It is with mixed feelings that we are announcing that Ryan Zimmerman, Maryland Farm Bureau's Regional Field Manager for Central & Southern Maryland, will be departing our staff to join the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) at the University of Maryland. Ryan's last day with MDFB was on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Ryan started his career with MDFB in May of 2018 and has provided invaluable service to county Farm Bureau organizations in the western, central and southern parts of the state. We thank Ryan for his service of time and talent to helping us fulfill our mission to protect and grow Maryland agriculture and preserve rural life. We wish Ryan all the best on his new professional endeavors and will be sure to see him around as we continue to partner with ALEI on important legal issues facing the farming community in our state.
For the 24th Annual Maryland Commodity Classic, agriculture industry sponsors will be overflowing the Queen Anne's County 4-H Park on July 28th. This event has reached an all-time high in exhibiting sponsors who are ready to network with you! Registration is now open to the public. The Maryland Commodity Classic is the grain industry's largest networking and educational event in the state. The Maryland Grain Producers Association and Utilization Board work closely with the Maryland Soybean Board and Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association each year to hold a successful event.More here.
In preparation for the July primary election, the Maryland Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC) announces its endorsement of candidates for the Maryland General Assembly. Each election, the Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) PAC looks at incumbent voting records, reviews candidate questionnaires, and solicits recommendations from county Farm Bureau organizations to determine candidates who are friends of Maryland agriculture. More here.
Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 Maryland Farm Bureau Ambassador program, a scholarship and leadership development initiative for Maryland's Farm Bureau member-families. After receiving entries from the county Farm Bureaus, the state Farm Bureau will choose one female and one male ambassador to represent Maryland Farm Bureau and the importance of agriculture's role in the state from December 2022 through December 2023. Please share this application with full details with any individual you feel would make a great representative for Maryland Farm Bureau. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on September 16, 2022. More here.
Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), announced that producer permits for the control of black vulture depredation are now available, and can be obtained through MDFB. Black vultures can kill livestock young and damage property. They can work together as a "wake" and attack an animal to the point of death or need of euthanasia. As black vultures have been traced from migratory origin, they are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, and can only be lethally controlled through USFWS permits. More here.
The Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC) has announced the six participants in the Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center (CAIC)'s "Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers" program who have been awarded mini-grants by the program. "These six businesses produce interesting and marketable value-added products," said Mike Thielke, ESEC Executive Director. "The mini-grants we are awarding them will help with their marketing and communication efforts to further spread the word and educate consumers about their products." More here.
Have you nominated yourself or a fellow Maryland farmer who is an early adopter of conservation practices for the Leopold Conservation Award? The deadline is August 1. Winners receive $10,000 and a video of their farm's practices. Apply now.
Like all Americans, farmers and ranchers are facing higher prices at the pump, as well as on the farm. Growers have been facing these price increases throughout the spring as they work to plant during one of the most important crop years in recent history. Growers have expressed concerns about the availability and delivery of diesel fuel when they need it most, especially as they have faced delayed planting in many areas. The window to plant crops this year was smaller than usual, so fuel delivery needed to be timely, but it also was very expensive. More here.
The U.S. Solicitor General, one of the highest ranking officials in the Department of Justice, filed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a challenge to California's Proposition 12. The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from hogs that don't meet California's production standards, even if the pork was raised on farms outside of California. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) filed the challenge, arguing Proposition 12 violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause. More here.
Agriculture groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and National Cotton Council issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to deny the writ of certiorari petition to hear the case Monsanto v. Hardeman, which pertains to state glyphosate health warnings: "We are disappointed the Supreme Court has decided not to hear this case, which has significant implications for our global food supply and science-based regulation. With the conflict in Ukraine threatening food security around the world and the persistent dangers posed by climate change, too much is on the line to allow the emergence of an unscientific patchwork of state pesticide labels that would threaten grower access to tools needed for productive, sustainable farming."More here.
The Biden Administration announced additional steps it's taking to support U.S. farmers in their work to stabilize food prices and feed Americans and the world amidst continuing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reducing the economic risk of raising two crops on the same land in one year, making it easier for U.S. farmers to grow food in America, increase food supply, and lower food costs for American families. This action is part of a broaderset ofcommitments made earlier this year by President Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to increase domestic food production amid potential global food shortages related to the invasion of Ukraine. More here.
In August 2022, the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) will host a webinar series to discuss business structure considerations for farm entrepreneurs.A farm's business structure affects daily operations, taxes, the ability to have multiple investors, succession planning, and personal liability exposure. Farm owners should be sure they choose a business structure that gives them the right balance of legal protections and benefits according to their business goals. All are welcome to attend, however, the webinars will be particularly valuable for beginning farmers. More here.
Maryland farmers, we've got you covered! A new partnership with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation's Products Division means Maryland Farm Bureau members' farm and ranch supply needs are covered. From tillage parts and tractor tires, to grease, batteries and baler twine, your items are packed, shipped and delivered to your local dealer the next day.More here.
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