Fair Farms Legislative Priorities for 2020
January 14, 2020
With a new year comes new priorities for the Fair Farms campaign to focus on in the Maryland state legislature. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write and call your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends and encouraging them to get involved!
The Certified Local Farmer Enterprise Program, sponsored by Delegate Charkoudian and Senator Hester, is a voluntary program that allows state institutions to contact local farms that meet certain environmental standards. This will help build relationships between farms and institutions, like hospitals and schools, in an effort to better support our local farming community. This effort would also prompt the creation of several aggregation and processing centers, available for use by farmers throughout the state. These facilities would be located on university campuses that also have farming programs available for their students.
Healthy Soil Grant Program
The Healthy Soil Grant Program bill, sponsored by Delegate Stein, aims to provide financial incentives to Maryland farmers who utilize a wide array of practices to build healthy soils. Practices can include things like management intensive grazing, keeping soils covered, adding soil biodiversity, among many others.
The Maryland Agricultural Cost Share (MACS) program provides farmers with grants to implement practices that prevent soil erosion and safeguard water quality. This bill would expand the program to incentivize a wider array of permanent practices that promote soil health and protect the Bay.
Chlorpyrifos is a toxic nerve agent pesticide proven to cause brain damage in children and known to harm the environment and wildlife. It is found in air and water—and people’s bodies. This legislation would prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos in Maryland, protecting farmworkers, wildlife, pollinators, and public health as a whole.
Food Waste Recovery Bill
This bill aims to build a system where farmers can utilize compost in their daily farming practices. The bill would encourage an increase in composting infrastructure throughout the state of Maryland, and would require the largest food waste generators to send their waste to composting facilities.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can get involved, please contact Campaign Manager, Shelby Kalm, at [email protected].
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