Agriculture is the largest commercial industry in Maryland contributing over $8 billion dollars to the state’s economy. The Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) began in 2013 in response to a realization that Maryland’s farm families need more information about the laws that impact their operations. ALEI is comprised of legal specialists and other extension specialists who help farmers understand and comply with state, federal, and local laws and regulations.
ALEI legal specialists stay up-to-date on legal issues and educate growers and producers on relevant laws as well as available resources.
There has been much concern regarding the precipitous decline in Mid Atlantic oyster production, with various groups attempting to place blame and espouse causes. However, it is instructive to veer away from traditional arguments to compare oysters with traditional agricultural crops for a different view of the problem and a vision for potential solutions. Comparing production of oysters with other crops allows us to examine how those have been managed over time to increase production. The United States today is considered a world leader in food production. Taking lessons from that development and applying them to oysters could help guide the restoration of the industry that once flourished.
All Maryland produce growers have the shared goal of growing safe food for consumers. Despite growers’ best efforts, however, foodborne illness outbreaks happen. When an outbreak occurs and can be traced to the source, it is usually followed by a recall of the product. A recall can result in substantial financial damage to the grower and have ripple effects throughout the industry. Having a recall plan in place lessens the confusion, delay, and financial repercussions which can stem from a recall.