Maryland boasts 12,300 farms that cover 2,030,000 million acres. In 2014, sales of farm and ranch products contributed $2,661,687,000 to the state’s economy. The farm bill touches everyone in Maryland in numerous ways. It is targeted to farmers and ranchers, used to support infrastructure and economic development in rural communities, incentivizes maintenance of good conservation practices and helps provide access to food for those less fortunate and breakfasts and lunches for school children. Click here to read more.
A workgroup of leaders within Maryland Farm Bureau (MFB) drafted recommendations for the future in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland (UMD). The workgroup product was endorsed by the MFB Board of Directors in August and delivered to Dr. Craig Beyrouty, the College’s new Dean as of November 1, 2015.
The Agriculture Law Education Initiative recently launched an Infoline phone number for the agricultural community. The Infoline phone number will direct callers to legal information resources related to their agricultural operation. The Infoline, (410) 706-7377, is currently answered by staff at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
“A central goal of the initiative is to assist in the preservation of family farms. The Infoline will help link family farmers with useful resources to further this goal,” said Barbara Gontrum, associate dean at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
“This important step is a testament to our sincerity in providing resources and guidance for Maryland’s agriculture community,” said Dr. Moses Kairo, dean of the UMES School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences. “The Infoline will be another tool for the Maryland agricultural community to access legal information to guide them in managing their operations.”
Dr. Cheng-i Wei, dean and director of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, notes that “the Infoline will be a valuable resource to the Maryland agricultural community. By being able to connect callers with legal information, it will help agricultural producers better understand their legal issues.”
In 2011, the Maryland General Assembly gave the University System of Maryland a new assignment: preserve Maryland’s family farms by helping their owners address the complicated legal issues associated with agricultural estates and trusts, regulatory compliance and other agricultural law issues. The Infoline will run as an initial six-month pilot to gauge its effectiveness in serving Maryland’s agriculture community. To learn more about the Agriculture Law Education Initiative, visit www.umaglaw.org.
The Agriculture Law Education Initiative is a collaboration under University of Maryland: MPowering the State. The Initiative combines the expertise and efforts of three Maryland institutions – the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), and the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES). It is committed to providing Maryland farmers with the information they need to prosper while complying with the complex network of laws and policies protecting the integrity of the state’s food system and environment.