Edition #4: August
 
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Colby Ferguson

Director of Government & Public Relations

Pat Wolff
Senior Director of National Affairs


 
 What's Inside
Government Relations
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  Government Relations  
  Maryland Farm Bureau Hires National Legislative Director  
 

Maryland Farm Bureau is pleased to welcome Pat Wolff, retired American Farm Bureau legislative veteran, as its senior director of national affairs. Wolff will join Colby Ferguson, director of government and public relations, who will focus on the state level. Together they will coordinate advocacy plans and key relationships. More here.
 

 

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  Department Accepting Nominations for Governor's Agriculture Hall of Fame  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting nominations of farmers and farm families for the Governor's Agriculture Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the state's leading industry. Nominations are due by Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Those selected for induction will be honored during the "Taste of Maryland Agriculture" event on Feb. 3, 2022. More here. 

 

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  High-Priority Agricultural Conservation Practices Now Available for 100% Cost-Share Grants  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced that over 20 high-priority agricultural conservation practices are now eligible for cost-share funding of up to 100% through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program. Installation of these practices by farmers will help Maryland meet its 2025 Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals. More here. 

 

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  Maryland Value Added Producer Grants for Capital Equipment Now Available From MARBIDCO  
 

The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) has announced a grant incentive funding opportunity to encourage Maryland's agricultural producers to expand or diversify their business operations by installing capital assets (equipment and fixtures) to make a product that is "value added." Eligible applicants must be a crop or livestock producer or processor, agricultural cooperative, seafood processor, or primary or secondary timber products processor, and have been in business for a minimum of two years. More here. 

 

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  MidAtlantic Farm Credit Announces Young, Beginning, and/or Small Farmer Webinar Resource Series  
 

MidAtlantic Farm Credit recently announced a three-part webinar resource series from August 24-26, 2021 for young, beginning, and/or small (YBS) farmers.   

"We recognize that young, beginning, and small farmers have big dreams and plans for their future," says Stuart Cooper, Sr. Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of MidAtlantic Farm Credit. "These webinars will cover the basics of what it takes to run a successful farming operation and how to navigate some of the confusing financial items surrounding an agricultural business." More here. 

 

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  USDA to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers for Animal Losses  
 

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) in [recorded] remarks at the National Pork Industry Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The announcement is part of USDA's Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021. More here. 

 

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  Some Positive News in Second Quarter Preliminary GDP Report  
 

Let's move away from the inflation discussion for a bit and turn, instead, to the recently released preliminary report on second-quarter 2021 gross domestic product. The headline number of 6.5% growth in real terms was a little below analyst's expectations of over 8% but was still excellent by most other standards. This becomes even more evident when taking the headline apart. More here. 

 

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  Biden Administration to Invest $67 Million to Help Heirs Resolve Land Ownership and Succession Issues  
 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced during a press conference with U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., and U.S. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs' Property Relending Program (HPRP), which aims to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs' land ownership and succession issues. Intermediary lenders - cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofit organizations - can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency (FSA) opens the two-month signup window in late August. More here. 

 

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  Take Action!  
  Leopold Conservation Award - Call for Applications Maryland 2021  
 

We've partnered with the Sand County Foundation to award one Maryland farmer $10,000 for dedication to ethical land, water and wildlife habitat. Apply for the Leopold Conservation Award before Aug. 31, 2021. More here. 

 

 

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  Upcoming Events  
  ALEI August Webinar Series on Branding Strategies, Highlighting Local BIPOC Farmers  
 

In August 2021, ALEI will host a three-part webinar series to discuss branding strategies for farmers, "Harnessing Your Farm's Story to Build a Successful Farm Brand." These webinars will revisit topics covered in the Legal Guide to Direct Farm Marketing for Maryland Specialty Crop Growers, which was published in December 2020 by ALEI team members Sarah Everhart and Margaret Todd. More here. 

 

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  EPA Opens Stakeholder Registration on New WOTUS Definition Roundtable Series - Limited Spots  
 

EPA opened registration for stakeholders to tell EPA their views and recommendations as the agency crafts a new definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS). We encourage anyone that is interested in speaking to register as soon as possible, as slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, and it is possible that other advocacy groups may try to quickly fill the spots with their own preferred speakers. Register here. 

 

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  Member Benefits  
  Have you used your Grainger Member Benefit?  
 

Now more than ever, you need easy access to dependable products that help keep your business running. See the benefits of shopping with Grainger as a Farm Bureau member here.

Go to 'My Lists' to see the special prices on Key Suppliers. All orders come with free shipping (details and restrictions apply; see website for details). It pays to be a Farm Bureau member! 

 

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  Make Your Summer Easier  
 

This summer, stay comfortable while moving hay with an air-conditioned cab in your Case IH tractor! With your Farm Bureau membership, you can get the savings you deserve and the support you need Receive $200-$500 off your next dependable Case IH purchase with your Farm Bureau discount. More here. #FBPays 

 

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