University of Maryland Extension

Maryland State Bar Association Forms Agricultural Law Committee

Maryland State Bar Association Forms Agricultural Law Committee to Serve Interest of Maryland Farmers

On November 15, the Steering Committee of the newly formed Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Special Committee on Agricultural Law met at the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Annapolis. The Special Committee is co-chaired by Kimberly Manuelides and Kathleen Tabor who both have many years of experience assisting and representing Maryland’s agricultural community and industry.           

The mission of the newly formed Special Committee on Agricultural Law is to “serve the interests of the agricultural and legal community in Maryland.” To achieve this goal the Special Committee will strive to be a resource that disseminates information about developments in agricultural law, provide research and analysis regarding the impact of proposed legislation on the agricultural industry, and improve the knowledge and ability of legal professionals through continuing education focused on agricultural law.

With Maryland’s agricultural industry contributing over $8 billion annually to the state economy and employing over 45,000 individuals, it is essential that farmers and the agricultural community understand the law and have appropriate legal representation. Currently, the MSBA Special Committee on Agricultural Law boasts a roster of 78 attorneys who maintain a legal practice representing agricultural clients, have a familiarity with agricultural law issues, and others that are interesting in the expanding their practice to include agricultural law.

The Special Committee is currently in the process of making a large push to increase its membership. Once the Special Committee reaches the 100 attorney it will gain section status with the MSBA, which will allow for more funding for programs, research, and assistance for Maryland’s agricultural community. In the meantime, the Special Committee is planning on having a booth and Committee members at the University of Maryland, Maryland Day on April 26th and on August 7th at the Horse Forum.

The formation of a MSBA Special Committee on Agricultural Law is an important step towards to the addressing of the underserved legal needs of Maryland’s Agricultural community. Every year new rules and regulations emerge that put increasing pressure on the agricultural industry. Many of these laws are complex and require the skills and expertise of attorneys who understand agriculture to ensure appropriate compliance.

As the MSBA Special Committee on Agricultural Law grows, the Agricultural Law Education Initiative will be working closely to co-host events and utilize the expertise for the many agricultural law attorneys who are part of the group. In the next few months, the Special Committee will be publishing a list of attorneys who practice agricultural law that will be available on this website.

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