By Mayhah Suri
Rancher Fights EPA and Wins Wyoming rancher recently settled a dispute with EPA involving building a stock pond on his property. The rancher had gotten approvals from the appropriate state and local agencies and worked with a consultant to build the pond appropriately, but after the pond was built the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA sent the rancher a letter letting him know the pond potentially violated the Clean Water Act. To listen to the rancher’s story, click over to agweb.com http://bit.ly/1WKjLdQ.
Article Highlights Agricultural Concerns in Chesapeake Bay Conservation Efforts Politico’s Annie Snider has published a longform articles centered on a local Pennsylvania farm family who pulled productive farm land out of production to create barrier zones in an effort to protect the Chesapeake Bay. Snider discusses the role of government and whether or not these federal programs are an overreach. Read the full article here: http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2016/05/obama-chesapeake-bay-restoration-000127 Oregon’s Right-to-Farm Law Questioned In Pesticide Drift Case Neighboring landowners have brought a lawsuit claiming their properties were damaged by an aerial applicator and a forest landowner. In bringing the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have claimed that Oregon’s right-to-farm law violates the state constitution. A mistrial has been declared. Click over to agweb.com to read the A.P. story on the legal dispute http://bit.ly/22lHLnu.
Federal Judge will let higher courts act first on WOTUS Federal judge in North Dakota he will halt proceedings on challenges to the WOTUS rule pending a decision by the outcome of a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision by Judge Erickson comes after the 6th Circuit’s decision to hear the challenges. Although Judge Erickson did not agree to dismiss the suit in North Dakota or withdraw the injunction blocking enforcement in 13 states (remember the 6th Circuit issued a nationwide injunction), the decision is viewed as a victory for President Obama’s administration. To read the whole story, click here http://bit.ly/1THz1ow.
New Crop Insurance Publication Available The 2014 Farm Bill created a new crop insurance product known as Whole Farm Revenue Insurance. This product allows producers with diverse operation to take out one crop insurance policy instead of multiple crop insurance policies. Paul Goeringer and Howard Leathers have recently updated the Crop Insurance Education Program’s Whole Farm fact sheet to reflect changes made by the Risk Management Agency in 2016. Although the sales closing date has passed, check out and consider how the product could impact your operation in 2017. The publication is available at http://go.umd.edu/WholeFarm
Ice Cream Trail Helps Boost Agricultural Tourism in Maryland The state Department of Agriculture launched the trail five years ago with seven farms that make and sell ice cream to consumers to encourage them to visit working farms — and buy local. Now with nine stops, it stretches more than 290 miles from Ocean City in the east to Washington County in the west, offering a taste of Maryland’s dairy industry. To read the full story click here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ice-cream-trail-helps-boost-agricultural-tourism-in-maryland/2016/05/24/c78777e4-21d7-11e6-aa84-42391ba52c91_story.html
New Funding Opportunity for Rural Entrepreneurs The Farm Bureau® Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs in the food or agriculture industry. The Farm Bureau Challenge provides rural entrepreneurs with seed money to help grow their agribusinesses. Rural entrepreneurs pitch innovative ideas to a team of judges with expertise in business development and compete for $145,000 in startup funds. To apply, visit: https://app.reviewr.com/farmbureau/site//Rural2017
Upcoming Solar and Wind Energy Leasing Workshop in Kent County Landowners in Maryland have been contacted by solar and wind energy companies about leasing property for large scale energy production. For those landowners in Kent County, the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland Extension, Agriculture Law Education Initiative, and Center for Environment and Society at Washington College will sponsor a workshop on June 6 in the Hynson Lounge on Washington College’s campus. The workshop will feature Dr. Sebastian Houde discussing the economics associated with these solar and wind leases and Ashley Ellixson and Paul Goeringer discussing legal issues related to these long-term leases. The workshop is free to attend and you can sign up at http://go.umd.edu/SolarWorkshop.