By Sarah Everhart
MDA Grant Funds Available for Specialty Crops– Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced a competitive grant program to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Grants will be reimbursement grants. Specialty crops are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. MDA is seeking applications from eligible non-profit organizations, government entities, for-profit and organizations for projects that aim to promote or enhance the production of and access to Maryland specialty crops.
Grant applications are due May 8th. Read the full announcement here: http://news.maryland.gov/mda/press-release/2015/04/02/mda-announces-new-specialty-crop-grant-program-application-deadline-is-may-8/
Mid Atlantic Hops Cooperative Welcoming Maryland Farmers– The Old Dominion Hops Cooperative (ODHC) recently held its first annual business meeting in Nelson County, welcoming new farmers from Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Recognized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture as an Agricultural Cooperative in 2014, ODHC started in 2009 to share members’ experiences and industry best practices in the cultivation of hops, an ingredient in beer production. Demand for hops has exploded along with the US craft beer market and Virginia hops production has grown 900% in the last four years. Read the full story here: https://www.morningagclips.com/mid-atlantic-hops-are-growing-up/
Premiere of Documentary on History of Delmarva’s Chicken Industry– This hour-long documentary will show highlights of the early years of the local chicken industry, from its improbable formation in the 1920s through the 1960s. Photographs, early motion pictures, and interviews with persons knowledgeable about the early years are sure to make this an interesting and entertaining film. Cluck, Pluck, and Luck will be shown for the first time on Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center on the campus of Salisbury University. The following Monday, April 27, the documentary will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts and Science Center on the campus of Delaware Technical and Community College at Georgetown. No reservations are needed and it is first come-first admitted. For more information: http://www.dpichicken.org/media/nr_view.cfm?id=530
New ALEI Publication Available – A new publication explores the legal issues in saving seed with the expiration of Monsanto’s patent on the first generation of Roundup Ready technology. The fact sheet explores how patent law, the Plant Variety Protection Act, or contract law could all limit a producer’s ability to save seed. The publication titled Legal Liability of Saving Seeds in an Era of Expiring Patents is available at http://ter.ps/SeedSaving
State Legislature Hears Bill to Increase Kent County’s Role in Approval of Wind Farm Project- A bill in front of the state legislature that would give Kent County commissioners approval power over a proposed large-scale wind turbine project near Kennedyville was heard in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, April 7. The project, called Mills Branch Wind by developer Apex Clean Energy, has seen growing opposition from Kent County residents recently. Kent County currently allows up to a 120-foot wind turbine to be built for personal use, not for turbines of the scale planned by Apex that have the potential to be a contributor to Maryland’s Renewable Energy Portfolio. The legislative session ends on Monday, April 13, so the bill would have to be passed before then. To pass, the bill would have to get through the Senate committee, through Senate floor debates and votes, then get sent through the House for the same process. Even if House members don’t make any changes to the legislation and pass it the way it’s sent to them — if changes are made it would get sent back to the Senate again — it’s a tight schedule for any bill in the General Assembly. Read the full story here: http://www.stardem.com/news/environment/article_637726ba-f89f-53a6-bae5-ac92d25d6548.html