ALEI Hosts Russell Brinsfield Summer Interns
In partnership with the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc., the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) welcomed two interns for the third year of the Russell Brinsfield Summer Internship. The Russell Brinsfield internship pairs one undergraduate student studying environmental science/policy and one law student to research legal concerns that affect agricultural producers. Victoria Long, a rising second year law student at Maryland Carey Law, and Michael Marinelli, a rising junior at the University of Maryland, College Park pursuing a double major in Environmental Science & Policy and English, worked at the Wye Research and Education Center, Queenstown, MD, throughout the summer.
Two major research projects the interns worked on this summer were educational reports on Virginia’s Best Management Practice (BMP) tax credit program, and a comparison of oyster aquaculture theft laws between Maryland and other states. The report on Virginia's BMP tax was presented to the Maryland Department of Agriculture as a possible way to incentivize farmers to implement BMPs and meet phase three watershed implementation plan goals. The oyster aquaculture theft report examined current Maryland laws and compared them to those of other states, and highlighted ways Maryland’s legal framework could be strengthened. The interns submitted and presented their final report to the Aquaculture Coordinating Council.
The interns also worked on several other projects, including a legal guide to direct marketing for specialty crop producers that outlines risks and liabilities producers should be aware of when entering into direct marketing relationships, forest mitigation banking options in Maryland, and municipal urban agriculture tax credit laws. “I really enjoyed the direct marketing project because I got to use some knowledge I gained in my first year of law school to create an educational guide for people who need it,” Long said. While working on their research and educational reports, the interns were able to get out of the office and interact with farmers, policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the diverse aspects of agricultural law.
“I am very grateful for this internship, it was a unique experience with hands-on learning that allowed me to broaden my understanding of the legal issues facing the agriculture industry, and how to collaboratively address these concerns,” said Long.
To learn more about the educational offerings of the ALEI, including its annual Agriculture and Environmental Law Conference on Nov. 14, visit http://umaglaw.org/.