Tufail Ahmad Receives Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award

Congratulations to MCA board member Tufail Ahmad on the 2012 Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award! Read on…

Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award

Established in 1998 to honor volunteers aged 60 and older, the award was renamed in 2009 in memory of former County Councilmember, County Executive and longtime civic activist Neal Potter.The award is presented in partnership with Montgomery County’s Commission on Aging and The Beacon newspaper.
Tufail Ahmad has been a community leader in Montgomery County for 40 years. He has earned the respect, trust and confidence of the community through his consistent efforts to bridge the gap between Muslim Americans and the larger community. Recognizing the need for Muslim Americans to play a vital role in redefining their identity after 9/11, Ahmad initiated a dialogue between diverse groups to design grassroots initiatives and consequently, co-founded Montgomery County Muslim Council (MCMC). The organization pursues equal social, economic, educational and political development opportunities for all County residents. He also spearheaded other community-wide efforts to help those in need.

MCA’s Work Recognized with Wayne Goldstein Award!

We are pleased to announce that the Montgomery County Civic Federation, a non-profit supporting civic engagement and good government in MoCo since 1925, is honoring MCA with the Wayne Goldstein Award. The award is given each year to honor an individual or group for outstanding public service to the people of Montgomery County.

Many thanks to the folks at MCCF for the nonor – we will continue to work hard to live up to it!

More info on the award’s history here.

Right to Farm-SB 1100 Does Not Pass

First the bad news- despite the best efforts of a coalition of more than 20 organizations and the backing of many sponsors and most importantly, the calls and emails of our members,  neither MC 16-12, HB 722 or SB 1100- all bills seeking to protect farming from being prohibited in the Reserve under homeowner covenants- passed the General Assembly before the end of the 2012 session. Read all the background here.

We would like to thank sponsors Senators  Montgomery, Garagiola , Frosh, Madaleno and Raskin. Along with Delegates Lee, Mizeur, and Miller. Got a minute- say thanks!

The following organizations were steadfast partners in pushing for these bills: Audubon Naturalist Society, 1000 Friends of Maryland, Environment Maryland, League of Women Voters, Montgomery County Civic Federation, Conservation Montgomery, Montgomery Victory Gardens, Maryland Horse Council, Montgomery Farm Bureau, Montgomery County Ag Advisory Committee, Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association, growingSoul, Manna Foods, Izaak Walton League, Montgomery Soil Conservation District, Mixed Greens Inc., Montgomery County Park and Planning, Montgomery County Council, Montgomery County.

But… we remain undaunted and next session we will be seeking state level recognition of the public policy behind the Reserve- the underpinnings of the right to farm bills taken up this session. This will be a powerful step in cementing the Reserve as a place with purpose, and that purpose is farming.

It is clear that more needs to be done to show the importance of the Reserve to our representatives in Annapolis- even some who represent the county itself are unaware of its history or even existence.  And so we redouble our efforts and rely on all our supporters and  the allies that do get it- like Delegate Mizeur:

“The agriculturally-based principles we are working hard to advance in the legislature – buying local food and other products, preserving open spaces, protecting the environment through sustainable agriculture, and safeguarding Maryland’s agricultural history – are only achievable if Maryland family farmers are given the ability to operate successfully. Hampering that ability, especially in regions like the County Agricultural Reserve specifically created for farming, would be harmful for our agricultural future.”  - Delegate Mizeur- MoCo District 20

Thanks for your Support

Maryland the First State to Ban Arsenic in Chicken Feed

A victory for Maryland, and for Chickens

As the 2012 General Assembly session ended this week- we are pleased to announce that one very important bill made it through at the last minute.

Maryland joins the EU and Canada in banning arsenic additives in chicken feed- used to make bigger, pinker birds. Arsenic exposure has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Use of the additive has already been discontinued by the Purdue chicken comany and McDonalds.

The additive is currently banned at the federal level while the FDA investigates its effect (really?). Pfizer, the maker of the compound, has suspended production but farmers with stockpiled supplies have continued to use it. As a result of the bill’s passage, no matter what the FDA finds, Maryland chicken will be arsenic free from now on.

Three cheers to the Food and Water Watch that lead this campaign and the state representatives that passed this bill!

More on this from the Post