SMADC Announces Farmer Mini-Grant Recipients and New Cycle Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2017

Contact: Shelby Watson-Hampton
Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC)
swatsonhampton@smadc.com
(301) 274 - 1922, Ex. 1


SMADC Announces
Farmer Mini-Grant Recipients and New Cycle Funding

 

PLEASE NOTE: This release includes information on new funding and important program changes. The SMADC Board of Directors and SMADC Grants Review Committee recommended that the Mini-Grant program change to a semi-annual grant. The next cycle of the SMADC Agricultural Mini-Grant program opens on October 1, 2017 and ends on January 1, 2018. Funds will be disbursed to applicants who are awarded grants by the end of February, 2018.

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) approved ten projects through the new Agricultural Mini-Grant program for a total investment of $19,475 in the first round funding. SMADC received applications from farmers in four of the five Southern Maryland counties. Awards were made to:

804 Cattle Company ($2,000) — In matching funds to purchase cattle corrals in Prince George’s County.

Bowling Farm ($2,000) — In matching funds to purchase livestock fencing in Charles County.

Heart Barn Farms ($2,000) — In matching funds to purchase perimeter fence in Anne Arundel County.

Holiday Memories Farm, LLC ($2,000) — In matching funds to add a pick-your-own blueberry operation to an existing Christmas Tree Farm in Anne Arundel County.

Indian Summers Farm ($2,000) — In matching funds to purchase perimeter fence in Charles County.

March Meadows ($2,000) — In matching funds to purchase goat fencing in St. Mary’s County.

Owls Nest Farm ($1,600) — In matching funds to purchase a rainwater catchment system for winter high tunnel production in Prince George’s County.

Terra Alta Farms ($2,000) — To establish cattle herd in St. Mary’s County.

Trossbach Produce ($2,000) — To purchase high tunnel greenhouse for vegetable production in St. Mary’s County.

Wyoming Farm ($2,000) — In matching funds to expand orchard in Prince George’s County.

“We’re excited to see the diversity of projects that were submitted from all across the Southern Maryland region, and look forward to following their progress throughout the year,” said Shelby Watson-Hampton, Director of SMADC, which is a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland.

“During the review process, we received some important feedback from our grant review committee and so we’ve made a few changes to the program that will improve the mini-grants moving forward,” Watson-Hampton said.

The SMADC Agricultural Mini-Grant program was originally intended to be a quarterly grant. Watson-Hampton said that due to the high number of applications that were received in the first round and the limited amount of funds, the SMADC Board of Directors and SMADC Grants Review Committee recommended that the program change to a semi-annual grant. Watson-Hampton pointed out this will allow farmers more time to plan and prepare their applications for submission.

The next cycle of the SMADC Agricultural Mini-Grant program opens on October 1, 2017 and ends on January 1, 2018. Funds will be disbursed to applicants who are awarded grants by the end of February, 2018.

SMADC’s Agricultural Mini-Grant is open to applicants age 16 and older, residing and farming in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s or St. Mary’s counties.

SMADC will award up to $2,000 per applicant for qualified projects, with a one-to-one match by the farmer. “SMADC’s mission is to support farms, farmers and the future of agriculture. I look at these projects we approved and I am excited about the future. We are helping farms diversify and expand their operations,” Watson-Hampton said.

Grant funds can be used for a variety of projects. Examples include the purchase of foundation livestock, purchase of plant stock, marketing and promotion activities, fencing, hoop house, and on-farm upgrades to enhance food safety. Administrative expenses and events are not eligible for program funding.

In addition to the Mini-Grant, SMADC is also offering two programs in partnership with the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO).

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Equity Incentive Matching Fund was established to incentivize loan requests from Southern Maryland and to help farmers meet certain down-payment (equity) requirements. And the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund assists Southern Maryland farmers with smaller agricultural projects that may not typically be financed by a commercial lender.

Applications for the Mini-Grant Program open on October 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018 and must be submitted online at the SMADC website. For more information and to access the Mini-Grant application form, visit the 'Farm Grants' page (under Farmer Resources) at www.SMADC.com.

View the SMADC Farm Grants page HERE

Access the SMADC Mini-Grant Submission Form HERE

###The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, is committed to: a) a market-driven and sustainable farming future as Maryland transitions away from tobacco. b) a Maryland where farmland preservation, and environmental stewardship positively impact the quality of our air and water and c) cultivating awareness among consumers and leaders of the vital role our farms play in a balanced community, safe, nutritious food and a cleaner and healthier environment. To learn more about additional programs and resources, contact SMADC, P. O. Box 745, Hughesville, MD 20637; phone: 301-274-1922, Ex. 1, fax: 301-274-1924; email info@smadc.com ; or visit www.smadc.com.

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