Maryland Farm Becomes a Hub For Lawmakers To Learn About Ag
Just like the general public, many lawmakers themselves are a couple of generations removed from the farm. But better understanding about how modern agriculture intersects with the lives of their constituents would give these lawmakers a leg up when agricultural policy — like the Farm Bill — comes before them. To read the full story, click here: https://bit.ly/2KcyPhZ.
Information Session on Maryland’s Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program
On Thursday, May 3, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) and the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) will be hosting a regional information session on the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program. This free event is open to the public and will be held at the Talbot Free Library from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. For questions, please contact Josh Hastings at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-251-5268.
Ag Law in the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court requested that the U.S. Solicitor General review and weigh in on two different challenges that state laws violate the U.S. Constitution. For the non-law nerds in the group, the Solicitor General is the federal government's representative before the U.S. Supreme Court and defends federal laws. The first case is Missouri v. California. In that case, the state of California passed a law that required eggs sold in the state had to be from birds that were housed in certain conditions. The state of Missouri has challenged this law for violating the Dormant Commerce Clause. The second case is also a Dormant Commerce Clause challenge that Massachusetts banned the sale of out-of-state pork, veal, and eggs from livestock not raised in certain housing systems. To read more about this review, click here http://bit.ly/2qZ4YRW.
North Carolina Hog Farm Awaits Jury Decision
A North Carolina jury is currently deliberating a nuisance case involving a large North Carolina hog farm. The hog farm's waste management system has come under fire from neighbors who claim that the waste management has impacted the environment and health of the neighbors. The hog farm had early on argued the state's right-to-farm law applied and the court rejected this defense allowing the case to proceed. To learn more about the trial, click here http://bit.ly/2HSLGY0. Since drafting this post, the jury has returned a verdict for $50 million in damages against the hog farm, click here for more details http://bit.ly/2r4IBKL
Underwater Grasses Exceed 60,000 Acres
This week the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that underwater grasses for the third year in a row broke a record. This year underwater grasses the Chesapeake Bay exceeded 60,000 acres. These grasses improve water quality and provide other benefits to the Bay. To learn more about this record, click here http://bit.ly/2HU6zCs.
Preliminary Approval Given to Syngenta Settlement
The federal district judge in charge of the Syngenta class action has given tentative approval to the settlement in the class action lawsuit. This tentative approval means that corn growers, ethanol plants, and grain handlers will start filing claims in May. Check this blog out early next month for more details, but you can get some details on the settlement here http://bit.ly/2HNiyBH.
Legislation Introduced to Rename USDA
This week legislation was introduced to rename USDA to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The senators introducing the legislation highlight that this change would allow the department to highlight the important role it plays in promoting economic development in rural areas. To learn more, click here http://bit.ly/2HOu7Zj.
Budget Cuts Lead to Fewer Extension Educators in Wisconsin
Budget cuts in Wisconsin are leading to a number of counties not having ag educators to help farmers with a growing number of issues. The Wisconsin State Journal highlights the important role the Extension programming plays in the lives of many farmers and the need filled by them. To read more about the problems caused by these budget cuts, click here http://bit.ly/2HUaEXi.