FREDERICK, Md. – Farmers and others in Frederick County’s agriculture industry are creating value-added products and services with support from Agriculture Innovation Grants. This award-winning grant program helps to ensure the industry thrives into the future. Today Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced $113,000 in Agriculture Innovation Grants to nine farming operations. The competitive grant program provides funds twice a year to encourage diversification and innovation in farm operations.
“My goal is to leave a legacy of agriculture for future generation,” Executive Gardner said. “Farmers produce food and fiber for all of us, so we need to do our part to ensure the agriculture industry remains economically viable. Agriculture Innovation Grants encourage our farmers to pursue innovative ideas and diversify their operations.”
The projects selected for funding are expected to create 43 full-time and 23 part-time positions. Grant recipients include District Farms, Frederick, to establish an autonomous nutrient management system for their vegetable operation; Fingerboard Farm, Ijamsville, to purchase a well to provide irrigation to their crops; The Kombucha Lady, Rocky Ridge, to expand storage space and add a commercial refrigerator; Moo Cow Creamery, Middletown, to install a walk-in refrigerator/freezer to allow for increased direct-to-consumer sales of chicken and beef; Moon Valley Farm, in Woodsboro, to convert one greenhouse into full-time microgreen production and to equip a second greenhouse for seedlings; Richvale Farm, Middletown Valley, to purchase a walk-in freezer so they can offer more direct-to-consumer beef sales; Stone Pillar Farm, Mount Phillip Road west of Frederick, to upgrade their poultry processing facility and equipment; Summer Creek Farm, Thurmont, to convert silage wagons from diesel to electric and develop a power take-off generator; and Valley View Acres, outside Middletown, to install a well to feed the irrigation system.
In this fourth cycle of Agriculture Innovation Grants, 15 operations applied for funding. Grants are awarded for $5,000 or more to help farmers expand or diversify their business operations to remain profitable and viable. information on the program is available by contacting Katie Stevens, Director of Workforce Development and Agriculture Business, at 301-600-3037.