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Arundel's Neuman seeks new ideas for old dairy farm

Laura NeumanUnited States Naval Academy

Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman plans to solicit new proposals for a government-owned dairy farm in Gambrills.

The current tenants who farm the former Naval Academy dairy farm property plan to give up their organic certification in order to use herbicides and conventional fertilizer, a move that has sparked outcry from some west county residents.

More than 100 people attended a community meeting earlier this month to hear from the farmers, Edwin and Marian Fry, who operate Maryland Sunrise Farm on the property.

In a letter sent Thursday to meeting participants, Neuman said her staff has been in discussions with the Frys. But Neuman also wrote that she's developing a request for proposals to see if any other farmers are interested in farming the land organically, "which is our preference."

Neuman said the request for proposals would be ready by mid-March.

The land is owned by the Navy, which stopped using the dairy farm in the late 1990s. The Navy leases the land to the county, which subleases it to the Frys. The Frys have farmed the land for about 15 years.

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Laura NeumanUnited States Naval Academy
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