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Weekly News Update: June 10th Edition

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By Mayhah Suri

Blackberries growing on plant (Edwin Remsberg).

Bees Still Declining in Maryland In Maryland alone, there are more than 400 species of native bees. Bees are important pollinators that provide billions of dollars of ecosystem services to crop production each year. Unfortunately, these pollinator populations are in severe decline. To read the full story click here:

Federal Judge Approves Settlement in Dairy Farmers of America Litigation This week a federal judge approved an $80 million settlement in the Dairy Farmers of America litigation. The class action lawsuit was filed by dairy farmers alleging Dairy Farmers of America and subsidiaries monopolized the raw milk market in the Northeast (including Maryland). To learn more about the settlement, check out

Maryland Farm Internships and Labor Laws Fact Sheet Now Available Many farms across Maryland use interns to lighten the overall farm workload and help young people gain practical farming knowledge. Although interns can be a welcome addition to a farm’s workforce, farm employers need to be aware of how to properly compensate interns and the legal consequences of adding them to the payroll. This new fact sheet is an easy-to-read overview on how farmers in Maryland can legally utilize interns in their operations and can be found here:

Ownership and Protections of Farm Data Publication RELEASED! Discussions of farm data are a hot topic not only in today’s agriculture industry but also in the legal field. The recently published article by Dr. Terry Griffin of Kansas State University and Ashley Ellixson of University of Maryland describes the legal and economic concerns surrounding data ownership and privacy rights. The publication aims to answer the questions around “who owns farm data?”, “what happens when farm data is misappropriated?” and “what can I do to protect my farm’s data?” These questions and many more are swirling around industry, legislatures and Farm Bureaus alike. Until law defines farm data or a court speaks to the protections of such data, experts in the field can only suggest best management practices (both on the farm level and the legal liability level). To read the publication visit

Dept. of Agriculture, Green Mountain Technology to Demonstrate New Animal Waste Technology Grant Project The Maryland Department of Agriculture and Green Mountain Technologies will sponsor a tour of a new manure composting system at Days End Farm Horse Rescue on Tuesday, June 14. The project is the first completed demonstration project funded by the state’s Animal Waste Technology Grant Fund. To read more about the project, click here:

Farmers Urged to Participate in USDA Agricultural Surveys Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder encourages farmers to contribute to the upcoming U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys. “NASS surveys produce the most credible agricultural data available,” Bartenfelder said. To read the full story go here:

Philadelphia Advances Soda Tax Philly made history Wednesday night as the city council advanced a proposal to tax sugary drinks to fund universal pre-K in the city — a measure that would make Philly the country’s first major U.S. city to impose such a sin tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Read more at

Upcoming Energy Leasing Webinar On June 27 at 6pm, the University of Maryland, Oklahoma State University, and Texas A&M University will co-sponsor a webinar focused on energy leasing. The issue of leasing land for renewable sources continues to grow in importance for not only rural landowners being presented with these agreements, but also rural attorneys to understand the agreements to better assist clients. The webinar will feature Dr. Shannon Ferrell, Oklahoma State University, and is free to attend. Please register at

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