The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition participates in broad efforts to educate policymakers and call on state leaders to reduce pollution from agriculture and increase transparency. Here are some of our priority issues:
As farming practices have become more industrialized, chickens are increasingly being raised in large-scale Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, known as “CAFOs.” MCAC advocates for regulations to keep pollution from CAFOs in check.
MCAC helps keep track of Maryland’s progress towards meeting its Bay cleanup goals, with a focus on the agricultural sector.
Reducing the amount of pollution from excess manure is critical to achieving Maryland’s goals to clean up local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. The Department of Agriculture’s Manure Transport Program provides grants to help poultry, dairy and other animal producers transport excess manure off their farms. MCAC believes this program is vital to cleaning up pollution from agriculture, and it will key to implementing the Phosphorus Management Tool.
Nutrient trading is a market-based approach that can, if set up correctly, help with the financial costs of reducing pollution and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. But, if executed without careful planning, trading could actually make things worse. MCAC continues to follow the progress of setting up nutrient trading in Maryland and will hold the state accountable to ensure any trading scheme is verifiable, transparent and enforceable.
MCAC worked for years to implement the use of the science-based Phosphorus Management Tool, which would limit the amount of manure than can be applied to fields over-saturated with phosphorus. The PMT will not be fully implemented until 2022, and we continue to work to ensure it is properly implemented.
We need to focus on a more sustainable food system and environmentally-friendly farming practices in order to protect our health and economy.