Maryland Soil Conservation Committee

​Statutory Authority: Agriculture Article, Maryland Annotated Code §§ 8-101 - 8-205.  


A referendum was held July 10 through 14, 2023 to consider combining Catoctin Soil Conservation District and Frederick Soil Conservation District into a single soil conservation district. The results of the referendum are as follows: 
  • ​226 ballots were received, of which:
    • 171 ballots were In Favor of combining the soil conservation districts, and 
    • 55 ballots were Against combining the soil conservation districts
The State Soil Conservation Committee will plan to meet September 21, 2023 to determine if the combination into a single soil conservation district is administratively feasible pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Agric, § 8-401

Vision and Mission
Mission: To provide leadership statewide, guide and direct the Maryland Department of Agriculture and coordinate among represented agencies and others in matters related to soil conservation and water quality policy and program development to ensure environmental goals are met with programs that are economically, technically and socially feasible.  

Vision: A cadre of pro-active soil conservation district leaders working with cooperating agencies to address natural resource issues and deliver programs to farmers, landowners and others to achieve local, state and federal environmental and economic goals.  

Primary Function
State Soil Conservation Committee (SSCC) authority allows it to adopt regulations, manage and dispose of federal grants, provide funds and staff to Soil Conservation Districts (SCD), advise SCDs and MDA, and provide information and education.  

Since 1984 with the formation of the Office of Resource Conservation at MDA, the SSCC role has mainly been to make recommendations to MDA on programs and policies related to soil conservation and water quality, provide information, coordinate and appoint 4 of 5 supervisors to SCDs, and facilitate interchange and coordination among a network of local, state and federal agencies.  ​

Voting Members
R. Van Funk, Jr., Chair, Central Maryland (Area 4)
Amy Posey, Southern Maryland (Area 2)​
Steve Freeman, Upper Eastern Shore (Area 3)​
Ed Wurmb, IV, D.V.M., Western Maryland (Area 1)
Robert Guy, Lower Eastern Shore (Area 5)
Hans Schmidt, MD Department of Agriculture (ex-officio)
Robert Feldt, MD Department​ of Natural Resources (ex-officio)
Jim George, PhD, MD Department of the Environment (ex-officio)​
Dr. Darren H. Jarboe, University of Maryland Extension (ex-officio)
Bruce Yerkes, MD Association of Soil Conservation Districts (ex-officio) 
John Murphy, (Agricultural Commission Representative) 

Non-Voting/Advisory Members
Suzy Daubert (Effective February 12, 2023), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (ex-officio)
John Sullivan, USDA Farm Service Agency ​
James Stanton, Advisory Member

Primary Contact for the Public

Hans Schmidt, Assistant Secretary
Phone: 410.841.5865

Identified spokesperson for media or public speaking engagements
Hans Schmidt

Meeting Schedule
3rd Thursday of every month 9:30 a.m. - noon
July and January meetings held in conjunction with MASCD annual meetings, usually afternoon of first full day.

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Updated 6/1/23

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