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NEWS
December 26, 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is mailing the 2012 Census of Agriculture to Maryland farmers, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture urges all Maryland farmers to complete the Census by the Feb. 4 deadline. The Census can be taken online or mailed in. For the first time, the 2012 Census contains questions asking for the number of acres under conservation tillage practices, acres planted to cover crops and acres under conservation easements. This information will be critical in documenting the work farmers are doing collectively to be good stewards of the environment.
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NEWS
By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com | December 6, 2012
Despite being stalled in committee, state Sen. Rich Alloway said he will reintroduce legislation so students can drive their tractors to school during special annual events. Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, introduced Senate Bill 1521 after Pennsylvania State Police put the brakes on James Buchanan High School's annual Drive Your Tractor to School Day last February. School officials were informed by police, at the time of the event, that the practice of driving tractors on the roadways for nonfarming purposes violated several state driving codes.
NEWS
December 3, 2012
An agriculture business forum will be Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center off Sharpsburg Pike. Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Earl F. Hance, Maryland Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary S. Patrick McMillan, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, county government division and department directors, and members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission...
NEWS
November 1, 2012
The Young Farmers Advisory Board is seeking nominations to fill four positions on the board.  Those interested must have direct experience in agriculture. The board promotes agriculture as a positive contributor to Maryland's economy, environment and scenic landscape; and makes recommendations to the secretary of agriculture related to economic development and legislative and policy issues that will assist young and beginning farmers, and other related businesses in creating and continuing profitable agriculture throughout the state.
NEWS
October 29, 2012
What are the biggest challenges to agriculture today? I get asked that question a lot and I find that while the orders of the answer change, the primary answers don't. When I say the order, I mean the order of importance. For instance, a few years ago when the building boom was in full swing, urban sprawl would have been much higher on the list in the Mid-Atlantic region than it is today. That is not to say the urban sprawl is still not a concern. At last glance, they aren't making any more land, and for some reason, prime farm land is also prime development land.
NEWS
October 22, 2012
The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced that it has received $500,000 in additional funding from the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund to expand its Manure Transport Program, including all types of eligible livestock operations seeking financial assistance to transport excess manure off their farms. In recent years, due to budget reductions, Transport Program grants have been awarded almost exclusively to poultry producers shipping poultry litter out of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
NEWS
October 21, 2012
The Maryland Agriculture Council Inc., representing the broad spectrum of the state's largest industry, is accepting grant applications for its 2013 awards. Projects receiving funding will promote Maryland Agriculture and may originate from individuals or organizations. The maximum grant request is $1,000 each. Typical amounts awarded are between $300 and $800. The application deadline is Oct. 27. Awards will be announced Feb. 7 at the Maryland Agriculture Legislative Dinner at Loews Annapolis Hotel.  Grant applications can be obtained from Maryland Agriculture Council Grant Committee chairperson Putt Willett at 301-253-2673 or by going to the council's website at www.mdagcouncil.com.
NEWS
By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com | October 21, 2012
Square dancing to Lady Gaga? Maroon 5? “Come Sail Away” by the rock band Styx? People who have not been to a square dance in the last 15 years might have thought they were in some strange musical dream when they went to the 55th anniversary celebration dance for the Gad-Abouts Square Dance Club Sunday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. Hunter Keller, who was the caller for Sunday afternoon's dance, said there has been a trend over about the last 12 years of adding modern tunes to square dancing.
NEWS
September 17, 2012
One-hundred-and-fifty years ago Monday, this county was the scene of the bloodiest single day of the Civil War or the War of Northern Aggression. If you are a frequent reader of this column, then you know I am almost as passionate about history as I am about agriculture. As we look back, “The 1860 agricultural census of Washington County portrays pre-war Sharpsburg as a district of prime land, crops, and animal husbandry (the raising of livestock). Typically, wheat, Indian corn, hay, rye oats and Irish potatoes were the crops raised.
NEWS
September 3, 2012
As you read this column, schools are in session and college campuses are filled with students attending classes in order to fill their time between football games. As I reflect on this and other things about education and America, I find we are no longer No. 1 in any category, with the exception of spending per student. The U.S. is 14th in reading, 25th in math and 17th in science among countries ranked by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Now, you are probably wondering, what does this have to do with agriculture?
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