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Weekly News Update: June 24th Edition

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Rows of green crops (Edwin Remsberg).

In a Landmark Development, Egg Producers Will End Chick Culling A major step towards eliminating chick culling was announced last week by the Humane League, a smallish but increasingly powerful animal rights group. The Humane League has convinced the United Egg Producers, an agricultural cooperative that represents the companies responsible for about 95 percent of all eggs produced in the US, to make a major change. To read the full article click here:

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

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 at:

Registration Open for Dairy Risk Management Meetings Maryland Department of Agriculture and its partners at the University of Maryland Extension will hold three workshops in July to provide dairy farmers with financial risk management information and updates on manure management requirements beginning this winter. Presenters from the University of Maryland, Penn State University, Maryland Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit, Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp. and others are designed to provide critical information. The meetings will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., and lunch is included. For registration information, visit:

Act Introduced in U.S. House to Create Tax Incentive for Investments in Biogas and Nutrient Recovery H.B. 5489, the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act of 2016, was introduced in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Space, Science and Technology. If adopted, will allow biogas properties and qualified manure resource recovery properties to be eligible for the federal energy credit (30% Investment Tax Credit – ITC) and to permit new clean renewable energy bonds to finance qualified biogas properties. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Ron Kind (D-WI) and co-sponsored by Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mike Simpson (R-ID), David Valadao (R-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Tim Walz (D-MN) and Peter Welch (D-VT). To read more about the bill, visit

Three County GMO Bans in Hawaii Headed to Ninth Circuit The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard appeals from three Hawaii counties that banned GMO production in their counties. The federal district court in Hawaii overturned each ban for being outside the scope of the counties authority. On appeal, the counties argue the bans were within their general police power and should remain intact. To read more about the appeal,

New Protecting the Family Farm in Divorce Publication ALEI has a new publication on how divorce affects farmers and what legal strategies can be implemented to protect the family farm from the financial ravages of divorce. The publication is available here: and will soon be available on the ALEI website.

Senate Makes a Deal on GMO Labeling One week before a Vermont law kicks in requiring labels on food containing genetically modified ingredients, U.S. Senate agriculture leaders announced a deal that sets a mandatory national system for GM disclosures on food products. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas unveiled the plan that had been negotiated for weeks with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan. Senate Democrats from farm country called it a win for consumers and families, while Roberts said it would end “denigrating biotechnology and causing confusion in the marketplace” brought on by Vermont’s state law. But both Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Democrat who supports his state’s mandatory law, and the American Farm Bureau Federation, which wants a voluntary GMO labeling standard, announced their opposition to the Roberts-Stabenow deal. To learn more, go here:

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