UMD Agricultural Programs Featured at International Farm Managers Congress in Tasmania, Australia

February 26, 2019

Extension Legal Specialist Paul Goeringer, from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) and the Agricultural Law Education Initiative (ALEI), and Extension Poultry Specialist Dr. Jonathan Moyle will be representing the University of Maryland at the 22nd International Farm Management (IFMA) Congress in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

The conference takes place from March 3 to 8, with an additional day on March 2 for Next Generation agricultural managers (early career agricultural managers). Over 400 people from around the world attend the event.

The theme for the 2019 Congress is Growing Agriculture @ 41 Degrees South – excellence in farm management through innovation, diversification and integration with tourism.

“Although the theme refers to agriculture at 41° South – Tasmania, we see Tasmania as an example of farming where businesses are generally diversified and focused on producing differentiated products for export rather than bulk commodities.  The issues we discuss will be relevant to many regions throughout Australia and around the world,” according to the IMFA website.

Both Goeringer and Moyle will present posters at the conference. Goeringer will be discussing legal defenses and the impact on agricultural operations. Moyle will focus on biosecurity as an important risk management tool.

Many farmers are facing new challenges as housing development encroaches on agricultural land at what is often called the rural-urban interface. Goeringer’s research addresses this topic.

“Ag nuisance claims have been a hot issue in the agricultural press lately.  The goal of what Tiffany Lashmet, Texas A&M, and myself have done is to show that right-to-farm laws in our states would limit the hight damage claims we have seen in other states,” said Goeringer.

Moyle plans to share his experience and success with University of Maryland Extension outreach programs and surveying growers in the DelMarVa region about biosecurity practices. Biosecurity is a core topic at this year’s IMFA Congress.

Field tours are an informative and fun highlight of the conference. The tours will focus on many topics directly applicable to Maryland, such as agritourism, forestry, and small fruit crops.

The final field tour in Cressy, Tasmania, will take delegates to three farming businesses where the Next Generation has undertaken a transition to management. Goeringer said he is looking forward to meeting and learning from the farm families in Cressy.

Goeringer, along with AREC and ALEI faculty specialist Mayhah Suri, recently completed a series of workshops throughout the states of Maryland and Delaware to meet farm families and to discuss successful farm transfers. More workshops will be offered in the future.