Bartenfelder: Farmers Reducing Phosphorus Runoff, Should Not Be Scapegoats

In a short WYPR 88.1 FM radio interview (2016-09-07), Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder reminisced over growing up as a farmer and argued that while farmers are working in good faith to reduce phosphorus runoff in the Chesapeake Bay, the public doesn’t always understand these efforts. He also stressed that farmers in other Bay states, such as Pennsylvania, need to be held to the same standards. From the interview:

These days, farmers in Maryland think they are getting a bad rap and it goes something like this.  Even though agriculture is the number one commercial industry in the state, you don’t hear much about farmers. And when you do, it usually has something to do with polluting the bay. …

State Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder says that’s a fair criticism. Bartenfelder says he’s trying to reach out to people who don’t farm “to try to educate them more on what farming’s about now.” …

Bartenfelder says Maryland growers are stepping up [their phosphorus reduction efforts] and farmers in other Bay states like Pennsylvania need to as well.

“But we can’t keep passing more stringent effects here without them being able to get on the same board with us,” Bartenfelder says.

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