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Supreme Court Decide to Not Hear the Challenge to the Bay’s TMDL
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review a lower court’s upholding the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in 2011, for more information on this lower court ruling see http://go.umd.edu/BayTMDL. The Bay TMDL was seen by opponents, including agricultural groups, as an overstep of authority given to the federal government in the Clean Water Act. Proponents see the TMDL as working towards speed up cleanup of the Bay. Although this is the final word on the Bay TMDL, we will see future fights as larger TMDLs are set across the country. To learn more about the ruling, http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/green/blog/bs-md-chesapeake-supreme-court-20160229-story.html.
Maryland Expands SNAP Program after Under-utilizing Federal Money
Maryland had to return nearly $500,000 of the $1.2 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, this year due to underutilization. In an effort to ensure the federal money is fully used, Maryland will be part of a USDA’s SNAP to Skills, a program intended to bolster job and workforce training for food stamp beneficiaries. To read more about why and what this expansion means, visit: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-food-stamps-20160302-story.html
Small Partnership Tax Exemption Set to Expire in 2017
Prof Neil Harl at Iowa State University this week has written that the small partnership exemption used by many agricultural operations and small businesses will expire in 2017. The expiration, according to Prof. Harl, was hidden away in a 2015 budget deal. To learn more about the history of the exemption and its sun setting click over to Morning AgClips https://www.morningagclips.com/a-threat-to-farm-and-ranch-taxpayers/.
Maryland Man is Making Money on Food Waste, While Also Feeding the Hungry
Evan Lutz, 23, has been cashing in on the deformed and rejected produce of his home state of Maryland since 2014. “We sell ugly fruit,” says Lutz, beaming like a used car salesman, in the first five seconds of a promotional video for his company, Hungry Harvest. Lutz and his crew deliver bags of produce to the doorsteps of 2,300 customers each week—a CSA of “seconds,” so to speak. He says they buy the food for “pennies on the dollar” from area farmers, packing houses and wholesalers, and then turn around and sell it for $15 for a one- to two-person bag, on up to $35 for a bag that will feed a family of four to seven people. Bags of certified organic produce range from $30 to $55. To read the full story go here: http://modernfarmer.com/2016/02/hungry-harvest/
March 10th GAP-Food Safety Training Programs for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Producers
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and University of Maryland Extension (UME) is conducting a food safety training workshop for fruit and vegetable producers on Thursday, March 10th from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Registration is required to ensure adequate materials are available. The fee for the program is $15, and will cover lunch costs and materials provided to each participant. Attendees will receive a certificate of participation following the program. Participants are encouraged to register online at: https://gap16.eventbrite.com or contact Ginny Rosenkranz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410 749-6141 ext.106.