Category: Advocacy

Maryland Farmers Meet Their Elected Officials at Annual Day in Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — Yesterday, nearly 100 Maryland farmers attended Maryland Farm Bureau’s (MDFB) Day in Annapolis to discuss policy with their elected officials. Members also heard from Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Atticks and held a robust discussion on MDFB’s position on priority bills in Annapolis.

Maryland farmers joined by Delegates Regina Boyce, Jay Jacobs, Wayne Hartman, and Kym Taylor

This annual event provides MDFB members the opportunity to stay current on legislation affecting farming and rural communities as well as to meet with their elected officials. Over 30 Maryland legislators attended this popular event to learn more from their local farming community.

“Our government works best when elected officials can meet with their constituents directly,” said Tyler Hough, MDFB’s Director of Government Relations. “We greatly appreciate the legislators who took the time to discuss Maryland agriculture’s most pressing issues.”

MDFB’s list of priority bills include the following, which it supports:

  • SB290: Alters Certified Local Farm and Fish Program deadlines for efficiency
  • SB0196: Shifts small pond plan reviews to Soil Conservation Districts
  • HB0113 (SB0042): Mandates helmets for minors in public land equestrian activities
  • SB0056 (HB0163): Establishes On-Farm Organic Diversion & Compost Grant Program
  • HB0447 (SB0440): Increases income tax credit for venison donation to $75.
  • SB0367 (HB0481): Authorizes and protects antlerless deer hunting programs.
  • SB0278 (HB0234): Updates agriculture fees, penalties, and regulations. (Supported with amendments)
  • SB0178 (HB0022): Requires State Highway Administration’s pollinator plan. (Supported with amendments)

In addition, MDFB opposes the following bills that would make farming more difficult in Maryland:

  • SB0193 (HB0357): Banning caged egg farm operations, mandating a costly conversion 
  • HB0109 (SB0281): Restricts submerged aquatic vegetation management on aquaculture leases
  • SB0235 (HB0057): Includes veterinarians in drug monitoring program, risking rural vet practices.
  • HB0150: Imposes recurring fees on certain vehicles, negatively impacting farmers.
  • HB0245: MDE bill to raise fees on various permits, setting concerning precedent.

Earlier this year, MDFB members testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee on the State of Maryland Agriculture, as well as testifying in the Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee in opposition to SB0193, the cage-free egg mandate. In late December, MDFB’s Board of Directors held a positive meeting with Governor Wes Moore on legislative priorities before the start of the 2024 session.

As bills continue to be introduced and heard in the legislature, MDFB will monitor relevant legislation for its impact on Maryland agriculture. The complete bill briefing can be found on our website. Additional photos from the event can be found on Flickr.


MDFB Supports Uniform Labeling for Pesticides

MDFB Supports Uniform Labeling for Pesticides

By: Pat Wolff, MDFB senior director of national affairs

Maryland Farm Bureau has joined over 350 organizations to support new federal legislation that would ensure uniformity of labeling standards for pesticides that are backed by sound science and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bipartisan bill, H.R. 4288, the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act, was introduced in Congress last week by Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Jim Costa (D-CA).

Farmers depend on pesticides to manage pests and control plant diseases that can destroy crops and threaten a reliable and affordable food supply. If farmers lose access to crop protection tools due to a patchwork of state or local labels, it will not only reduce their ability to protect crops and maintain important conservation practices, but will erode confidence about the safety of science-based EPA-approved products.

Under current law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) governs pesticide use, sales, and labeling. FIFRA gives the EPA exclusive authority to determine labeling and packaging requirements. Under FIFRA, states have the ability to regulate the sale or use of pesticides; however, they are prohibited from imposing their own labeling requirements that are different from the EPA’s science-based labels.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture enforces federal laws on the sale and use of pesticides, administers Maryland’s Pesticide Applicator’s Law, approves training courses in the handling, storage and use of pesticides, conducts examinations to determine that pesticide applicators are competent to follow prescribed pest control practices, and investigates pesticide accidents or incidents and consumer complaints on pesticide misuse.

Here is Rep. Johnson’s news release about the introduction of the legislation:

Farm Bill for America’s Families

Farm Bill for America’s Families

The Maryland Farm Bureau has joined with twenty national organizations and multiple state agricultural organizations to support prompt passage of the 2023 Farm Bill. The campaign, called “Farm Bill for America’s Families – Sustaining Our Future” is supported by a diverse of group advocates for farmers, food security and nutrition, environment and wildlife.

The purpose of the campaign is to educate and engage a consumer-based audience, including Capitol Hill, about the importance and impact of the farm bill. A recent Morning Consult poll showed that 71% of adults have not seen, read or heard much about the farm bill and 42% have not seen, read or heard anything at all.

The coalition’s advocacy efforts center around three core messages:

RISK MANAGEMENT Managing risk on the farm is critical to keeping food on our tables. We all depend on the success of American agriculture, so it’s important for America’s farmers and ranchers to be supported by strong farm programs as they face weather disasters, high supply costs and inflationary pressures.

NUTRITION PROGRAMS America’s farmers and ranchers supply more than 9 billion meals annually thanks to the farm bill’s nutrition programs which ensure the most vulnerable among us have access to healthy, affordable food.

IMPACT BEYOND THE FARM The farm bill impact extends beyond the farm by protecting our nation’s food supply, providing access to nutrition for low-income families, advancing conservation efforts and spurring innovation through agricultural research.

Organizations wanting to know more about “Farm Bill for America’s Families” or to join the campaign can do so at Farm Bill for America’s Families (

MDFB President Lobbies for Swift Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill

MDFB President Lobbies for Swift Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill

Maryland Farm Bureau President Wayne Stafford traveled to Washington DC last week to lobby for swift passage of the 2023 Farm Bill. He met with Maryland Senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Andy Harris (1st district) and David Trone (6th district). Rep. Harris is Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development Food and Drug Administration. 


His lobby visits to Capitol Hill took place during the annual American Farm Bureau Council of Presidents meeting that took place July 12 and 13. State Farm Bureau Presidents from across the nation heard from USDA Undersecretary for Trade Alexis Taylor, USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie and House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise.


The farm bill impacts all Americans – from food availability and nutrition to jobs and the environment. It is the most significant legislation for farmers and ranchers, protecting their livelihoods and ensuring a safe, nutritious food supply. The farm bill is reauthorized every five years, and the current farm bill is set to expire on September 30, 2023. 


President Stafford told Members of Congress that failing to pass a new farm bill would have a serious impact on farming and food security in Maryland and across the United States. He told elective officials that it is essential for Congress to prioritize passage of a new farm bill this year.


Farm Bureau’s overarching priorities include:

·      Continuing current farm bill program funding.

·      Maintaining a unified farm bill the includes nutrition programs and farm programs together.

·      Prioritizing risk management tools that include federal crop insurance and commodity programs.

·      Ensuring adequate USDA staffing and resources to provide technical assistance. 


Other issued raised by President Stafford during his Congressional visits included the importance of an available and reliable farm labor workforce and concerns about the recent Supreme Court decision that allow one state to impose production standards on commodities grown or harvested outside its borders.


Translate »