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ALEI Awarded SARE Grant to Engage Agricultural Service Providers

Contact: Josh Bollinger at 443-239-1392/ joshboll@umd.edu

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law has been awarded a three-year, $159,380 grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education (“SARE”) program. The grant will be administered by the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative (“ALEI”) and Sarah Everhart, Senior Legal Specialist and Research Associate. The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology Inc. is a collaborator and subrecipient on the grant project. 

SARE is a program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). The grant is from SARE’s Professional Development Program, which provides training, grants, and resources for agricultural service providers to build their awareness, knowledge, and skills related to sustainable agriculture concepts.  

The project will engage agricultural service providers from the University of Maryland Extension, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Maryland Department of Agriculture, and nonprofits in a comprehensive education program about agricultural conservation leasing. 

Through an informational webinar and a series of five regional workshops, the project will equip agricultural service providers with the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to educate and advise farmers and landowners on how to overcome the challenges of using conservation practices on leased land.  According to Everhart, “agricultural service providers know that conservation practices are less prevalent on leased land but they currently don’t have any way to address the issue. This education series will give them strategies and resources to assist landowners and farmers in overcoming the challenges associated with implementing conservation practices on leased farms.”

ALEI is a collaboration of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (“UMB”); the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park (“UMCP”); and the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (“UMES”). ALEI is an initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, a collaboration between the state of Maryland’s two most powerful public research institutions: UMB and UMCP. It leverages the sizable strengths and complementary missions of both institutions to strengthen Maryland’s innovation economy, advance interdisciplinary research, create opportunities for students, and solve important problems for the people of Maryland and the nation.

ALEI was established to help preserve Maryland’s family farms and assist their owners in addressing the complicated legal issues associated with agriculture. Based in Queenstown, the Hughes Center provides leadership to promote environmentally sound and economically viable agriculture and forestry as Marylands preferred land use through research, outreach and collaboration.

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