Right-to-Farm

Issue
Agriculture has long been the number one industry in Maryland. It’s important that it remain viable and not be threatened by changes in the political, legislative, regulatory, and legal landscapes.

Background
As urban development spreads and encroaches more and more on farmland, new residents come face-to-face with the noises, smells, and other experiences that come along with farm and rural living.

Maryland farmers have continuously had to advocate within their local communities for their right-to-farm due to concerns from new residents moving into rural areas who are not familiar with what it is like to live near or around active modern-day farms. Farmers recognize their individual responsibilities to be respectful and courteous neighbors, but that does not always prevent nuisance claims arising from neighbors.

Utility-Scale Solar Siting
Renewable energy is of growing interest in Maryland, and commercial solar facilities are beginning to dot the landscape more frequently – especially on prime and productive farmland.

A bill was passed in the 2019 legislative session mandating that 50% of the state’s total energy production come from renewable sources by the year 2030. Following the passage, Governor Hogan established the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting, working to develop recommendations on the siting of new solar and wind energy projects in Maryland. Maryland Farm Bureau has two representatives on the task force.

Position
Maryland Farm Bureau supports responsible and workable actions designed to permit and protect the rights of farmers, commercial fishermen, and aquaculturalists to farm, fish and harvest without undue or unreasonable restrictions, regulations, or harassment from the government or other private sector interests.

Maryland Farm Bureau opposes commercial solar energy facilities being built on prime and productive farmland, specifically priority preservation areas.

Additional Resources
Maryland’s Right-to-Farm Law Fact Sheet
Improving Neighbor Relations Farm to Farm
Improving Neighbor Relations Farm to Neighbor

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