and Environment report to Congress. The report focuses on the evnironmental and resource conservation impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, specifically air and water quality, water quantity, ecosystem health and biodiversity, soil quality, invasive species, and international impacts. This report is the second of EPA's report to Congress required under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Click here to learn more  

Top

  Worker Protection Standard - Training Materials and Revisions to Requirements  
  On June 14th, EPA notified the public that the Agency intends to publish in the Federal Register a notice stating that pesticide safety training materials with the expanded content required by the 2015 FIFRA Worker Protection Standard (WPS) are available for use. These updated training materials must be used 180 days after the publication of the notice in the Federal Register.  The notice of availability will be published in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184 on www.regulations.gov. The training materials with expanded content have been available at the Pesticide Education Resources Collaborative (PERC). Also, EPA plans to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking later in 2018 to solicit comments on proposed revisions to the WPS requirements for minimum ages, designated representatives, and application exclusion zones.  If the changes to the requirements are finalized, the safety training materials will be amended to reflect such changes. Until such time, all requirements are in effect.  

Top

  Upcoming Events  
  Buy Local Challenge Celebration  
  The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is excited to announce the second annual Buy Local Challenge Celebration which will be held on Monday, July 30th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian, MD. Set up farmers' market-style, the event will include over 30 vendors, food trucks featuring locally sourced menu items, live music, and carriage rides! Get your tickets here.  

Top