Delegates from about 23 county Farm Bureau organizations attended the 104th annual Maryland Farm Bureau meeting to vote on several issues including rural broadband, commercial solar, and agricultural education in the Kirwan Commission.

County delegates voted in favor of allowing utility cooperatives to apply for grants that would expand broadband service to rural areas that are underserved, according to the news release.

On the topic of commercial solar, delegates were against commercial solar energy facilities being built on “prime and productive farmland, specifically priority preservation areas,” according to the release.

The release states that the Maryland Farm Bureau has two representatives on Gov. Larry Hogan’s Renewable Energy Development Task Force. These representatives are developing recommendations for wind and solar energy siting projects.

Delegates also opposed the cost of the Kirwan Commission and the Commission’s lack of agricultural education improvements.

According to the release, delegates reiterated their support for more funding for agricultural education and career technology education programming for pre-K through 12th grade.

Other topics were discussed and voted on, including local food procurement and pesticide stewardship.

Follow Hannah Himes on Twitter: @hannah_himes.

(6) comments


Shortsighted and a bad decision. Solar arrays do no long term harm to productive farmland and the land can be returned to farmland and/or crops can be grown in harmony with the arrays


maybe we need alternative electric service,i just cannot support or see prime land used for solar arrays even if it can be turned back in to crop production,besides i would not want to run machinery around those arrays.


This just means more houses will be built instead of going green with solar.


So let me get this straight; farmers are against rules telling them what to do with their land if it involves preservation of a waterway, but support land-use restrictions if it involves production of electricity?


Following that line of thought, they are for subsidized broad band internet service, they are for farm subsidies (tax money for planting winter cover). Why do they have two members on Hogan's Renewable Energy Task Force? What percent of the total members does that represent? How about someone who is an expert about the true costs of using fossil fuel to generate energy versus other forms of energy generation? Solar farms can always be turned back into farmland (and certainly more easily than developments) so why not allow them. If not, then the Farm Bureau should be against turning any farmland into any other type of development.


Agreed md1756. Not only can the fields be turned back to Ag, they never have to stop being Ag in the first place if the panels are set up properly. Crops can be grown between and under the panels, and if high enough, can even serve as shelter for dairy operations. Disallowing such co-use options is ridiculous.

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