Maryland Soil Conservation Committee

Official Name of Board or Commission:  State Soil Conservation Committee

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

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)
Philip Hager, MD Department​ of Natural Resources (ex-officio)
John Sullivan, MD Department of the Environment (ex-officio)​
Dr. Darren H. Jarboe, University of Maryland Extension (ex-offcio)
Bruce Yerkes, MD Association of Soil Conservation Districts (ex-officio) 
James Raley, (Agricultural Commission Representative) 

Non-Voting/Advisory Members
Dr. Terron Hillsman, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (ex-officio)
Norman Cummins, USDA Farm Service Agency (acting)​ 
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 w/MASCD annual meetings, usually afternoon of first full day.

Updated 9/7/21