Russ Brinsfield Internship Program

Meet Our Interns

The Russ Brinsfield Internship Program is a collaboration between the Hughes Center and the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative. The internship program, which began in 2017, engages an undergraduate student from the University of Maryland College of AGNR and a law student enrolled at the Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, who work together to develop viable solutions to a variety of complex environmental, agricultural and forestry-related issues.

Meet Our 2020 Interns

Harry Huntley

A photo of Harry Huntley

Harry is entering his last undergraduate semester at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources as a double major in economics and agricultural science. Liz Johnson joined the program as she enters her second year at the Francis King Carey School of Law. 

He is a Baltimore City native. He has experience in agriculture policy, having worked for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where he prepped briefings and reports and conducted research to inform policymakers using data. He also works as a field manager at the University of Maryland Weil Research Lab, giving him practical experience with agricultural best management practices.

Harry will continue in his role with the Hughes Center through December 2020. After graduation, Harry desires to work in agricultural policy.

“I came into this hoping to learn more about Maryland agriculture and policy. What I realized was I got to learn about Maryland people — all the people working in agriculture and ag policy in Maryland have made this incredibly impactful,” he said. “What I realized is this really is just a small community that we are now a part of, and getting to be introduced into that community, getting to meet these smart people who have been so dedicated and working on these issues for so long and getting to make those connections has truly been the most important thing I’m taking away from this internship.”

 

Liz Johnson

A photo of Liz Johnson

Liz grew up in College Park and is currently enrolled at the Francis King Carey School of Law. She became interested in plant science in high school and continued that passion through the undergraduate program at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, where she was a member of the academic agricultural sorority Sigma Alpha. 

“Agriculture is where my heart is and I want to make sure my career is closely tied to that love,” Liz said. “I connected with the mission of the Hughes Center of using solid research to help farmers make environmentally sound uses of their land that are also economically viable. As someone who came from a science background, I felt that the internship would be a good job for helping me tie together my past experience with my new career.”

Liz said she applied to be the law student in the Russ Brinsfield Internship Program in order to get a first-hand look at the problems facing the agricultural world.

“As a person who came from a science background, I was really glad that my first legal internship was a good blend of science and law. I really got to blend the things that I loved,” Liz said of her experience with the internship. “I think that this experience is going to be really helpful with my career path both because of the skills that I've gained, but because of the connections that I’ve made.”

 

Over the summer of 2020, our interns worked on the following projects.

  • An educational resource and a model contract for nutrient trades between a farmer and an urban stormwater permit holder.
  • Created a research bank to quantify economic benefits of seven specific best management practices for the Maryland Soil Health Advisory Committee.
  • Continued previous years’ interns’ work on a guide to forest mitigation banking in Maryland.
  • Produced a memo to the Maryland Food to Maryland Institutions Task Force on common  issues in the Chesapeake foodshed in order to determine potential solutions to improve the food system’s equity and resilience to exogenous shocks.
  • Created a FAQ tool linking to Extension resources that answers new farmers’ business and legal questions.
  • Produce a blog post that can help farmers interested in hemp understand the new regulations and potentially start growing.
  • Produced a document on marketing honey in Maryland.

 

The Russ Brinsfield Interns, Harry Huntley and Liz Johnson, present on their accomplishments throughout the summer of 2020.

2019 Interns

A photo of our 2019 interns, Michael Marinelli and Victoria Long
Our 2019 interns Michael Marinelli and Victoria Long

Over the summer of 2019, our interns, rising UMD junior Michael Marinelli and second-year law student Victoria Long (pictured left), worked on the following projects:

  • Detailed the findings of three regional food reports commissioned by the Hughes Center for consideration into Maryland’s upcoming strategic plan for agriculture.

  • Finalized a report on current regulations and penalties relating to the theft of aquaculture oysters and presented it to the Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Council.

  • Developed and presented to the Maryland Department of Agriculture a report on Virginia’s best management practice tax credit program.

  • Followed up with attendees of the 2019 Conservation Leasing Guide workshops and collected data on the implementation of best management practices on leased farmland.

  • Initiated the creation of a legal guide on direct marketing for specialty crop producers in Maryland.

  • Gathered data on forest mitigation banking in Maryland, including details on varying strategies in each county.

  • Researched urban agriculture tax credit programs across the country with a goal to improve Baltimore City’s urban agriculture program.

"We've been all across Maryland this summer meeting with leaders in the agriculture, forestry and environmental fields to gain a thorough understanding of the complex issues these communities face."

Victoria Long 2020 Russ Brinsfield Intern

2019 Russ Brinsfield Interns Michael Marinelli and Victoria Long give their end-of-summer presentation on Aug. 1 at the WREC.

A photo of the Russ Brinsfield interns for summer 2019
From left are the 2019 Russ Brinsfield Interns, Michael Marinelli and Victoria Long.

Over the summer of 2019, our interns, rising UMD junior Michael Marinelli and second-year law student Victoria Long (pictured left), worked on the following projects:

  • Detailed the findings of three regional food reports commissioned by the Hughes Center for consideration into Maryland’s upcoming strategic plan for agriculture.

  • Finalized a report on current regulations and penalties relating to the theft of aquaculture oysters and presented it to the Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Council.

  • Developed and presented to the Maryland Department of Agriculture a report on Virginia’s best management practice tax credit program.

  • Followed up with attendees of the 2019 Conservation Leasing Guide workshops and collected data on the implementation of best management practices on leased farmland.

  • Initiated the creation of a legal guide on direct marketing for specialty crop producers in Maryland.

  • Gathered data on forest mitigation banking in Maryland, including details on varying strategies in each county.

  • Researched urban agriculture tax credit programs across the country with a goal to improve Baltimore City’s urban agriculture program.

"We've been all across Maryland this summer meeting with leaders in the agriculture, forestry and environmental fields to gain a thorough understanding of the complex issues these communities face."

Victoria Long 2019 Russ Brinsfield Intern

2019 Russ Brinsfield Interns Michael Marinelli and Victoria Long give their end-of-summer presentation on Aug. 1 at the Wye Research and Education Center.