We have a new episode of Sound Bites. We spoke with different environmentalists, farmers, and public officials about how environmental and agricultural legislation affects the economic and ecological health of the Delmarva peninsula. Then we spoke with Kathy Phillips, the Assateague Coastkeeper, an on-the-water advocate who patrols and protects the Maryland and Northern Virginia Eastern Shore coastal bays; Royden Powell III, Assistant Secretary for Resource Conservation at the Maryland Department of Agriculture; Lee Richardson, a poultry, soy, and corn farmer from Willards, Maryland; and Dave Wilson, Executive Director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
Then, we discuss new laws, called either “Farm Animal Protection Laws” or “Ag Gag Laws” depending on who you ask, which criminalize whistle-blowing at factory farms. Do these laws stifle journalists trying to expose cruel conditions? Are they necessary to protect farmers from people who want to shut them down? We’ll hear two very different opinions on these laws from Will Potter, a journalist who focuses on animal rights, environmental movements, and civil liberties and author of Green Is The New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege; and Emily Meredith, Communications Director for the Animal Agricultural Alliance.