Author: Amber Pearson

Two Maryland Fire Departments Will Keep Farm Workers Safer, Thanks to Nationwide

Nationwide® continues to be on the farmer’s side with mindful concern about their safety, augmenting the protection they provide through insurance and other services. This month Nationwide awarded 48 fire departments in the U.S. with grain rescue tubes and training, which can help save farm workers who may become entrapped in grain bins. Winners included two Maryland fire departments.  

In a national contest with more than 1,000 applicants, Nationwide® in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), awarded fire departments based on nominations. Applications stated why the tube and training is needed in their area, and how they could help their neighboring fire departments if they won.

In Maryland, the Friendsville Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department in Friendsville and the Willards Volunteer Fire Department in Willards won. Regionally, other winners included:

  • Cambridge Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Cambridge Springs, PA
  • Camden-Wyoming Fire Company, Camden, DE
  • Citizens Volunteer Fire Company, Fawn Grove, PA
  • Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department, Edinboro, PA
  • Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company, Holtwood, PA.

NECAS, based out of Peosta, Iowa, will deliver the rescue tubes and training to the winning agencies throughout 2021, traveling to each location with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators and rescue tubes. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each. 

According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported in the past 50 years with a fatality rate of 62%. In 2020, grain entrapments led to 20 deaths.

Maryland Farm Bureau is proud to be a supporter of this program. With 2021 donations included, Nationwide® and partners have supplied these resources to 200 departments across 30 states. At least four fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped workers.

Learn more here at Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, a key piece of Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign.

Nominate your fire department to win a grain bin rescue tube

Rural fire fighters are often the first and only line of defense when someone becomes helplessly trapped in grain. Unfortunately, many fire departments lack the specialized rescue techniques and equipment necessary for a successful grain bin rescue.

In conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week (third full week of February), Nationwide teams up with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS)KC Supply1 and others to award emergency first responders with grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to help save lives.

What you can win

Winning entries will be awarded:

  • One (1) grain rescue tube, valued between $3,000 to $5,000
  • One (1) six-hour grain entrapment rescue training session, at winner’s location, valued at up to $5,000

Winners and prizes are made possible by the generosity of our partners. Learn how you can partner with us to help save lives.

The annual grain bin rescue tube contest begins January 1st of each year

The contest begins on January 1 at 8:00 a.m. CT and extends through April 30 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Only entries submitted during this time will be considered for the contest.

To enter, describe how your local fire department or emergency rescue team and community would benefit from grain entrapment training and a rescue tube, and how the tube and training could be shared with nearby departments. Please include:

  • Your name
  • Occupation
  • Phone number
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Name, address and phone number of the fire department or rescue team nomination

Nominations are accepted from the general public as well as from fire fighters who wish to nominate their own fire department. Employees and agents of Nationwide are not eligible to submit nominations for the contest.

Submit your entry during the contest: 

Limit one (1) entry per person, per email address and per household or department

Abbreviated rules

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Open to legal residents of the contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. Void where prohibited. Enter Contest by: 4/30/22. Contest ends: 4/30/22. See Official Rules and prize descriptions.

Sponsor: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, 1100 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50391.

Contest history

Since 2014, the contest has received over 5,000 nominations and has awarded grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to over 207 fire departments in over 31 states. Five of the tubes have been used to save the lives of five farmers.

Dan Neenan, director of NECAS, travels with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube to the winning locations to conduct the training session. Loaded on a 20-foot trailer and able to hold approximately 100 bushels of grain, the simulator is the perfect training ground1.

As part of 2020’s event, Nationwide joined forces with Corteva Agriscience and hosted an event in Peosta, IA. Dan Neenan, director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), conducted a live grain engulfment simulation and rescue demonstration. He submerged Marji Guyler-Alaniz, TV host and FarmHer® founder, in grain up to her waist — demonstrating for the audience how the tubes are used to extract someone who’s trapped in a grain bin. The event was live streamed on Facebook and received more than 782,000 views.

1Alternate training organizations utilizing similar training methods may be used. https://www.mynsightonline.com/libraries/sites/1/assets/RMT%20PDFs/GBSW21%20Contest%20Rules%20(1).pdf

Tax Proposals Put Future of American Farms at Risk

Tax Proposals Put Future of American Farms at Risk


WASHINGTON, September 8, 2021 – The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with 46 state Farm Bureaus and 280 organizations representing family-owned agribusinesses, sent a letter today to congressional leaders urging them to leave important tax policies in place as they draft legislation implementing President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. The letter addresses four key tax provisions that make it possible for farmers and ranchers to survive and pass their businesses on to the next generation: estate taxes, stepped-up basis, 199A small business deduction and like-kind exchanges.

“The policies Congress enacts now will determine agricultural producers’ ability to secure affordable land to start or expand their operations,” the letter states. “Regardless of whether a business has already been passed down through multiple generations or is just starting out, the key to their longevity is a continued ability to transition when a family member or business partner dies. For this reason, we firmly believe the current federal estate tax code provisions must be maintained.”

These tools are as crucial as ever as the number of farmers and ranchers 65 and older outnumber those 35 and under by a four-to-one margin. More than 370 million acres are expected to change hands in the next two decades.

“As the economic backbone of nearly every county and rural community across the U.S., the importance of American agriculture and related industries cannot be overlooked,” the letter continues. “Farmers, ranchers, and family-owned agribusiness operators are responsible for producing the safe, affordable, and abundant food, fiber, and fuel supplies Americans enjoy every day. As the stewards of nearly 900 million acres of crop and rangeland, farmers and ranchers play an important role in terms of natural resource and land conservation. For agricultural producers, carrying on the legacy of our predecessors and setting the next generation up for success is critically important.”

Read the full letter here.

 

Contacts:
Mike Tomko
Office (202) 406-3642
Cell (410) 445-8829
miket@fb.org

Bailey Corwine
Office (202) 406-3643
Cell (785) 409-2050
baileyc@fb.org

FOUR FINALISTS SELECTED FOR MARYLAND LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD

FOUR FINALISTS SELECTED FOR
MARYLAND LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD

WASHINGTON, October 18, 2021 – Four finalists have been selected for the 2021 Maryland Leopold Conservation Award®.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious award recognizes farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working lands.

In Maryland, the Leopold Conservation Award is presented by Sand County Foundation with state partners Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Association of Conservation Districts, and Maryland Farm Bureau Inc. Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award in 23 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

The finalists are:

  • Ordinary Point Farm of Earleville in Cecil County: Frances Bayard’s grain farm along the Chesapeake Bay utilizes cover crops, precision agriculture technology, grassed waterways, crop rotations, and no-till practices to promote soil health and water quality. These conservation practices reduce inputs while maximizing yield. Woodlands and restored shoreline along the Sassafras River provide wildlife habitat.
  • Persimmon Tree Farm of Westminster in Carroll County: At Carolyn Krome’s horse farm, pastures are managed to avoid erosion and over-grazing. Warm season grasses are kept vibrant with prescribed burns. Restored wetlands and streambanks provide wildlife habitat. Five acres of wildflowers are regularly weeded and maintained to attract insect pollinators. Krome has created a showcase for how horse farms can embrace conservation.
  • Rich Levels Grain, Inc. of Galena in Cecil and Kent counties: Twin brothers Allen and Olin Davis are grain and poultry farmers who were early adopters of cover crops. To reduced erosion and compaction, they used aerial planting of cover crops into a double crop soybean system. They’ve also demonstrated the benefits of energy-efficient grain dryers, and adapted to meet stringent rules for managing flock health, and raising birds without antibiotics.
  • Persistence Creek Farm of Faulkner in Charles County: Kevin Warring implements a range of conservation practices at a farm that produces grain, seafood and timber. Riparian buffers were installed to capture nutrients from crop fields, improve water quality and provide nesting habitat for wildlife. Other improvements include planting monarch habitat, tree and shrub plantings, streambank stabilization, and cover crops planted on all fields.

Earlier this year, Maryland landowners were encouraged to apply (or be nominated) for the award. Applications were reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. The award recipient will be recognized at the Maryland Farm Bureau Annual Convention later this year.

The recipient receives a $10,000 award, and the conservation success found on their farm, ranch or forest will be featured in a professional video.

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”

“As the national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of the Maryland award finalists,” said John Piotti, AFT President and Chief Executive Officer. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”

The Leopold Conservation Award is given to farmers, ranchers and forestland owners across the U.S. in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

The Maryland Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Sand County Foundation, Maryland Farm Bureau Inc., Maryland Association of Conservation Districts, Maryland Department of Agriculture, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Delmarva Chicken Association, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Conservancy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, ShoreRivers, and The Nature Conservancy.

# # #

LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM

The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.org

THE KEITH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment’s mission in the Chesapeake Bay Region is to improve water quality and ecological balance in the Bay and its rivers, as a healthy bay fosters a vibrant regional economy and provides exceptional recreational opportunities and a better quality of life. The Foundation provides approximately $7 million in funding through more than 150 grants annually, and has been funding in the region since 1998. www.campbellfoundation.org

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 12,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS serves as the voice of Maryland’s 24 soil and water conservation districts on state legislative issues. It also provides a forum for training, policy-making and the exchange of information at their annual and quarterly gatherings. Its mission is to promote practical and effective soil, water, and related natural resources programs to all citizens through individual conservation districts on a voluntary bases through leadership, education, cooperation and local direction.

SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION

Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. www.sandcountyfoundation.org

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org

Contacts:
Amber Pearson
Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
Office: (573) 268-6853
amber@tsncommunications.com 

Jen Nelson
Maryland Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 
Office: (302) 353-9733
jen.nelson@resourcesmartllc.com

Casey Langan
Sand County Foundation 
Office: (608) 663-4605 ext. 32 
clangan@sandcountyfoundation.org 

Persistence Creek Farm Receives First Maryland Leopold Conservation Award

Persistence Creek Farm Receives First Maryland
Leopold Conservation Award

December 6, 2021 – Persistence Creek Farm of Faulkner has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Maryland Leopold Conservation Award®.

Kevin and Lauren Warring’s Persistence Creek Farm is a grain, seafood and timber business in Charles County. The Warrings were presented with the $10,000 award at the Maryland Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention in Cambridge on December 6.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners in 23 states for land, water, and wildlife habitat management. In Maryland, the award is presented with Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Association of Conservation Districts, and Maryland Farm Bureau Inc.

“The diversity of conservation and production practices on the Warrings’ farm elevates the sustainability conversation,” said John Torres, Maryland Farm Bureau Executive Director. “Not only are they protecting the land and waterways, but with the various things they produce (grain, seafood and timber), it harkens back to a time when many had to produce whatever they needed to sustain themselves. The Warrings, who we are proud to call longtime members, are helping to meet the needs of themselves and others, all while protecting our vital natural resources for future generations to do the same.”

“The management decisions farmers make daily not only impact our food supply, but our environment,” said Samantha Campbell, Campbell Foundation  President. “Farmers are essential partners who are too often not commended for the stewardship they provide. We are very pleased to present this award to the Warring family in recognition of their leadership in both agricultural production and advancing practices that benefit the natural world.”

“The Warring family has an admirable legacy of stewardship,” said Bruce Yerkes, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts President. “MASCD joins our partner organizations in recognizing all of the conservation efforts on their farm, as well as their important voice in sharing their story through farm tours and media outlets.”

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”

“As the national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of the Persistence Creek Farm,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”

Earlier this year, Maryland landowners were encouraged to apply (or be nominated) for the award. Applications were reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. Among the outstanding Maryland landowners nominated for the award were finalists Ordinary Point Farm of Earleville in Cecil County, Persimmon Tree Farm of Westminster in Carroll County, and Rich Levels Grain, Inc., in Cecil and Kent counties. 

The Leopold Conservation Award is given to farmers, ranchers and forestland owners across the U.S. in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

The Maryland Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Association of Conservation Districts, Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc., Sand County Foundation, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Delmarva Chicken Association, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Conservancy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, ShoreRivers, and The Nature Conservancy.    

ABOUT PERSISTENCE CREEK FARM
When Kevin and Lauren Warring bought their farm in 2009, they set out to leave it better than they found it. Their Persistence Creek Farm has become a confluence of how farming, fishing and forestry businesses can benefit natural resources.  

Healthier soil leads to higher crop yields. Cleaner water leads to higher crab and oyster populations. Agricultural conservation practices are good for the bottom line and natural resources. 

The Warrings take soil seriously. They annually rotate crops of corn, soybean and sorghum to sustain soil fertility. They use no-till or minimum tillage on all fields to reduce run-off. Cover crops are planted on all fields to protect soil microorganisms. Nutrient management plans and annual soil tests minimize fertilizer inputs, and maximize yields by tailoring a crop’s nutrient needs. 

To enhance wildlife habitat and maintain productive forests, the Warrings have utilized financial assistance from the federal Conservation Stewardship Program, and technical guidance from a forester from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. By following a custom forestry plan, thinning acres of forestland has increased timber growth rates for future harvests, while boosting biodiversity and providing wildlife with food and cover.

Acres of shrubs, maple, pine and oak trees have been planted to reduce streambank erosion. Riparian herbaceous buffers that stretch 50 feet on each side of Ross Branch stream, capture nutrients from crop fields, improve water quality, and provide nesting habitat for wildlife.

Two acres of ponds and wetlands provide habitat for frogs, ducks and deer. Food plots of white clover, sunflowers, corn, and soybeans are planted annually. A self-described “flower geek,” Kevin has planted five acres of wildflowers and native grasses in prairie strips to attract Monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators.

A stream-crossing project involved re-sloping banks and installing concrete footers and riprap to reduce erosion. The long-term health of the Potomac and Wicomico rivers has been improved by the more than 100 million spat on shell (baby oysters) the Warrings have helped plant since 2014.

Kevin and his father Francis are both active members of the Charles County Waterman’s Association, which provides public and legislative outreach on fishery regulations. Both have served as associate supervisors for the Charles Soil Conservation District. Kevin’s parents Francis and Joyce have their own farm just 10 miles from Persistence Creek Farm.

Persistence Creek Farm’s enrollment into a perpetual conservation easement permanently preserves its future use for agriculture and forestry, and limits housing or mining development.

Kevin, who has degrees in physics and economics, helped re-establish an FFA chapter in Charles County. The active Farm Bureau member has hosted farm tours for schools and legislators, and appeared on a national conservation-themed podcast.

Kevin also serves as a guide for youth hunting deer, turkey and waterfowl. He shows these hunters and their parents how conservation practices benefit wildlife.

Like Aldo Leopold before him, Kevin teaches others that wildlife is a natural resource that must be managed to ensure its long-term sustainability. He’s also a believer in the inherent land ethic that Leopold first wrote about.

Kevin says the day he and Lauren signed the farm’s deed was a dream come true. Yet he’s quick to note they are just temporary caretakers. He says visible reminders of this are the arrowheads their children frequently find buried across the fields of Persistence Creek Farm.

# # #

LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.org

SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION 
Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. www.sandcountyfoundation.org

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST 
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org

THE KEITH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment’s mission in the Chesapeake Bay Region is to improve water quality and ecological balance in the Bay and its rivers, as a healthy bay fosters a vibrant regional economy and provides exceptional recreational opportunities and a better quality of life. The Foundation provides approximately $7 million in funding through more than 150 grants annually, and has been funding in the region since 1998. www.campbellfoundation.org

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 12,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS serves as the voice of Maryland’s 24 soil and water conservation districts on state legislative issues. It also provides a forum for training, policy-making and the exchange of information at their annual and quarterly gatherings. Its mission is to promote practical and effective soil, water, and related natural resources programs to all citizens through individual conservation districts on a voluntary bases through leadership, education, cooperation and local direction. www.mascd.net

Contacts:
Amber Pearson
Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
Office: (573) 268-6853
amber@tsncommunications.com 

Jen Nelson
Maryland Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 
Office: (302) 353-9733
jen.nelson@resourcesmartllc.com

Casey Langan
Sand County Foundation 
Office: (608) 663-4605 ext. 32 
clangan@sandcountyfoundation.org 

Maryland Farm Bureau Meets with Governor Hogan

Maryland Farm Bureau Meets with Governor Hogan
Organization shares its top concerns on agriculture in Maryland

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (March 28, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) board directors, committee members and staff were honored to meet with Governor Larry Hogan and his key agriculture cabinet last week for their annual fireside chat to discuss how policies affect farmers in the state.

MDFB’s representatives shared their top concerns on topics like the agricultural scrap tire recycling program and Agricultural Education. These issues, among others, require policies that allow farmers to produce food in the most efficient way that also keeps the land, waterways and air healthy.

“We want to thank Governor Hogan for giving the farming community a seat at the table for the past seven years,” said John Draper, MDFB first vice president. “With him keeping his campaign promise to end the war on rural Maryland and agriculture, we have been blessed to have the support of our governor.”

The organization expressed the need for additional funds to be added to this year’s budget to cover the cost of its tire recycling program through the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). MDE and the Maryland Environmental Service are offering the tire recycling program to seven counties this spring. The agriculture community is seeking funding to expand the program to the remaining 16 counties.

MDFB representatives spoke to Governor Hogan about the importance of Ag Education in Maryland’s public schools, with a hopeful expansion into middle schools. With the incorporation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation starting to take effect, MDFB hopes to see Ag Education remain part of Career Technology Education, but also become part of the overall approved science curriculum.

The board also thanked Governor Hogan and his administration for the various programs and assistance they have offered over the last seven years to help farmers combat the economic damage to crops due to wildlife, namely deer. “More is still needed, but it has been very nice to have an administration willing to help us find ways to address wildlife damage,” said Billy Bishoff, MDFB District 1 director.

The MDFB delegation addressed the recent avian flu concern and biosecurity restrictions on the use of chicken litter as a low-cost and readily available form of fertilizer for this growing season; the need to reinstate the meat inspection program at the Maryland Department of Agriculture; and supporting the expansion of urban agriculture.

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

Maryland Farm Bureau Discusses Legislative Wins

Maryland Farm Bureau Discusses Legislative Wins
Group Was Able to Stop Bills Harmful to Agriculture

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (April 18, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) followed 139 bills during the 2022 General Assembly, which ended this week. Of those, MDFB supported 65 — on issues like wildlife damage to crops; supporting urban agriculture; and right-to-repair farm implements — and opposed 19. Of the 65 supported, 29 passed. Of the 19 opposed, only three passed and all three were significantly amended to either remove MDFB’s opposition or lessen the impact to farmers. 

“The 2022 legislative session has been interesting, to say the least,” said Colby Ferguson, MDFB director of government and public relations. “It all started with a December special session to review and vote on a new congressional district map — which caused some changes this year to the process of setting policy — and ended with many wins for Maryland farmers.”

During the session, MDFB held a virtual Day in Annapolis where Farm Bureau members discussed priority bills with legislators and met with Governor Larry Hogan. Here are the results of those bills: 

Bills supported by MDFB:

  • HB558/SB296: Adding “farm camping” to the agritourism state definition. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB855/SB942: Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Program. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB562: Right-to-Repair – Farm Equipment. Bill died in committee.
  • HB1216: Urban Agriculture Grant Program. Bill died on the Senate floor on Sin E Die.
  • HB1002/SB800: Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Farm Electricity. Both bills died in the House committee.
  • HB592/SB497: Deer management permits on state-owned land statewide. House bill passed and awaits the Governor’s signature.
  • HB682/SB427: Baltimore County groundhog hunting permit exemption. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB956/SB582: Landowner liability exemption for allowing hunting. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.

Bills opposed by MDFB:

  • HB11:  RPS Tier 1 renewables – removal of biomass energy. Bill died in committee.
  • HB387/SB268: Transfer of the regulation of pesticides from MDA to MDE. Both bills died in committee.
  • HB596/SB783: Environmental rights – Constitutional Amendment. Both bills died in committee.
  • HB798: Community Healthy Air Act. Bill died in committee.
  • HB496/SB275: Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. Both bills passed but were amended to exempt employers of less than 15 employees and employees that work less than 680 hours annually.

“During the 2022 legislative session, Maryland Farm Bureau worked diligently to ensure the voice of our members was heard as we worked to protect and grow Maryland agriculture and preserve rural life,” said Ferguson. 

The total number of bills introduced this session in Maryland was 1,487 House bills and 1,011 Senate bills.

MDFB members are invited to its annual Day in Annapolis and given weekly legislative updates or calls-to-action during session. Visit members.mdfarmbureau.com for membership information.

# # #

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)

573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

Maryland Farm Bureau Facilitates Black Vulture Control Permits

Maryland Farm Bureau Facilitates Black Vulture Control Permits
Black vulture depredation and damage harms Maryland farms

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (April 28, 2022) — 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.

USFWS and MDFB suggest trying non-lethal means to manage black vultures first, but know that the loss of livestock young, among other damage, affects Maryland farmers’ bottom lines. The wakes of black vultures often target the soft tissue, like eyes, noses and tongues, of their prey.

“Unlike turkey vultures, black vultures will actually attack live, young or weak animals, such as lambs, calves and piglets, usually working as a group,” said Tyler Hough, Eastern Shore regional manager of MDFB. “This goes beyond an annoyance and is not only sad, but damaging to profits. We have been given the authority by USFWS to help expedite the process for farmers to get the vulture control producer permits. This should help reduce costs to farmers, as well.”

Producer permits will be issued to livestock operations only. Applications will be scored based on past livestock losses, number of livestock on the applicant’s farming operation, number of black vulture roosts and birds in the immediate vicinity, and the county ranking of livestock. A maximum of three “takes” may be issued to an approved applicant and will be determined by the application score. Applicants must agree to follow all rules and regulations required by USFWS in the MDFB statewide permit.

You must be a livestock producer to qualify for the producer permits. Producers in need may request a producer permit application by emailing Tyler Hough at though@marylandfb.org or by calling 410-922-3426, ext. 320.

“There are legal methods of removing black vultures, but they are limited,” said Hough. “Things like harassment, habitat clean-up and livestock management can serve as a first line of defense.”

These practices include:

  • Harassment – horns, pyrotechnics, propane cannons, effigies.
  • Habitat modification – removal of roost trees.
  • Animal husbandry – moving livestock away from aggressive birds.

Producers experiencing extensive depredation issues or having large black vulture roosts on their property are encouraged to reach out to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services to review the conflict and to develop a comprehensive management plan.

The permits will be valid through January 31, 2023, and must be renewed annually. It is against federal law to kill a black vulture without a federally issued permit.

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MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

Maryland Farm Bureau Announces Scholarship Winners

Maryland Farm Bureau Announces Scholarship Winners
Recipients focus on future careers in the ag community

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (May 26, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau is proud to announce some future leaders in agriculture representing farming backgrounds, by way of its scholarship recipients of 2022. Three scholarships were awarded to Maryland students pursuing academic degrees in food, agriculture and/or natural resources disciplines, and two scholarships were awarded to students pursuing degrees in other academic disciplines or minoring in food, agriculture, and/or natural resources.

The five scholarships, each valued at $2,000, were awarded to Rosalie McGuirk of Bel Air, Mackenzie Ridenour of Hagerstown, Marissa Roberts of Taneytown, Courtney Schrader of Earleville, and Lynne Thomas of Fallston. Recipients or their parents/guardians are members of Maryland Farm Bureau. Selection was made by a scholarship committee designated by Maryland Farm Bureau.

Applicants were required to write an essay answering the following question: Studies show more farmers and farm families are experiencing stress and mental health issues. What can farmers, ranchers and Farm Bureau do to proactively promote good mental health in both themselves and their communities?

“Maryland Farm Bureau is excited to support up-and-coming contributors to agricultural communities,” said Wayne Stafford, Maryland Farm Bureau president. “We know these student members, or children of Farm Bureau members, have the background and motivation to contribute to the farming economy and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”

The scholarship awardees are:

  • Rosalie McGuirk of Harford County Farm Bureau is a high school senior at John Carroll High School in Bel Air, Maryland. She will be a college freshman in the fall, with plans to major in Animal Science.
  • Mackenzie Ridenour of Washington County Farm Bureau is a freshman at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Pre-Veterinary Medicine.
  • Marissa Roberts of Carroll County Farm Bureau is a senior at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She is majoring in Sports Management.
  • Courtney Schrader of Cecil County Farm Bureau is a senior at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland. She is majoring in Business Management and Communications.
  • Lynne Thomas of Baltimore County Farm Bureau is a senior at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. She is majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education.

For more information about the scholarship program at Maryland Farm Bureau and within Maryland’s county Farm Bureaus, please visit www.mdfarmbureau.com/scholarships.

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MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

Over 1,632 Tons of Tires Recycled Through Ag Scrap Tire Recycling Events This Spring

Over 1,632 Tons of Tires Recycled Through Ag Scrap Tire Recycling Events This Spring
MDFB and program partners kept tires from filling landfills, becoming hazards

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (May 19, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB), in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment and Maryland Environmental Services, facilitated recycling of 1,631.57 tons of tires in Maryland this spring through their Ag Scrap Tire Recycling events. This amount equals 163,157 passenger tires recycled.

Many of the collection events aptly culminated around Earth Day, and the recycling locations were held in Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, and Talbot counties, which were targeted as having the greatest need this year.

MDFB helped facilitate these free-of-charge collection sites to save landfill space as well as encourage farmers to remove old tires from their properties. In addition to being unsightly, the unused tires can serve as a breeding ground or habitat for mosquitos and other pests.

“The tire recycling program was extremely successful this year on the shore, and was an excellent example of collaboration between Maryland Farm Bureau, Maryland Department of Environment, Maryland Department of Agriculture, and Maryland Environmental Service to continue to work toward a cleaner Maryland,” said Marshall Cahall, MDFB District 5 director. “Many farmers were able to participate in the program and we are grateful for all of the work put forth to further the cause. We at MDFB will advocate to continue the program throughout the rest of the state in the coming years.”

Thanks to this program, there are scrap tire mulch playgrounds located throughout the state, as well as other potential areas in which the recycled product may be used. Visit the Department of the Environment for more information on this program’s reach in Maryland.

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MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

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