Forum to address cybersecurity and privacy threats to Maryland agriculture

WYE MILLS — It’s difficult to think of a more critical economic sector than agriculture, especially in this area.

With that in mind, Queen Anne’s County Economic & Tourism Development, in partnership with TEDCO and Bay Crossing Consulting, is hosting a free forum titled “Protecting Maryland agriculture: smart farming cybersecurity challenges and solutions” later this month at Chesapeake College.

The event, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, aims to provide farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about cybersecurity and privacy threats and the challenges that come with the use of modern information technology in food production, transportation and agriculture.

According to a news release, the forum will explore “smart farming technologies” used in food production, and the associated cybersecurity risks and challenges.

Attendees will learn about resources and solutions available to protect the food supply pipeline in Maryland and beyond.

Industry leaders in agriculture, cybersecurity, education, government and lending will share their insights on navigating these cybersecurity challenges as part of a panel discussion.

Panelists include: Jenell Eck, programs and public relations director of Maryland Grain Producers; Chris Abell, executive director of Carroll Technology & Innovation Council; Cliff Coppersmith, president of Chesapeake College; and Tyler Majchrzak, government affairs officer of Horizon Farm Credit.

Joyce Hunter, executive director of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology and former deputy CIO and acting CIO for policy and planning at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the keynote speaker.

She will discuss “Nurturing sustainable and diverse growth in the U.S. agricultural cybersecurity workforce.”

The event will include presentations by Colin Hamill, founder and IT solutions designer at Sentinel Forge Technologies; Chris Clai, director of information security at Green Thumb Industries; and Bill Bernard, rural business innovation mentor and consultant at TEDCO.

At the event’s Cybersecurity Showcase, attendees will be able to connect with the cybersecurity community and learn about the services and resources that are available to protect their operations.

While there is no cost, registration is required.

For more information or to register online, visit

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