For the last few years, Jason Lambertson’s farm near Pocomoke City on the Lower Eastern Shore has been home to an expensive experiment. The third-generation farmer received nearly $1 million in state funding to build a giant poultry waste converter and distribute its main product: fertilizer. But profits have yet to arrive.
Maryland legislators and contract farmers hired by companies to grow chickens are proposing the Poultry Litter Management Act that would require major animal agriculture companies to pay the cost of properly disposing excess manure on their contract farms. It’s a fairness issue, it has an adverse impact on our environment and we need to clean it up,” said Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore, “and those individuals who are making the mess need to clean up the mess.”
The lawsuit over the Hudson farm on the Eastern Shore may be over, but its effects are not. The federal judge took a motion for attorney fees as another opportunity to lambast the poor preparation of the case that included work by the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic and the insincere attempts to settle it. And Perdue and the Hudson may be asking the state to reimburse some of its legal costs.