Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc.

Hughes Center

The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) corporation affiliated with the University of Maryland College Park and the University System of Maryland.  Founded in 1999, the Center brings together diverse interests from the agricultural, forestry, and environmental communities for the purpose of retaining Maryland's working landscapes and the industries they support while protecting and improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. 

Mission Statement

Provide leadership to promote environmentally sound and economically viable agriculture and forestry as Maryland's preferred land use through research, outreach and collaboration.

About Us

Who We Are

The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) corporation affiliated with the University of Maryland College Park and the University System of Maryland.  Founded in 1999, the Center brings together diverse interests from the agricultural, forestry, and environmental communities for the purpose of retaining Maryland’s working landscapes and the industries they support while protecting and improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

What We Do

The Center works toward achieving its diverse mission through a three-pronged approach of scientific research, policy analysis, and outreach and education efforts.

Scientific Research

Since it’s inception in 1999, the Center has funded 65 research projects with $6.8 million obtained through the USDA CSREES Special Research Grants Program,  the Hatch Act, the State of Maryland General Assembly and through private foundations.  These funds were matched by $2.6 million from in-kind, cost-share, and other sources for a total research investment of $9.4 million.  The research findings provide decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels with science-based guidance on important topics such as:

  • The use of the enzyme Phytase in poultry feed to reduce phosphorus levels in manure
  • Ways to improve the federal Conservation Security Program (“green payments”)
  • Protecting Maryland’s investment in land preservation through supportive local zoning and compatible transportation policies
  • The use of downzoning as a tool to preserve farmland
  • An economic assessment of the forestry industry in Maryland
  • Identifying alternative crops and niche markets to help farmers who wish to transition from traditional commodity crop production
  • Designing riparian buffers to maximize environmental benefits
  • Enhancing the economic development of resource-based industries on the Eastern Shore
  • Creating a blueprint for an effective TDR program based on other successful models
  • Identifying the presence and effect of endocrine disrupting compounds in poultry litter

Policy Analysis

As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Governor’s Agricultural Forum and Strategic Plan, the Center played an important role in helping to plan the listening sessions that elicited input on agricultural and forestry issues from over 500 Maryland citizens, and ultimately in the formation of the 2006 Statewide Plan for Agricultural Policy and Resource Management.

As a member of the Governor's Commission on Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry, the Center helped to shape Maryland's Strategic Forest Resource Plan for 2006, which recognizes that Maryland's forests should be managed with an eye towards the multitude of services they provide, including clean air, clean water, diverse habitat for wildlife, economic return, and recreational opportunities, among others.

Education and Outreach

The Center continues to expand its Education and Outreach efforts in Maryland.  Center staff members periodically brief the House Environmental Matters Committee and the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs; hold workshops on research topics such as the availability of tools to preserve working landscapes; make presentations to local governments and community groups; and participate in several interdisciplinary networks through the University of Maryland.

Support Us

Donate

Want to support the Center? The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. is a 501(c)3 affiliated foundation with the University of Maryland College Park. Our Form 990 is available online. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Call Nancy Nunn, Assistant Director, at 410.827.6202 or e-mail her at nnunn@umd.edu for details on how to make your donation.

Volunteer

Would you prefer to donate your time, resources, or expertise? We are always seeking volunteers to assist with event planning and execution, fundraising efforts, mailings, and general Center operations. Please send an e-mail to agroecology@umd.edu or call 410.827.6202 with your specific interests/skills and availability.

Upcoming Events

Agricultural Conservation Leasing Workshops

Attendees will gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to educate and advise landowners and farmers how to overcome the challenges of implementing conservation practices on leased farm land. Interested landowners and farmers are also encouraged to attend!

Lower Shore Workshop - December 10, 2018
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore, Salisbury MD  21804
REGISTER NOW

Mid-Shore Workshop - January 8, 2019
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Chesapeake College, Wye Mills MD  21679
REGISTER NOW

Southern Maryland Workshop - January 17, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Charles County Soil Conservation District, Waldorf MD  20601
REGISTER NOW

Western Maryland Workshop - January 23, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Frederick County Extension Office, Frederick MD  21702
REGISTER NOW

Central Maryland Workshop - January 28, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Baltimore County AG Center, Cockeysville MD  21030
REGISTER NOW

Flyer available for printing

This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number ENE18-151.

Contact Us and Annual Report

Address:
Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc.
PO Box 169
124 Wye Narrows Drive
Queenstown, MD 21658

Phone: 410.827.8056
FAX: 410.827.9039
E-mailagroecology@umd.edu

Center Staff