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