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Rob Schnabel

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Rob is the Maryland Restoration Scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and has been working in Frederick County for more than 25 years. He works throughout Maryland leading CBF’s conservation initiatives on Farms, meeting one on one with farmers to understand their farming goals and provide technical assistance as well as Federal, State and other conservation funding opportunities. His focus on environmental protection and restoration for water quality has dual benefits in mitigating climate change, both reducing greenhouse gasses and sequestering carbon in soil to improve soil health for future generations.

Rob builds collaborative networks and is the co-coordinator of the Maryland Grazers Network, a partnership of MD Extension, CBF, NRCS and grazing farmer mentors, to increase profit in grazing systems, regenerate soils and improve water quality. The Maryland Network was expanded Bay-wide to the Mountains to Bay Grazers Alliance in 2016 where Rob is a member of the steering committee. The Alliance coordinates outreach and education to farmers and has conducted research on soil improvements through regenerative grazing with associated water quality improvements and greenhouse gas emission reduction.  For 10+ years Rob has helped create “The Consumer’s Guide to Pasture-Based Meats and Dairy”, an annual calendar designed to increase consumer demand for local, grass-based products.

In addition, Rob developed legislative goals for new regenerative practices within the Maryland Agriculture Cost Share (MACS) program, giving testimony and assembling a panel of farmers for House and Senate hearings. He also participates in Federal and State workgroups and shares hands-on experience and relevant farmer examples to inform decision making and improve conservation programs. Workgroups include the Bay Program Forestry workgroup, MD NRCS State Tech Committee, MD CREP Team and the MD DNR Stream Releaf team.

Rob advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion in the agricultural community and manages CBF’s outreach to the Maryland and Washington D.C. BIPOC community; he was also a Board member and VP of the Board for Future Harvest, a regenerative agriculture farming organization, for 7 years.

A Hood College alum majoring in Environmental Science and History, Rob and his wife and kids went to summer camp on Catoctin Mountain at Catoctin Quaker Camp so he has deep roots in Frederick County. In his spare time, Rob is hiking on the mountain, playing soccer or backpacking in National Parks. You may see him at Open Book Farm or Common Market as he practices what he preaches, supporting local regenerative farmers. Join him at local Volunteer tree planting events!

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