University of Maryland Extension

Healthy Living: Do Right-to-Farm Laws Take into Account Public Health?

Paul Goeringer

This post shall not construe legal or political advice and should be only utilized for educational benefits

            We pick back up with our right-to-farm (RTF) series, today looking at whether RTF laws protect public health.  Remember, if you care to read any earlier posts with Ashley Newhall covering life before RTF laws existed, Mae Johnson walking you through an ag mediation involving the RTF law, or my comparing Maryland’s law with other states’ laws, they are available at:  Another good resource on Maryland’s RTF law is the fact sheet Understand Agricultural Liability: Maryland’s Right-to-Farm Law.   If you have other thoughts on RTF law issues that should be covered, please send them to us at

            When it comes to RTF laws, there is often a misbelief that these laws do not take public health into consideration.  Maryland’s RTF law does require public health be taken into account.  For example, the act requires: “This section does not: . . . [r]elieve any agricultural or silvicultural operator from the responsibility to comply with any . . . local health . . . requirement[.]” (Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-403(b)(1)(iii)).  Stated more simply, in order to get the protections of the RTF law in Maryland, an agricultural producer needs to comply with local health requirements.

Finish reading about this topic on the Maryland Risk Management Blog.

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