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Weekly News Update, June 5, 2015

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Field filled with cows (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Happy last day of the work week (or happy weekend depending on when you are reading this). I am back and refreshed after a week on the family farm in Oklahoma. My thanks to Ashley and Sarah in helping me put this together.

Man in front of windmills (Photo from @shanferrell).

Farm Transition Webinar on Tuesday: It is not too late to sign up for the ALEI farm transition webinar at noon (EST) on June 9. Shannon Ferrell will discuss what farm families need to consider as they begin the transition process. This will be the first of three webinars presented by Dr. Ferrell. Sign up for the webinar at:

Poultry Grower’s Disease Control Workshop – Biosecurity Keeping Disease Off of the Poultry Farm: Next week the UME and UD Poultry teams will be holding disease control workshops to help you keep disease off your farm. Sign up at

National Dairy Month: June is national dairy month! To learn some facts about the Maryland dairy industry, check out Ashley Newhall’s post on the state’s dairy industry.

GMO Crops Not Protected by Right-to-Farm Law: Last year, Jackson County, Oregon voters approved a ban on GMO crops grown in the county. A group of alfalfa producers in the county who used GMO alfalfa sued claiming the ban violated the state’s right-to-farm law and alternatively seeking compensation for the taking of their property. The federal district court in Oregon last week ruled that GMO crops are not protected under the state’s right-to-farm law, check out Tiffany Lashmet’s post on the Texas Ag Law blog for more info.

Young chickens eating feed (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Maryland CAFO Permit Being Challenged: The Assateague Coastal Trust and Food and Water Watch announced this week that they have filed opening arguments against MDE over the recently approved MD General Discharge Permit for Animal Feeding Operations. The challengers’ issues are that the permit does not require water quality monitoring. For more info see, Rachael Pacella’s article on DelmarvaNow.

Baltimore Combats Food Deserts with Urban Farming Tax Break. Urban farmers in the city of Baltimore will soon qualify for a 90 percent property tax break under a bill recently approved by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The bill gives a tax credit to farmers who make at least $5,000 per year selling crops and raise no more than five acres of land. The initiative came about in response to a Maryland agricultural tax law, says Abby Cocke, Environmental Planner for the Baltimore Office of Sustainability. Under the law, farmed properties of five acres or more qualify for a tax credit. But most urban farms in Baltimore don’t meet the size criterion. In fact, Cocke says, the average urban farm in Baltimore occupies about one acre, meaning most of the city’s farming parcels have netted no tax benefits, no matter how fruitful. To read the full article go here:

Field with a farm in the distance (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Lease Termination: If you follow me on social media @AgLawPaul, I will probably be spending the month reminding the majority of you that many of your leases need to be renewed or terminated by June 30. If you need a sample termination letter, here is one.

Presidential Memorandum issued: Creating a Preference for Meat and Poultry Produced According to Responsible Antibiotic-Use Policies– On Tuesday, June 2, President Obama signed a memorandum encouraging responsible use of antibiotics in the production of meat and poultry the policy of the federal government. For the full memorandum and details of the policy see

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