Exploring Maryland’s New Generation of Farmers with ALEI

Published on the UMB Pulse website | December 21, 2023

In this episode of “The UMB Pulse” podcast, we are joined by Megan Todd, JD, managing director for the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and Nia Nyamweya, founder and farm manager of Beauty Blooms Farms in Montgomery County. 

They discuss the new generation of Maryland farming, the role of ALEI in aiding Maryland farmers, and the nuances and challenges new farmers face. Maryland’s new face of farming is ethnically diverse, growing food and vegetables that reflect their cultures, especially from Africa, Asian, and Latin American countries — all done on small tracts of public land.

Todd shares insights on how ALEI educates farmers on complex legal topics and collaborates with other institutions to provide comprehensive resources. Nyamweya shares her journey from nonprofit work to becoming a returning generation farmer and the innovative steps she has taken to overcome challenges in this emerging system. The conversation also explores the practical implications of farming regulations, the importance of community organizations, and the impact of local farming on cultural heritage.

ALEI is a University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State joint venture among Maryland Carey Law, the University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences.

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