MDA Seeks Members for Agricultural Certainty Oversight Committee

Resumes Due into MDA by June 1

ANNAPOLIS—Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Bill (SB 1029) on Thursday (May 2), and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now seeking resumes from people interested in serving on the Oversight Committee which will develop the regulations necessary to implement the program. People who have strong backgrounds in agricultural and/or environmental issues and are interested in serving should submit a resume to MDA by June 1.

The Agricultural Certainty Program, which MDA will develop in cooperation with the Maryland Department of the Environment, will allow farmers who voluntarily implement advanced best management practices (BMPs) to conduct their business without additional regulations for ten years. After ten years, however, farmers will have to be in full compliance with all regulations in effect at that time. The intention of the program is to help speed up Bay Restoration efforts by encouraging farmers to more quickly implement BMPs while providing them with a predictable regulatory environment.

Members of the Oversight Committee will be selected by Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. In addition to the eight members who will be selected to represent agriculture and environmental interests, the committee will include representatives of state and federal regulatory and technical agencies, along with perspectives from soil conservation districts, academia, and the Maryland General Assembly.

The committee will develop the regulations to implement the program. The committee will meet no more than once a month in Annapolis. Once the regulations are adopted and the program in place, the Oversight Committee will continue to evaluate the program and make recommendations for moving forward.

“We are looking for experienced professionals who are willing to dedicate their time and expertise to helping us develop the details of this important program so that it can be as successful as possible in helping us reach our Chesapeake Bay Restoration goals,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance.

Those interested in being on the committee should have a strong background in agricultural and/or environmental issues. Resumes must be received by June 1. Committee members will not be compensated. Resumes can be mailed to Secretary Buddy Hance, Maryland Department of Agriculture, 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401. Resumes can also be emailed to Gloria Chambers no later than June 1 at:

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