Edition #1: May
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Colby Ferguson

Director of Government & Public Relations

 What's Inside
Government Relations
Take Action!
Member Benefits

  Government Relations  
  MDFB Announces Trucking Forums for 2021  

Maryland Farm Bureau is hosting three farm trucking forums throughout the state in early 2021. Representatives from the Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland State Police, and Maryland Vehicle Administration will be on hand to present and answer questions. These forums will be held from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. 

- May 20th | St. Mary's County Fairgrounds 
- May 27th | Garrett Community College
- June 4th | Queen Anne's County 4-H Park

Registration will be limited to 50 guests per location! You must register ahead of time in order to attend. Register here. 



  Department Seeks Applicants for Farming for Healthy Soils Program  

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for farmers interested in enrolling their fields in the Farming for Healthy Soils program. Participating farmers will receive free technical assistance and financial incentives to help install the following soil health practices:

  • Conservation tillage;
  • Multi-species cover crops;
  • Extended season cover crops;
  • Prescribed grazing; and
  • Precision nutrient management.

More here.



  Farm Bureau Launches Farm State of Mind Resource Directory to Support Mental Health Month  

In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, the American Farm Bureau Federation launched a comprehensive, easy-to-use online directory of resources for farmers, ranchers and their families who are experiencing stress and mental health challenges.   

The directory, which is on the Farm State of Mind website, features listings for crisis hotlines and support lines, counseling services, training opportunities, podcasts, videos, published articles and other resources in every U.S. state and Puerto Rico. Listings for crisis support, counseling and behavioral health resources that are available nationwide are also included. More here.



  Cost-Share Funding Now Available to Assist Farmers with Poultry Manure Storage  

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced new cost-share assistance for the installation of satellite storage facilities on farms using poultry manure to improve soil health for crop production. Beginning May 1, 2021, Maryland farmers receiving manure from producers in qualifying areas can apply for grants to cover up to 87.5% of construction costs. More here. 



  F3 Tech Opens Applications for Accelerator Program Focusing on AgTech  

F3 Tech, a leading commercialization program for early-stage companies, is looking for innovations in the agriculture, aquaculture and energy storage sectors to participate in its 4th Accelerator Program. Startups and early-stage companies within alternative feed, energy storage, crop health, advanced chemical discovery and agricultural biotech solutions are the focus for this year's Accelerator and encouraged to apply. More here. 



  Take Action!  
  Fiscal Year 2022 Grant Application Process Now Open  

The Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) and the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) grant application process for FY2022 is now open. More here. 



  USDA Launches 2021 Agricultural Resource Management Survey  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is collecting data from farmers and ranchers for its annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The survey looks at all aspects of U.S. agricultural production, the well-being of farm households, farm finances, chemical usage, and various farm production characteristics. The survey also collects detailed information on production practices, costs, and returns for different commodities on a rotating basis. In 2021, the survey will take a closer look at corn, rice, dairy and organic dairy production in the United States. More here. 



  Protect Stepped-Up Basis for American Family Farms!  

Proposed legislation in Congress would tax capital gains at death and eliminate stepped-up basis as a way to raise revenue for government spending. This would be devastating to American agriculture.

  • Many farmers and ranchers hold assets such as land for decades, passed on from generation to generation.
  • Stepped-up basis is a process that allows a farmer to pay capital gains taxes only on a property's increase in value since the time that land was inherited, instead of paying the full increase in value since it was purchased by a deceased relative.
  • In addition, the tax on the new stepped-up value is deferred until property is sold by the surviving family member.

Take action!



  Member Benefits  
  Member Savings Advantage  

Maryland Farm Bureau members now have access to nearly 300,000 discounts nationwide through Member Savings Advantage! Sign up today and start saving on dining, recreation, auto, health & beauty, home & garden, cruises, airfare, and more! More here.