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Bill Will Greatly Help Agricultural Community

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on January 13, 2006:

Senator Dyson I am very pleased to be a primary co-sponsor of Senate Bill 5.

This bill came about after work conducted by a committee I was proud to serve on -- the Agricultural Stewardship Commission. The Commission was made up of legislators, farmers, academicians, and environmental leaders. We met to brainstorm about how to strengthen the agricultural industry which is under attack by developers who canít wait to get their hands on this precious farmland and forestry.

During our many productive meetings, all of the above groups were able to develop what I consider a very meaningful piece of legislation that has some real teeth to help our farmers.

For too long, they have been the victims of government oversight which I have criticized for years. I believe after the meetings of the Agricultural Stewardship Commission, that the farming community came away less leery of government and the environmental community which reached its apex during the physteria hysteria during the Glendening Administration several years ago. I believed then that Governor Glendening shamelessly blamed the farming community for the physteria outbreak that has not re-occurred.

Senate Bill 5 -- the Agricultural Stewardship Act of 2006 -- will go along way towards showing our farmers that the Maryland General Assembly is not the farmersí enemy, but itís strong partner and friend.

The legislation establishes a special internship at the University of Maryland College Park with an emphasis on the agricultural field as well as programs for priority preservation areas. It also encourages the governor to make specified appropriations to agricultural programs in Maryland and supports the promotion of agricultural education in the state among many other positive initiatives.

This bill will give counties a blueprint how to better implement agricultural programs. It states that Maryland counties shall include a priority preservation area element in its comprehensive plan. Giving this responsibility to counties ensures the farming community will not be left behind when the future of the county is being determined by its representatives. Itís a key component of an excellent bill.

As a member of the Maryland Environmental Trust, I also plan on introducing five pieces of legislation that will also preserve our land while controlling sprawl.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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