Tag: agriculture policy

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.


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