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Sign up now for Md. nutrient management training workshops

October 12, 2004

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension is offering nutrient management training workshops so "pasture-based operations" can write nutrient management plans this fall.

These workshops will train farmers how to write nutrient management plans, "thereby eliminating the cost of paying a consultant," said Gov. Robert Ehrlich. "When it is easier for farmers to operate their land under a certified plan, more will participate and the ultimate goal of improved water quality will be achieved," he said.

The new law eliminates the right-of- entry signature requirement, reduces paperwork, increases farmer flexibilityy and makes it easier for farmers to write their own plans, MDA said. Farmers with pasture operations can become certified to write nutrient management plans for their own operations in a nonconsecutive two-day workshop.

The training will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 and Nov. 19 at the Montgomery County Extension office.

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Certified farmers are required to attend continuing education each year to renew their certificates and update their plans, if needed. A $15 registration fee covers the training and reference materials and lunch on Day One. There is also a one-time $20 certification and exam fee.

Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The registration deadline is 10 days before each of the first classes.

Additional information is available at: www.mda.state.md.us/nutrient/class04.html. For more info, call 1-410-841-5959.

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