Tag: Ag Education

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

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


Leaders Graduate from Farm Bureau Women’s Communications Boot Camp

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2022) — Sixteen farm and ranch women leaders graduated today from the spring session of Women’s Communications Boot Camp hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.The intensive four-day course completed by the agricultural leaders featured hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media and messaging. Graduates will use their training in a variety of ways such as participating in local media opportunities to strategically support Farm Bureau’s policy work, sharing information with elected officials and joining social media campaigns that spotlight today’s agriculture.“

Through this training, we’re equipping women leaders with tools and skills they can use to effectively communicate about agriculture in their communities and for Farm Bureau on local, state and national levels,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.

Boot Camp graduates are Sharla Mortimer, Arizona; Shawn Wood, Arizona; Jana Carroll, Arkansas; Roxi McCormick, Colorado; Jennifer Duvall, Georgia; Theresa Gottbrath, Indiana; Melissa Huggett, Kentucky; Kayla Griffith, Maryland; Barbara Rogers-Scharneck, Massachusetts; Stacey Lauwers, Michigan; Emma Alexander, Missouri; Allison Cooper, North Carolina; Carie Moore, North Dakota; Melanie Fink, Pennsylvania; Megan Jernigan, Tennessee; and Sarah Scyphers, Virginia.

“AFBF is proud to continue offering this training, which provides a framework for participants to increase their engagement with consumers and elected officials while exploring new leadership roles,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.  This the 16th year of the program, which has 239 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau.

“It was such a privilege to attend Women’s Communication Boot Camp to learn about communicating about agricultural issues,” said Barbara Rogers-Scharneck. “I am excited to use my skills to help consumers as well as elected officials better understand the importance of agriculture.” Rogers-Scharneck owns a farm and garden center in Massachusetts and is a member of AFBF’s Promotion & Education Committee.

The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, in partnership with AFBF staff, hosts and provides training for Women’s Communications Boot Camp. An application process is used to select the participants. A fall session of Boot Camp will be held Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, with applications opening in June.Photos from this event may be downloaded at https://fb.org/bootcamp22photos after 4 p.m. EDT. 



Maryland Farm Bureau’s own Jo-Ann Chason is a recent recipient of the Christy Sue Lilja Resource Grant. Formerly known as White-Reinhardt Resource Grants, educators apply to receive $100 to spend on agriculture literacy books and resources from the AFBFA store.

Chason, former Baltimore County Farm Bureau president and current Maryland Farm Bureau board member for Harford and Cecil counties, teaches in the Highlands School, Bel Air, a school specializing in students with learning differences.

With a horticulture background, she is the “Growing Greater” teacher, touching all the grades, even as a part-time teacher. She said throughout her life she has tried to educate about agriculture, and when this opportunity came along and she was hired, she even got paid for her passion. The Chason farm grows produce, but also has dairy cows and chicken.

Chason marveled about the amount and quality of the materials in the AFBFA store. “They have an unbelievable amount of resources, and the variety is conducive to different styles of teaching. I even purchased some games. They had Maryland Farm Bureau member Chuck Fry’s book, “Tales of the Dairy Godmother: Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish.” It’s so easy to apply, as well, that I encourage others to.”

Chason said she has loved being able to connect the dots for kids, as she likens herself an activist for agriculture. “I think it’s great these funds aren’t meant just for ag educators. You’re sharing about agriculture, but in an organic way. I thank the foundation for doing this for us,” she said.

The grants awarded 51 winners this year. The CSL Foundation was established to carry on late AFBFA director Christy Lilja’s beliefs of helping others in need and to continue to advocate for educating K-12 teachers and students about the importance of agriculture.

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