University of Maryland Ag Law Conference Fosters Dialogue
Between Farmers and Environmentalists
Carbon Credits, Chesapeake Bay Conservation Among Legal Topics on Agenda
The seventh annual University of Maryland Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference takes place Wednesday, November 17 from 1pm-4pm and Thursday, November 18 from 9am-12pm. This year’s virtual format presents a flexible educational opportunity for the agricultural, environmental, and legal communities to exchange ideas about current issues related to the intersection of agricultural and environmental law.
Panelists will address pressing legal topics affecting agriculture and the environment in the Delmarva region including how to use increased funding to further Chesapeake Bay clean up goals; the effects of recently passed legislation expanding water pollution enforcement; and how to participate in the recently established Certified Local Farm Enterprise Program which encourages state agencies to purchase food from local farms.
During the keynote panel, “Growing Carbon Credits: Should Maryland Farmers Open a Carbon Banking Account?” Oklahoma State University agriculture economics Professor Shannon Ferrell will discuss the increasing interest in carbon banking and how it can affect a farmer’s bottom line.
The University of Maryland Agriculture Legal Education Initiative (ALEI) prides itself on hosting an event that brings farming and conservation experts together in a forum that allows for an exchange of ideas on up-to-the minute legal issues. The conference is open to farmers, attorneys, environmental groups, regulators, educators, students, and anyone else interested in the region's environmental quality and agricultural viability. To register, visit: https://go.umd.edu/umlawconfreg21. Nutrient Management Education credits are available for each day attended.
Sarah Everhart, JD, ALEI senior legal specialist and managing director of the program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law says the virtual conference is a great way for participants to customize their experience. “You can hop on and hear from a group of experts about what a law actually means and what the impacts are going to be for both environmental folks and agriculture folks,” she says.
Everhart stresses that a wide variety of experts will participate in the event representing both agricultural and environmental interests. “The point of this event is to bring everybody to the table,” she says. “We want to see how laws affect these two incredibly important sectors and how they are going to comply, coexist, and move forward to reach goals that we all are trying to achieve.”
The University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative invites you to attend one or all of the carefully selected panel discussions created with today’s farmers and environmentalists in mind.
Media interested in attending should contact Laura Lee for a promo code.
2021 Virtual Conference Agenda
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
This panel will look at two bills that passed in the last General Assembly: The Citizen Intervention Bill (HB76/SB334) expands the scope of who has standing to intervene in civil actions brought by the State in state court regarding enforcement of water pollution control or any related discharge permit, effluent limitation, or order issued by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The Environmental Enforcement Reporting Act (HB204/SB324) requires MDE to keep — and make accessible to the public — electronic records of enforcement and water pollution data.
This panel will discuss Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs, including common legal considerations when entering NRCS program contracts and benefits of participation, and highlight the University of Maryland Extension Cultivating Conservation Program, which will create resources for farmers navigating the application and administration processes.
This panel will focus on the statutory tools created in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly to assist the agricultural sector in reaching the 2025 Chesapeake Bay Clean-up goals. The experts will discuss the increase in funding available via the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program, the Clean Water Commerce Act, and more.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
This session will highlight this year’s developing legal issues in agricultural, environmental, and food law from courtroom decisions, law, and policy and will let attendees know what issues to watch in 2022.
Carbon credits are a growing interest in the agricultural community not only by producers but by landowners. This session will highlight the latest that is being considered on Capitol Hill along with what Marylanders need to take into account currently in the market.
Recent Maryland legislation established a local food purchasing requirement – the Certified Local Farm Enterprise Program – and the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council. Panelists will discuss what these programs are and how they aim to address supply chain and equity issues in Maryland’s food system.
The Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) is a collaboration of the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB); the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at the University of Maryland (UMCP); and the School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). ALEI is an initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, a collaboration between UMB and UMCP. This partnership leverages the sizable strengths and complementary missions of both institutions to strengthen Maryland’s innovation economy, advance interdisciplinary research, create opportunities for students, and solve important problems for the people of Maryland and the nation.