BGE Brings BioGas to Maryland

After winning approval from the Public Service Commission in late August, BGE becomes the first Maryland utility to use biogas in its distribution system.  Baltimore Gas and Electric has become the first utility in Maryland to use biogas in its distribution system. The recent addition of this new fuel comes on the heels of the Public Service Commission's late August approval of BGE's request. According to WTOP: “This first RNG project in Maryland [will] jump-start…

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Fun Fact: Getting to the Root of It….240 Years in the Making

This week, Harford County announced the preservation of a 240-year-old root cellar. It is the last freestanding cellar in the county and one of very few that remain in Maryland. Root cellars are underground or partially underground shelters that were used to store vegetables, fruits, and other foods before refrigeration. Most cellars were built as part of houses, but others were separate structures. In the late 1700s, planter Aquila Scott lived on and worked the…

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Carroll Receives Maryland Sustainable Growth Award

Carroll County Ag Land Preservation Program Receives Maryland Sustainable Growth Award Carroll County recently announced that their Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program was the recipient of a 2021 Maryland Sustainable Growth Award (MSGA) for Preservation and Conservation. "The program preserves productive agricultural land area with high-quality soils for agriculture production.  It also creates conservation easements on properties, requiring 50-foot stream buffers which help support the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Total…

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Cecil Harvest Dinner Returns in 2021, Showcasing Agricultural Diversity

The Cecil Grown Harvest Dinner is set to be held at The Wellwood in Charlestown on Thursday, October 7.  Each fall, the Cecil County Office of Economic Development coordinates a dinner to celebrate and showcase the diversity of agriculture in the County. This year, the Cecil Grown Harvest Dinner will return for an in-person event to highlight local ingredients and support the County's farming community. According to a County press release: All are welcome to…

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LEAD Maryland Seeks Fellowship Applicants

LEAD Maryland just announced Oct. 1 as the opening of applications to Class XII (2022-23) of their fellowship program.  LEAD Maryland, in a collaborative partnership with the University of Maryland Extension and several other organizations, will host this prestigious fellowship. This UME Signature Program is a leadership development experience designed for people committed to serving agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. The program consists of 9 multi-day seminars over two years and is designed to help give up…

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Stepping Up: How MD Farms Contributed to Hurricane Ida Relief

When Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, over two dozen farms from across the state of Maryland stepped up to provide disaster relief, donating over 100,000 pounds of fresh food. First Fruits Farm, located in Freeland, MD, spearheaded the effort and organized hundreds of volunteers to package and ship food to Louisiana families. Established in 1998, the farm is dedicated to hunger and disaster relief. “When Hurricane Ida hit down in Louisiana, we wanted to help,” said…

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Ida Leaves Mark on the Bay 

Even though Hurricane Ida has passed, it is still impacting the Chesapeake Bay.   The Susquehanna River, which runs from upstate New York and through a large section of Pennsylvania, is the largest source of freshwater for the Bay. The increased level of rain and runoff as a result of Ida means that there is currently a larger volume of highly polluted water pouring into this waterway.   Upstream, Ida’s impact has resulted in localized flooding…

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Solar Offers Pathway for Diversification on Family Farms

The Maryland state government has committed itself to hitting 50% renewable energy by 2030. Using farmland to help harvest solar energy offers a path to sustainable income and energy.   Howard County recently announced the signing of an agreement with CI Renewables to construct and operate solar panels at no cost to taxpayers; the county is set to later pay for the power generated by the panels. This new agreement is part of the solar plan announced by Howard County earlier this summer.  …

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PA Set to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Environmentalists on both sides of the Mason Dixon line are breathing a sign of relief as PA’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) voted to approve regulations required to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).   On Wednesday, the IRRC voted on a CO2 Budget Trading Program. This vote was one of the last steps in Governor Wolf’s push to bring the Commonwealth into RGGI and would help meet his plan to reduce state carbon emissions…

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Takeaways from MACoCon: Keeping Our Food Infrastructure Functioning in Times of Crisis

Establishing a system for keeping our food infrastructure functioning is one of the most critical functions of government. COVID posed several challenges and opportunities for farmers, paving the way to build resiliency into the system. This was the topic of a presentation at the recent MACo Summer Conference. This session was hosted by Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. At the beginning of the pandemic, many of our region’s food banks struggled to meet sudden high demand while…

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