Edition #1: April
 
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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
Upcoming Events
Member Benefits




























































  State Government Relations  
  Maryland Value-Added Producer Matching Grants Now Available from MARBIDCO  
 

The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) has announced a grant funding opportunity to encourage Maryland's agricultural producers to engage in value-added activities and pursue financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Value-Added Producer Grants Program (USDA-VAPG). The USDA-VAPG is a highly competitive nationwide grants program with approximately $19.75 million available for distribution in 2022. More here.

 

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  Department Releases Report on Maryland's Healthy Soils Program  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Maryland's Soil Health Advisory Committee, has released its recommendations for Maryland's Healthy Soils Program. The recommendations include strategies to advance adoption of on-farm soil health practices that increase carbon sequestration, improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and increase on-farm profitability. More here. 

 

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  Protect Local Waterways by Following Maryland's Lawn Fertilizer Law  
 

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds homeowners to follow Maryland's Lawn Fertilizer Law while doing yard work this spring. Fertilizer products containing nitrogen and phosphorus may be applied to lawns beginning March 1 as long as the ground is not hard frozen or snow-covered, and heavy rain is not expected. More here.

 

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  Summer 2022 Hughes Center Internship Opportunity  
 

The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. (Hughes Center) is seeking undergraduate student applicants interested in working as an intern on a project that will require extensive research related to agriculture, urbanization, land use, food systems, and policies in Maryland over a 20-year period. This internship is part of a five-year $9 million project, "Thriving Agricultural Systems in Urbanized Landscapes" funded by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). More here. 

 

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  Fiscal Year 2023 Grant Information Sessions  
 

The Rural Maryland Council is excited to get back on the road this Spring to host four FY2023 grant information sessions across the State. These information sessions are important opportunities for participants to meet RMC staff and learn about the Council's two grant programs - the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF). An information session will be presented by Zoom teleconference for those who cannot join in-person. More here. 

 

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  Leopold Conservation Award  
 

The Leopold Conservation Award Program recognizes agricultural landowners actively committed to a land ethic. Sand County Foundation, national sponsor American Farmland Trust and several prominent state conservation partners present the prestigious honor, which consists of $10,000 and a crystal award, in settings that showcase the landowners' achievements among their peers. More here.

 

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  Ag Law Coordinator Position Available  
 

This is a 12-month, 100% FTE appointment, renewable annually and contingent on available funds. The position will facilitate activities for the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI), a collaboration among the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at College Park, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, and the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at UMES. This position is based on the University of Maryland College Park campus. This position works closely with the ALEI Working Group and Leadership Committee. More here.

 

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  Federal Government Relations  
  AFBF Appreciates Bipartisan Effort on Ocean Shipping Reform Act  
 

"AFBF appreciates the unanimous vote in the Senate to pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. Farmers have lost out on up to $4 billion in agricultural exports because of lack of access to export containers, record shipping costs and harmful surcharges. Limited trade has also hampered farmers' ability to get crucial supplies like fertilizer at a time when supply chains are already stressed. AFBF encourages lawmakers from both chambers to work quickly to reconcile differences in each version of the legislation and get it to the president for his signature, so farmers can continue putting dinner on the table for families in America and overseas." More here.

 

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  New Study Shows 29% of American Jobs Tied to Food and Agriculture  
 

Thirty food and agriculture groups released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report, a historic farm-to-fork economic analysis revealing how these sectors influence the local and broader United States economies. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's study highlights how the industries remained resilient to provide Americans with jobs, economic opportunity and safe food. The report's findings show that 7% of the nation's economy and 29% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. More here. 

 

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  Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Application Deadline Approaching  
 

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is seeking entrepreneurs to apply online for the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Now in its ninth year, this national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies developing innovative solutions to challenges faced by America's farmers, ranchers and rural communities. More here.

 

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  White-Reinhardt Grants  
 

The White-Reinhardt Grant Program funds projects that will increase agricultural literacy. County and state Farm Bureaus may apply for $1,000 grants for education programs for grades K-12 in order to initiate new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs. Organizations and individual schools can work with their local Farm Bureaus to apply. Grants are available on a competitive basis. More here. 

 

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  Upcoming Events  
  Western Maryland Farm Trucking Forum  
 

Washington County Farm Bureau is hosting a western Maryland farm trucking forum in early May. Representatives from the Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland State Police, Maryland Vehicle Administration, and Nationwide will be on hand to present and answer questions. This event will be held on Tuesday, May 10 at 9:00 AM at the Washington County Agriculture Education Center in the multipurpose building. Register here. 

 

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  Member Benefits  
  Caterpillar: Earn Rewards When Gassing Up  
 

Your savings on Cat® products don't end with Farm Bureau's discounts of up to $5,000 on equipment purchases. The Great Payback program converts your machine's fuel cost estimates into credit for parts, service, and rentals. More here.

 

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