James M. Voss, Chair (chosen by Governor)
Steny H. Hoyer, Honorary Co-Chair (chosen by Governor)
Henry A. Virts, D.V.M., Vice-Chair (chosen by Governor)

Appointed by Governor: James B. Beavan, Jr.; Earl F. (Buddy) Hance; Shane J. LaBrake; F. Delores Magnani; John C. Smith, Jr.; Robert L. Swann; Steven H. Walter.

Nominated by Senate President: Thomas M. Middleton; J. Lowell Stoltzfus.

Nominated by House Speaker: George W. Owings III; John F. Wood, Jr.

Contact: Gilbert O. (Buddy) Bowling, Jr.

c/o Maryland Agricultural Commission
Dept. of Agriculture
Wayne A. Cawley, Jr., Building, 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401 - 8960
(410) 841-5891; fax: (410) 841-5914
e-mail: bowlingo@mda.state.md.us

The Governor created the Task Force on Tobacco Crop Conversion in Maryland in June 1999 (Executive Order 01.01.1999.17). The Task Force charge was to plan how best to help Maryland tobacco farmers convert from growing tobacco to other crops while maintaining the rural character and economic viability of tobacco-growing areas. This involved developing a strategic plan on how Maryland might use funds from the Master Settlement Agreement (national tobacco lawsuit settlement).

On December 10, 1999, the Task Force submitted its report to the Governor. The Task Force endorsed components of the Southern Maryland Strategic Action Plan adopted by the Tri-County Council. The Council with the Southern Maryland Agriculture Development Commission will oversee implementation of Maryland's initiatives for tobacco crop conversion. The Department of Agriculture also will play a key role in the process.

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