Eastern Shore Delegation Gets Update from New Agriculture Secretary

A tractor pulls a piece of farming equipment in a fieldThe Star Democrat Newspaper recently reported on the briefing the Eastern Shore Delegation received on February 10 from Acting Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Atticks.

Agriculture remains a major industry in Maryland, with farming contributing approximately $8.5 billion to the state’s economy and occupying nearly a third of its land. As such, it is the top issue for the Senators and Delegates representing the Eastern Shore, the heart of Maryland’s agriculture sector.

Atticks carried a message that Governor Wes Moore’s pledge to leave no one behind includes the Eastern Shore and emphasized that agriculture is important to many of the new Governor’s goals. He also emphasized the need for the Department to evolve away from reactiveness and to instead develop a more proactive culture in order to keep farming economically and environmentally sustainable.

Given the dominance of the poultry industry on the Shore, the ongoing threat from highly pathogenic avian influenza remains a major concern. The legislators received an update from Deputy Secretary Steve Connelly on the issue.

Additional topics covered included threats posed by invasive species like the spotted lantern fly, Chesapeake Bay restoration, climate resiliency, environmental justice, and land preservation.

To read a more detailed account of the meeting, visit the Star Democrat website (limited free views available).