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Agricultural Land

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NEWS
July 5, 1998
FARMLAND, well managed and productive, can provide a bounty of benefits for an increasingly suburbanized society. It is food and fiber, pastoral open space, environmental protector of waters and wildlife.Maryland's 20-year-old Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation buys development rights from farms, keeping land in agriculture. Half of the counties have their own programs, often linked to the state effort that has permanently preserved nearly 150,000 acres.Yet the state continues to lose 30,000 farm acres a year to development.
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NEWS
March 6, 2014
Maryland citizens who enjoy preserved farmland and open space should oppose legislation in the General Assembly that would take land out of agricultural preservation and allow commercial solar or wind power infrastructure to be built there. When the Maryland legislature created the state's farmland preservation program in 1977 it had a mission that should remain unchanged: To preserve good land for farmers and preserve open space for all Marylanders to enjoy. The proposed legislation embraces alternative energy, and there's nothing wrong with that.
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NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | November 2, 2003
With nearly 400 acres of crops, forests and streams, Foggy Bottom Farm on the outskirts of Hampstead offers a compelling argument for land preservation. Just across Houcksville Road from this rural vista dominated by an 18th-century farmhouse is a new subdivision of colonials with two-car garages on sprawling, manicured lots. "Land preservation is the only hope, if Carroll County wants to keep its rural character," said Wilson Lippy, who has lived at the farm all his 71 years and is recently retired.
NEWS
January 25, 2013
Maryland's land conservation programs do much more than protect our state's natural resources. They also create jobs and fuel economic growth. That is why we heartily support their full funding in this year's budget ("O'Malley offers $37.3 billion plan," Jan. 17). Research shows that towns located near state parks benefit greatly from the parks' proximity. Business people in these towns report that park visitors often shop in the town and patronize restaurants and hotels. Other studies document that investments in land conservation generate as much as a 10-to-1 return in the form of public benefits, including jobs in tourism, agriculture and forestry.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | June 20, 2000
Concerned about the future of Maryland's largest industry, the state plans an 18-month study of agriculture as the first step toward developing a strategy to preserve and promote farming, sources said yesterday. The study is in response to a request from Ronald A. Guns, chairman of the House Environmental Matters Committee, who wants the state Agriculture Department to develop a 20-year plan to safeguard Maryland's farm industry. "We want to start the study as quickly as possible, hopefully this summer," said S. Patrick McMillan, a special assistant to state Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Virts.
NEWS
By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF | May 30, 1998
Wayne Armacost's family has farmed the land around Upperco for seven generations, but the Baltimore County dairy farmer worries that the fabric of his agricultural community is starting to unravel.Farms in his area are being squeezed by townhouse developments to the north and million-dollar estates to the south. Local tractor dealers have closed or have switched to selling lawn mowers for the new homes springing up.And these days, Armacost must summon a repairman from Hagerstown when his milking equipment breaks or travel to Westminster for tractor parts.
BUSINESS
By Christine Shenot and Christine Shenot,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 14, 2002
ORLANDO, Fla. - The hired hands are milling around the barn in the gray light of dawn, getting ready for another day in the saddle, when Jennings Overstreet pulls up. In this rustic corner of Osceola County, Fla., miles from the rush-hour masses swarming to the north, morning is unfolding to an almost-forgotten rhythm amid the smells of sweet hay, leather and damp earth. A dog barks at the stir of activity; the horses snort and shuffle impatiently. Down on Lake Tohopekaliga, in front of the house Overstreet's father built in 1935 for $800, a flock of sandhill cranes feeds noisily.
NEWS
February 8, 2004
The Maryland Cooperative Extension's Harford County office and the Harford County Planning and Zoning Department's Agricultural Land Preservation Program will conduct a free "Agricultural Land Preservation" seminar from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 12 at the extension's office, 2335 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill. Scheduled speakers are lawyer Jay Young, real estate appraiser Aimee O'Neill, Harford County Agricultural Land Preservation Program administrator Bill Amoss and Harford Land Trust representative David Miller.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | December 21, 2001
Impressed with the Carroll County commissioners' willingness to compromise on a contentious zoning law, the state secretary of planning has delayed a Jan. 15 ultimatum that the county change the law or lose $400,000 in state money for farmland preservation. Secretary Roy W. Kienitz met with the commissioners and county planning staff members yesterday and left feeling "that there's every sign we're moving in the right direction" in negotiating changes to a law many say allows out-of-control development on the county's agricultural land.
NEWS
March 17, 1996
The Carroll County Farm Service Agency reminds landowners that all foreign people who have bought or sold agricultural land in Maryland are required to report the transaction to the agency within 90 days.To avoid federal penalties and fines, foreign owners of U.S. agricultural land must report their holdings, acquisitions, dispositions, leases of 10 years or more and land-use changes."The report is required by the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, which is still in effect," said Kelly Hereth, county executive director.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | August 16, 2012
On a recent Sunday afternoon, Polly Pittman clipped nets over the ripening grapes in the vineyard she hopes will ensure that one of Anne Arundel County's oldest family farms continues to have a future. "Basically, the McMansions start on the other side of these trees," Pittman said. "We think of ourselves as the last frontier of agricultural development in Anne Arundel County. " Nearly three centuries after her ancestors started tilling this hill in Davidsonville, the 550-acre Dodon Farm remains the county's largest working family farm.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Rona Kobell,SUN REPORTER | October 11, 2007
A leading legislator said yesterday that the state should consider selling revenue bonds to raise money to preserve farmland as open space -- a growing need, he said, as baby-boomer farmers retire. State Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, a Charles County farmer and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said many of the farmers he knows will be retiring in the next five to 10 years, and their children don't want to be farmers. To keep that land from becoming housing developments, Middleton said, the state needs to make sure it has a large enough pot of money to compete with developers.
NEWS
March 18, 2007
Land preservation seminar planned The Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning will hold an Agricultural Land Preservation Seminar from 8 a.m. to noon March 30 at Highland Presbyterian Church, 701 Highland Road in Street. The speakers will be David Thompson, chairman of the Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board; Bill Amoss, administrator for the Harford County Agricultural Preservation Program; Jay Young, an attorney with Brown, Brown & Young; and Brian Lutters, a certified public accountant with Clifton Gunderson LLP. Topics will include county rural land-use goals, land preservation easement options, partnerships with land trusts, land preservation and estate planning; and land preservation income tax tools.
NEWS
November 19, 2006
Seminar to focus on preserving land The Harford County Planning and Zoning Department will sponsor an Agricultural Land Preservation Seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 29 at Highland Presbyterian Church, 701 Highland Road in Street. Presenters include Bill Amoss, administrator, Harford County Agricultural Land Preservation Program; Elizabeth Weaver, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Program; Stacey Schaefer, Maryland Rural Legacy Program; Jay Young, attorney, Brown, Brown and Young; Brian Luttres, certified public accountant, Clifton Gunderson LLP; Molly Brumbley, general real estate appraiser, Farm Credit; Peg Niland, Harford Land Trust; and Debra Bowers, Manor Rural Legacy.
NEWS
By PHILLIP MCGOWAN and PHILLIP MCGOWAN,SUN REPORTER | August 23, 2006
The world is as still as the pickets that line a winding path to Mary Kinder's mammoth farm. The two-story Cape Cod is boarded up, the white dairy barn is closed and few cattle remain for the caretaker to watch over. Just off Sudley Road in West River, Henry and Mary Kinder spent a generation raising cattle and growing old together on about 400 acres of rolling fields. All along, they resolved to protect this place at the headwaters of Rockhold Creek, to keep the encroaching hustle and bustle from knocking on their front door.
NEWS
By TED SHELSBY | August 20, 2006
High farmland prices - already considered the biggest threat to the future of Maryland agriculture - are continuing to rise as land becomes scarcer. Driven by one of the hottest real estate development markets in the nation, Maryland farmland value rose 12.7 percent last year to $8,900 an acre, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. That figure is for land that is sold and continues to be used for farming, an increasingly uncommon scenario in Maryland, say state agriculture officials.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | November 14, 2001
Reacting to widespread criticism, Carroll County commissioners asked yesterday for a meeting with county planners and farmland preservationists to discuss how the county will implement a recently passed zoning law that many say promotes development on farmland. Donald I. Dell called for the meeting, saying the commissioners should at least respond to questions and concerns that have arisen in the past month. Several county staffers expressed reservations about the wording of the law yesterday to the commissioners.
NEWS
January 27, 1991
How much of Harford's rural agricultural land should be preserved? How much should be developed? What restrictions should be placed on development in agricultural areas?Those are some of the questions county planners will be asking the public in the next few weeks as they try to develop a miniature master plan this year to guide growth inHarford's rural areas.The county Department of Planning and Zoning has scheduled two public meetings to discuss issues affecting the county's rural areas, including plans to create a transfer of development rights program.
NEWS
November 20, 2005
Harford leaders promote agriculture I would like to thank Dan O'Neill for his Nov. 3 letter "Permit issue is a `non-problem,'" which identifies challenges facing the agricultural industry and recognizes county government efforts to "preserve our farmland and promote agriculture." Harford County has aggressively promoted the agriculture industry. Nearly 40,000 of the county's 92,000 agricultural acres have been preserved since the inception of the county's highly praised land preservation campaign.
NEWS
By STACY KAPER and STACY KAPER,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 13, 2005
The task force studying whether agricultural buildings open to the public should be required to have building permits edged toward a compromise last week that centered on putting farm structures into categories. Buildings with clear agriculture-only uses or limited public use would not need permits, but structures with year-round public or non-agricultural uses would be required to have a permit, according to the proposal. The group, made up of farmers, county officials and other agriculture leaders, is working to resolve the issue before county building codes are updated Jan. 1. At the Tuesday meeting in Bel Air, which was attended by several farmers not on the 20-member committee but who are closely following the issue, task force member Albert A.J. "Jay" Young suggested the compromise.
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