Agricultural certainty program would benefit Southern Maryland

I would like to add my support for the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program, which is a balanced approach to protecting farmland for a certain period of time while recognizing the importance of environmental practices.

This bill will provide farmers with relief that's badly needed as long as they're contributing to the clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay by reducing pollution from their farms.

I've heard critics cite the number of farms being impacted by state regulations as "minimal." To that, I say one farm being impacted is one too many.

We cannot continue to delay protecting the heritage of farmers and their land, or sit by and ignore what's happening throughout Maryland, and specifically here in Charles County. Farm owners need the support of citizens who enjoy, literally, the fruits of their labor. This proposal will give farmers some breathing room. The program will be administered in coordination with the Maryland Department of the Environment, which should alleviate the objections of critics.

Reuben B. Collins

The writer is vice-president of the Board of Charles County Commissioners. The views expressed are his own and do not represent an official position of the board.

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