Rural Maryland Council :: 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway :: Annapolis, MD 21401 :: 410-841-5774
RMC to host FCC Webinar
The State Office of Rural Health (SORH), Rural Maryland Council (RMC), and Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA) are jointly hosting a webinar on May 21st at 2:00-3:00pm on the upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rural Health Care Connect Fund presented by Mark Walker of Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC.
The Fund will provide $400,000,000 annually with a goal to increase access to broadband for health care providers (HCPs), especially those serving rural areas. The funds will provide 65% of cost of broadband; upgrading existing facilities to higher bandwidth; and equipment necessary to create networks of Health Care Providers. The fund could support last mile connections and upgrades to HCPs to enable the adoption of wide range of telehealth applications and rapid distribution of large images.
A competitive call for applications is anticipated to be released this summer and can be submitted through a consortium with urban partners. To register for the webinar go to:FCC Healthcare Connect Fund Registration
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAERDAF in the News
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2013 7:00 pm
SALISBURY - Guests and hundreds of persons in the Delmarva Peninsula's chicken community gathered in Salisbury April 17 for the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. Booster Banquet, the 2,000-member trade association's annual membership dinner. During its 57th banquet, DPI recognized 12 chicken growers and three individuals for their work on behalf of the chicken industry.
The J. Frank Gordy Sr. Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, DPI's highest honor, was presented to chicken industry veteran and past DPI President William G. Massey of Wicomico County. Massey started working in the chicken industry in 1979 as a flock supervisor. He joined Mountaire Farms Inc. in 1988 as a flock supervisor and worked up the ranks. Today, he is vice president of live operations, overseeing hatcheries, feed mills and grower relations on Delmarva and in North Carolina. Massey has been involved in various organizations to serve the industry. These include DPI, where he served several years as chairman of the Grow-out Management Committee. He joined the DPI Board of Directors in 1998 and served as president in 2000. He remains on the board today. He served two terms on the Maryland Agricultural Commission as a representative of the chicken industry, and he is chairman of the Maryland Poultry Political Action Committee.
DPI's Medal of Achievement award for an elected person was presented to State Sen. Mac Middleton of Charles County. Middleton, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is one of the few farmers in the General Assembly. He has been a strong supporter of the chicken industry and agriculture in general since joining the Senate in 1995. He was recognized, in part, because of his outreach to the chicken industry on General Assembly issues. As chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission in 2010, he sought DPI's input on federal Chesapeake Bay legislation. He involved DPI in this year's Agricultural Certainty bill in the General Assembly, a bill to help speed water quality improvement in the Chesapeake Bay while offering incentives for farmers to go beyond the minimum on environmental stewardship. He included the chicken industry in last year's legislation to provide estate tax relief for heirs of farmland. Among his accomplishments for agriculture, he successfully sponsored bills to: create the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund; help the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation in various ways; provide additional money, through the Agricultural Stewardship Act of 2006, for on-farm environmental programs and to assist beginning farmers; and create the agriculturally-focused economic development finance agency called the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation. Additionally, Middleton has brokered numerous legislative compromises to make bills that were destined to pass as more palatable to agriculture, a large factor in selecting him for this DPI recognition.
Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee was presented with the Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achievement for a non-elected person. Kee, who has a lifetime of involvement with agriculture in Delaware, was educated at the University of Delaware. For more than 30 years, he worked for the University of Delaware; retiring in 2008 to become director of agriculture for Hanover Foods Corporation, a national vegetable processing company. In 2009, Gov. Jack Markell enlisted him to become secretary of agriculture. Kee has worked to help the chicken industry remain strong and grow. He is not hesitant to stand up for the agricultural community in battles with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Chesapeake Bay issues. He works with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Economic Development Office to make sure state policies are not harmful to the chicken industry. He has worked on behalf of the chicken industry by seeking money to maintain and improve chicken diagnostic services at the University of Delaware.
DPI also recognized 12 outstanding poultry producers. Selected by their companies from Delmarva's nearly 1,600 poultry growers, this year's recipients are:
•Mark and Theresa Baker, Greenwood, Del. Allen Harim Farms LLC • Sam and Patti Cooper, Marydel Amick Farms LLC •Rick and Kim Hall, East New Market Mountaire Farms Inc. • Kiwon and Sunmee Kang, Laurel, Del. Perdue Farms Inc. •Raymond and Dianne Marvel, Houston, Del. Perdue Farms Inc. •Ronnie and Barbara Matthews, Greenbush, Va. Tyson Foods Inc. •Chad and Tami Mitchell, Frankford, Del. Mountaire Farms Inc. •Honeysuckle Farm, Pocomoke City Mountaire Farms Inc. •Mindy and Tom Phillips, Gumboro, Del. Perdue Farms Inc. •Jason Powell, Delmar Mountaire Farms Inc. •Lee and Dana Richardson, Willards Perdue Farms Inc. •Ronald and Audrey Tyndall, Seaford, Del.
Tyson Foods Inc. Sam and Patti Cooper with daughter Shiloh, operate Chesaloosa Farm near Marydel, where they have three large chicken houses and produce about 450,000 birds per year for Amick Farms. The Coopers divide the daily responsibilities of the farm but have no other help. Until a year ago, Sam operated a pest control business but gave that up to devote full time to his chickens. When asked if he was involved in community activities, he replied that "chickens are a fulltime job." Hopeful Harvest Farm near East New Market is home to Rick and Kim Hall and their three teenage children. Kim's parents, Doug and Brenda Willey, own and operate a chicken farm and the Halls began in the business more than 20 years ago. They started with three houses, added a fourth, and now operate a total of six houses that produce more than 660,000 large birds each year. They have been growers for Mountaire Farms for the past three years. Maryland State Senator Mac Middleton of Charles County, recipient of the DPI Medal of Achievement for an elected official.