Ag Ed, Wildlife, Right to Farm Among Farmers Top Priorities

Farmers travel to Annapolis to engage representatives

Pictured left to right: Leslie Bauer, Senator Katie Fry-Hester, Howie Feaga, Kathy Johnson

February 12, 2020 – Maryland Farm Bureau held its annual Day in Annapolis Feb. 12 at the Governor Calvert House. Farmers from across the state engaged with legislators over lunch to discuss top priority issues. The event was sponsored by the Maryland Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership and Young Farmers committees.

“Our annual Day in Annapolis provides a great opportunity for our members to share their stories with lawmakers,” said Wayne Stafford, Maryland Farm Bureau President. “The strength of Farm Bureau truly comes from active and engaged grassroots members who come out to events like this and speak on the issues important to them.”

Maryland Farm Bureau members identified agricultural education, wildlife crop damage, and the right to farm as top priority issues for the year.

Agricultural Education 
Farm Bureau members support the inclusion and expansion of agricultural education programs at all school levels. Members are in support of SB 986 and HB 1487, which defines a Certified Agricultural Education program in public schools and provides grants for teachers working additional days to provide extracurricular opportunities for students.

Wildlife Management 
Maryland Farm Bureau supports increased and expanded measures to manage nuisance wildlife on agricultural lands. SB 204 and HB 4 requires licensed firearm dealers to facilitate transfers (sale, rental, loan, etc.) of firearms for a reasonable fee. Farm Bureau members voted to oppose the bill due to the limited scope of exemptions and recommended the removal of non-purchase transfers from the bill to ensure law abiding citizens are not made criminals as an unintended consequence.

Right to Farm
SB 281 and HB 336 waives fees related to the remediation of brownfields, landfills, and other contaminated properties if clean or renewable electrical generation sites are being created and they do not disturb the soil. Maryland Farm Bureau is in support of this bill.

Other issues discussed include hemp sitings, discharge permits, crop protection, greenhouse gas emissions, and sports betting.

Emily Solis

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