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Weekly News Update, May 29th Edition

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

By Ashley Ellixson

Bird's eye view of a farm (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

Happy Friday (or Saturday) once again! Today is our last news update in May, where did this month go? Hopefully you enjoy the weekend and have a great June ahead. Happy reading!

Maryland Wineries Outpacing State Grapes. Maryland’s total grape harvest has nearly doubled over the last four years, but wineries struggle to produce or acquire enough in-state grapes, a recently released industry survey shows. Results in a survey last month of members from the Maryland Grape Growers Association and Maryland Wineries Association show a statewide industry enjoying rapid growth. The total number of grapes harvested across the state leapt from 949 tons in 2010 to 1,748 tons in 2014, an 84 percent increase, according to the survey. Click here to read the full article:

UME Holding Poultry Grower’s Disease Control Workshops– On June 11, UME will be holding 3 workshops in the different areas at 3 different times to cover topics such as avian influenza outbreaks in commercial poultry in the US, practical biosecurity best management practices for broiler growers, and avian flu response and control plan on Delmarva. See all details and more at

River in front of a farm (Photo by Edwin Remsberg).

The North American Manure Expo is Coming to Pennsylvania– The Expo will take place July 14 and 15 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The Expo began in 2001 and consists of an industry trade show, manure technology demonstrations, and educational events. The first day will be a choice of dairy, poultry, equine or beef facilities. See all details and more at

The Craft Distilling Industry in Maryland– Did you know that Maryland had a reviving distilling industry? In resurrecting a Maryland craft that dates back to the 1700s, producers are now exploring beverages as diverse as rice whiskey and grappa. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is perhaps the most public face of Maryland’s craft distillers. Even Seacrets, the popular Ocean City bar and restaurant, is set to make its own rum, gin and vodka later this summer. Read the entire article at

A Proactive Plan: The First Step to FSMA Compliance– FDA declared 2015 “the year of FSMA” at the agency’s “FSMA Kickoff Meeting” for food industry stakeholders on April 23, 2015. When planning, it is important to keep the 4As of food defense in mind: assess, access, alert and audit. It’s a four-step methodology for building a proactive and comprehensive food defense strategy. To see the entire article visit

Old MacDonald’s Stolen Barn: Farm Theft Is on the Rise– After hearing the plight of farmers who had experienced thefts, Iowa lawmakers recently proposed a bill that would increase penalties for farm-specific crimes. Currently, criminals there face up to five years behind bars and a $750 to $7,500 fine for stealing property worth between $1,000 and $10,000. For property more than $10,000, the punishment can be 10 years and a $1,000 to $10,000 fine. The new bill would add a “surcharge” of $2,500 for thefts of crops or livestock. The money would go to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Read the entire article at

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