Agriculture Certainty Oversight Committee

The Agricultural Certainty Oversight Committee will develop the regulations necessary to implement the Agricultural Certainty Program and then continue to evaluate the program and make recommendations for moving forward.

The Agricultural Certainty Program, which was passed by the General Assembly during the 2013 legislative session, will allow farmers who voluntarily implement advanced best management practices (BMPs) to conduct their business without additional regulations for ten years. After ten years, however, farmers will have to be in full compliance with all regulations in effect at that time. The intention of the program is to help speed up Bay Restoration efforts by encouraging farmers to more quickly implement BMPs while providing them with a predictable regulatory environment.

Member of the Oversight Committee were appointed by Secretary Buddy Hance in June 2013. The committee held its first meeting in July 2013. Members are:

  • Ridgway Hall, attorney, Washington, D.C.
  • Trey Hill, farmer, Rock Hall (Kent County)
  • Lynne Hoot, Edgewater (Anne Arundel County)
  • David Kann, AET, Crop Consulting, Dover, PA 
  • Drew Koslow, Choptank Riverkeeper, Easton (Talbot County)
  • Wes Messick, Dorchester County Soil Conservation District Chairman
  • Doug Myers, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis (Anne Arundel County)
  • Judith Marie O'Neil, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge (Dorchester County) 
  • Doug Myers, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Steuart Pittman, Dodon Farm Training Center, Davidsonville (Anne Arundel)
  • James Raley, Valentine’s Delight Farm, Avenue (St. Mary’s County)
  • Denny Remsburg, Frederick/Catoctin Soil Conservation District Manager
  • Paul Spies, Chester River Association, Cordova (Talbot County)
  • Robert Stabler, farmer, Brookville (Montgomery County)      
  • Wayne Stafford, Cecil County Farm Bureau (Cecil County)
  • Ann Swanson, Chesapeake Bay Commission, Annapolis (Anne Arundel County)

Agency representatives on the committee are:
  • Kelly Shenk, Agriculture Advisor, Cheseapeake Bay Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Horacio Tablada, Director, Land Management Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • TBA, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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