New Agriculture Laws Went Into Effect October 1

Changes for Land Preservation, Farmers’ Markets, “Local” Products, Mosquito Control

ANNAPOLIS (October 14, 2010) – Ten new agriculture laws went into effect October 1 in Maryland. The laws address the promotion of Maryland agricultural products, farmers markets, wineries, agricultural land preservation, mosquito control, pesticide registration, veterinary and agricultural quarantine issues.

2010 agriculture-related laws effective October 1 are:

• SB 81, which gives the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners the authority to increase the civil penalty for a licensee from $5,000 to $10,000 for any violation of Board laws or regulations in addition to suspension or revocation of a license.

• SB 82, which clarifies definitions in Maryland’s Commercial Feed Law to be more consistent with the broadly-endorsed American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Model Bill and Regulations.

• SB 90, which provides the Secretary of Agriculture with the authority to quarantine farmland and agricultural products and stop-sale on-farm agricultural products that have been contaminated by a chemical or radiological material or agent after consultation with the Governor and the Secretaries of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Environment.

• SB 93 - alters and increases the fee structure for pesticide applicator certification examinations, registration of pest control employees with MDA and late fee payments for license, certificate or registration renewal under the Pesticide Applicator’s law.

• SB 95 – gives the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation explicit authority to acquire preservation easements on farmland in partnership with outside public and private entities.

• SB 198 – changes the definition of “food service facility” to exclude the sale of raw farmers’ market products from regulation as a food service facility. It also requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to establish a producer mobile farmers’ market license.

• SB 199 – authorizes a county to establish a seasonal farmers’ market producer sampling license to allow a producer to prepare and offer samples of the product at farmers’ markets in the county for a specified time period for a single fee.

• HB 89/SB 3 – exempts aquacultural activities for which the Department of Natural Resources has issued a specified permit from a requirement to pay application fees under the Wetlands and Waterways Program.

• HB 420 – expands the activities and ways that the MDA Mosquito Control program can work in order to make it a more effective and efficient program.

• HB 421 – authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to adopt standards to regulate the use of the terms "locally grown" and "local" to advertise or identify an agricultural product and prohibits a person from knowingly advertising or identifying an agricultural product in violation of standards.

Two additional laws went into effect on July 1, 2010:

• SB 59 – alters MALPF funding methods and adds flexibility to the acquisition of easements using a settlement option the landowner prefers through a partnership with MARBIDCO.

• SB 62 – directs revenue collected for licensing and inspecting horse stables to the Maryland Horse Industry Fund to help promote and protect the industry. It also increases the fees for licensing and inspecting horse stables from $75 to $125 to cover the cost of the administration of the program.

A more detailed description of each new law is available at

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