Edition #6: October
 
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Colby Ferguson

Director of Government & Public Relations

Pat Wolff
Senior Director of National Affairs


 
 What's Inside
State Government Relations
Federal Government Relations
Take Action!
Member Benefits






























































  State Government Relations  
  Maryland Farm Bureau Annual Convention  
 

Save-the-date! Maryland Farm Bureau Annual Convention will be held on December 4-7, 2021 featuring a new location. We look forward to seeing you at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Maryland. Registration details will be coming soon! 

 

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  Motorists and Farmers Urged to Share the Road During Harvest Season  
 

Autumn is officially here and harvest season is beginning throughout much of Maryland. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds motorists that they should expect to see an increase of slow-moving farm equipment traveling on state and rural roads. Motorists and farmers are urged to drive with caution and to share the road.

Maryland is home to 12,429 farms with about two million acres of farmland. The typical harvest season usually extends into late November. A study done by the Maryland Soybean Board found that from 2015-2018 a total of 234 car accidents involved farm vehicles/equipment, with a majority of them occurring between May-October on county and state roads due to a lack of attention. More here.

 

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  Governor Hogan Proclaims October Maryland Horse Month  
 

Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed October as Maryland Horse Month, recognizing the abundant historic, recreational, therapeutic, and economic contributions made by the state's horse industry.

"Maryland has a rich history as a leader in the horse industry, and is one of only two states to host both a Triple Crown Race in the Preakness Stakes and an international 5-Star Event, coming this year to Fair Hill," said Governor Hogan. More here.

 

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  Department Reminds Rural Marylanders to Expect an Increase in Low-Flying Planes Due to Fall Cover Crop Planting  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds citizens in rural areas to expect an increase in low-flying airplanes or helicopters through Oct. 10, 2021, due to aerial seeding for fall cover crop planting. This time of year, farmers enrolled in Maryland's Cover Crop Program are planting wheat, rye, barley, and legume seeds onto their fields to help protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and improve soil health. More here.

 

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  Applications open for MD Agriculture Council Educational Grants  
 

The Maryland Agriculture Council began awarding educational grants to organizations in 2001, for the purpose of expanding its mission to promote Maryland agriculture. Hundreds of applications have been received through the years with outstanding creative and unique programs being done on a local level. Applications are due October 30, 2021. More here.

 

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  Federal Government Relations  
  Farm Policy from the Grassroots Up  
 

For 102 years, the American Farm Bureau Federation has been The Unified Voice of Agriculture. Our unity is built from the ground up as our grassroots members set the policy priorities we advocate for here in Washington. Our policy is by farmers and for farmers, and that genuine grassroots structure sets us apart from many other groups as we meet with leaders in Congress and across the administration. Our nation's leaders know that when they meet with Farm Bureau, we are bringing the farmer and rancher voice to the table. More here. 

 

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  U.S. Farm & Biofuel Leaders to White House: Pull EPA Back From the Brink  
 

America's top biofuel and farm advocates called on the White House to take immediate action to address reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon seek to destroy demand for billions of gallons of low-carbon biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The following joint statement was issued by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Advanced Biofuels Business Council, American Soybean Association, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association:

"While a formal proposal has not been released, the expected standards would destroy a decade of progress on low-carbon biofuels and brazenly violate the promises that President Biden made to farmers, green voters, and his own allies in Congress. More here. 

 

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  AFBF, NPPC File Prop 12 Appeal to Supreme Court  
 

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council today petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take their case against California's Proposition 12, which would ban the sale of pork from hogs that don't meet the state's arbitrary production standards. The appeal to the high court comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in July upheld a lower court ruling against the NPPC-AFBF case. More here. 

 

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  Methane Fee on Agriculture Opposed by Farm Bureau  
 

There is a proposed methane fee (tax) in the House proposed Build Back Better Act (reconciliation package) that is imposed on oil and gas producers. The current bill, however, does not impose a methane fee on agriculture. Last summer, Farm Bureau worked with supportive representatives to prevent the fee from being included in the legislative proposal. Some have been incorrectly asserting that agriculture is included, causing confusion. Last week, AFBF issued a statement on the matter. More here.

 

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  RMA Makes Improvements to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection  
 

Organic and aquaculture producers can soon benefit from updates to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) plan. USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) is revising the plan of insurance to make it more flexible and accessible to producers beginning in crop year 2022. More here.

 

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  Application Period Opens for Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program  
 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for the new Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program and encourages eligible entities to apply now for funds. Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal here by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 22, 2021. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants, which are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. More here. 

 

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  FACA Encouraged by USDA Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative  
 

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) is encouraged by USDA's announcement today inviting proposals to advance voluntary climate-smart farming and forestry practices. The alliance is pleased to see USDA embracing an incentive-based approach that would increase demand for climate-smart farm, ranch and forestry products, while building trust that the climate benefits are real and verifiable. More here. 

 

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  Take Action!  
  A Quick Survey About Septics  
 

Grow & Fortify has been working with Sen. Katie Fry Hester on issues related to permitting and approvals of value-added agricultural operations on farms. The survey is anonymous and asks questions related to the installation and permitting of new or existing septic systems, and how the permitting process and associated interpretations and regulations affect the agricultural operations. Survey here. 

 

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  NASS to Send 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production Survey This Fall  
 

This October, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will mail its first Hemp Acreage and Production Survey. The survey will collect information on the total planted and harvested area, yield, production, and value of hemp in the United States.

The Domestic Hemp Production Program established in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) allows for the cultivation of hemp under certain conditions. The Hemp Acreage and Production Survey will provide needed data about the hemp industry to assist producers, regulatory agencies, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities. Survey here.

 

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  Register Today For Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference  
 

The Agriculture Law Education Initiative will hold its seventh annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference virtually Wednesday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. - noon. This unique event brings together stakeholders from Maryland's agriculture, conservation, and legal fields to focus on the network of environmental laws affecting the state's agricultural businesses. Registration for the event is $35; students can attend for free. This year's conference will feature six panels with experts discussing state and federal agricultural and environmental issues. Continuing nutrient management education credits will be available to attendees. Register here.

 

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  Member Benefits  
  Save Up to 80% on Your Prescription Medications by Using the Rx Savings Card  
 
 

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  Farm Bureau Advantage  
 

Farm Bureau members are eligible to receive $500 bonus cash. You must be a member for 30 consecutive days prior to purchase. More here! 

 

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