This week, the newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture, Joe Bartenfelder, along with the assistant secretaries, presented to the Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee on the Department of Agriculture and its programs. The new secretary was able to use his extensive farming background to give firsthand knowledge on several tough questions asked by the committee. To learn more about the newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture, click here.
Since there were no bill hearings on any bills that Maryland Farm Bureau has targeted, this gave time for MFB government relations staff to visit all the legislators or their staff. During these meetings we were able to formally invite the legislators to Maryland Farm Bureau’s Day in Annapolis lunch set for Wednesday, February 18. Farm Bureau members who want to attend need to register ASAP as the registration deadline is this Friday, January 30. Farm Bureau members need to contact Alex Buehler at 410-922-3426 to register.
In addition, MFB was able to schedule a “State of Agriculture” briefing for the House Environment & Transportation committee on Thursday, February 5 at 1 p.m. MFB President, Chuck Fry, along with top officials from Maryland Grain Producers, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Maryland Dairy Industry Association and the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, will hold a briefing on Agriculture in Maryland along with issues that negatively affect the economic viability of Ag in this state. Maryland Department of Agriculture will also participate in the briefing and give participants a chance to discuss their programs just as they did with the Senate committee this week. For those who would like to watch this live, you can click here on Thursday to watch it on MGA’s website.
The 2015 Legislative session is kicking into full gear. Next week, bills of interest for MFB will start to be presented. Summaries of these bills are below: