GICA Survey Seeks Input from Farmers about County Zoning, Permitting and Health Regulations

ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 28, 2013) – The Governor’s Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture (GICA), responding to concerns expressed by farmers, is launching an online survey to find out how Maryland farmers’ experiences with county zoning and permitting and health regulations have impacted their businesses. Farmers are encouraged to take the survey by Feb. 28.

GICA will share the findings with the Maryland Association of Counties and ask for its input into the survey results. GICA will then convene a work group to develop recommendations.

“We have heard from farmers and farming organizations that there are issues at the county level that need to be reviewed in light of the evolving changes within the agriculture industry,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “At the same time, farmers need to know who to contact and what their rights are when a county zoning, permitting or health issue arises. Our goal is to provide guidance to farmers and counties to ensure both sides understand each other and the law. This survey is a first step toward meeting that goal. ”

GICA was established by Executive Order in 2006 “to promote the economic profitability of agriculture in the State by ensuring that all appropriate State agencies work in a cooperative, coordinated manner with local government and industry groups in planning, implementing, overseeing and evaluating intergovernmental initiatives related to agricultural affairs of the State.”

For more information, contact Joanna Kille at joanna.kille@maryland.gov or 410-841-5880.

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