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 Maryland Agricultural Commission Fact Sheet

Official Name:

Maryland Agricultural Commission

Statutory Authority: '2-201-205 of the Maryland Annotated Code.  

Entity's Vision and Mission:
Formulate and make proposals for the advancement of Maryland agriculture by serving as an advisory body to the Secretary on matters pertaining to agriculture.  

Primary Function:
The Maryland Agriculture Commission is appointed by the Governor of Maryland and serves as an advisory body to the secretary and deputy secretary of agriculture. The commission consists of 30 members representing various commodities across Maryland, and includes both a consumer and a University of Maryland (ex officio) representative.  

The commission currently pursues the following priorities and activities  

  • Encouraging the agricultural community to be more pro-active on issues affecting agriculture and rural life.
  • Evaluating farm/agriculture industry labor and regulations.
  • Increasing public awareness of food safety.
  • Supporting the department's efforts to promote agriculture.

Entity's members:
Each member is appointed to a three-year term, and is eligible to serve two consecutive terms.

Allen Swann (6/30/2016)Horticulture
Andrew McLean (6/30/2016)Poultry II
Bill Boniface (6/30/2014)Equine
Charles Carpenter (Vice Chair) (6/30/2014)Poultry I
Donald G. Maring (6/30/2015)Field Crops
Doug Lechlider (6/30/2015)Turf
Dr. Cheng-I Wei, Dean (ex officio)University
Edward Lee Taylor (6/30/2014)Organic
Jennifer L. Rhodes (6/30/2016)At Large/Ag Services
Jessica Hess (6/30/2016)Dairy
John W. Foster, III (6/30/2016)Forestry
Karl N. Fisher (6/30/2015)Nursery
Kathi Levan (6/30/2016)At Large/Ag Services
Marion Mullan (6/30/2014)Nursery
Michael Dunn (6/30/2015)Agri-Tourism
Michael W. Phipps (6/30/2016)Tobacco
Milly Welsh (6/30/2014)Farm Bureau
Paul Stull (6/30/2014)MD State Grange
Rachel A. Pieper (6/30/2015)Ag Education
Richard Street, DVM (6/30/2015)Veterinary
Roy Crow (6/30/2016)Viticulture
Scott Youse (CHAIRMAN) (6/30/2015)Dairy
Talmage Petty (6/30/2014)Aquaculture
Tom Fisher (6/30/2016)Agribusiness
VacantFood Processing
VacantDirect Farm Marketing

Primary Contact for the Public:
Jessica Armacost
c/o Maryland Department of Agriculture
50 Harry Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-841-5882
Jessica. Armacost@maryland.gov

Entity's Meeting Schedule:
The Commission meets the second Wednesday of each month throughout the year, except during the months of April and October. The Commission conducts spring (April) and fall (October) farm tours.  

The tours educate Commission members on the different types of agriculture operations in Maryland. In addition to the tours, the Commission sponsors a public meeting where local farmers, citizens and elected officials are given the opportunity to express their concerns about agriculture issues impacting the industry. All 23 counties host the Commission every five years.  

Maryland Agricultural Commission Application Packet (MS Word)

Maryland Agricultural Commission Application Packet (PDF)