David Polefrone is a recent graduate of Marriotts Ridge High School, and will be attending the University of Maryland, College Park as a member of the Gemstone Honors College in the fall of 2017. David was active in his school's speech, golf, band, and quiz bowl teams, and was an executive officer of the National Honor Society. He was a nationally acclaimed extemporaneous speaker and 2016 Maryland state winner of the American Legion Oratorical Contest, and is an alumnus of Maryland Boys State, Boys Nation, and the United States Senate Youth Program. David plans to major in biochemistry and economics and work in the health policy field.

What is a Soil Amendment and What are the Risks Associated with Soil Amendments?

What Is a Soil Amendment?  Soil amendments are any agents, whether chemical, biological, or physical, purposefully added to soil to improve plant growth and development. Commonly used soil amendments include elemental fertilizers, compost, manure, animal byproducts, peat moss, perlite, pre-consumer vegetative waste, sewage sludge biosolids, table waste, agricultural tea, and yard trimmings. Biological soil amendments…

What are Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC) for Farms?

Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPCs) comprise the bulk of regulations imposed under the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule. Facilities subject to HARPC requirements must create a food safety plan, administered by a “preventive controls qualified individual,” or PCQI. Preventive Controls Qualified Individual: a qualified individual who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent…

Maryland Resources for Good Agricultural and Handling Practices (GAP/GHP)

Maryland Good Agricultural and Handling Practices (GAP/GHP) Good Agricultural and Handling Practices are sets of standards developed to protect consumers and producers from food contamination. Many states have developed their own sets of practices, and these protocols are different for different farms. While optional for farms, many produce buyers require GAP/GHP implementation. These practices create…