Agricultural Innovation Grant

On February 3rd 2022, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner set aside $500,000 for this round of grants funded by the American Rescue Plan Act Funds (federal award #SLFRP1623). The grant application will open March 1st and close March 31st.

The intention of the Agricultural Innovation Grant is to improve economic viability of the agriculture industry by encouraging Frederick County’s agricultural producers to expand or diversify their business operations. Eligible applicants must be a crop or livestock producer, value added producer, agricultural cooperative, seafood processor, or primary or secondary timber products processor. Applicants can receive grants for research and development, production buildings, major fixtures and processing facilities. 

Grant Recipients

The completed Expense Substantiation form and backup documentation must be submitted to Becca Tucker at During the life of the project and until grant funds are expended in full, monthly Expense Substantiation Forms with back documentation to support the use of funds must be received by the 30th of the month.

Please find Expense Substantiation form here.

Step-by-Step Process to Apply for: Agricultural Innovation Grant

  1. Develop a Business Plan.  The following resources are available to assist in developing your plan:
    1. Business Plan Suggested Table of Contents
    2. The University of Minnesota  offers draft agriculture business plans for those just starting a plan.
    3. The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC)  offers free one-on-one counseling on business plan development. Contact Diane McFarland at
    4. Maryland Women’s Business Center offers one-on-one assistance.  Contact Karen Kalantzisat at
  1. Make contact with Frederick County Zoning Office to ensure planned project is an allowed use in Frederick County.
    1. Include:
      1. Description of the project
      2. Property address
      3. Existing structures being used for project or constructed
      4. Will members of the public be invited in the building
    2. Contact Tolson Desa at
  1. Projects involving any additional waste discharge:
    1.  Contact the Frederick County Health Department prior to applying to understand the requirements of your project. Contact Kim Dillman at
  2. Projects Involving land in a Land Preservation Easement
    1. Contact Anne Bradley at to verify that your project is an allowed use in your easement? 
  3. Prepare your budget:
    1. Breakdown of expenses by category:
      1. Materials
      2. Advertising
      3. Travel
      4. Other
    2. Include other funding sources that will support this project.
  4. Prepare “Capital Needed” Description
    1. Brief description of equipment or facilities to be acquired with an estimate of useful life of these assets.
  1. Write Economic Impact Description
    1.  What is the impact this project will have on your farm enterprise?
  2. If the property owner or immediate family member is not the applicant, you will be required to submit a rental agreement with terms.

Projects will be scored based on the following chart:

Application Requirements Total Points Points Assigned
  1. Description of Project (What you are going to do? And how?)



  1. Business Plan (Start date, benchmarks toward completion and finish date) See additional information on business plan assistance above.



  1. Budget (Detailed list of expenses needed to complete the project by categories, i.e. materials, advertising, travel etc.  Include funding sources that will support your project, beyond this proposal award.)



  1. Capital Needed (Brief description of equipment or facilities to be acquired with an estimate of useful life of these assets)



  1. Economic Impact (Brief description of impact this project will have on your farm enterprise)



Total Points



Bonus Points (Did you also apply to MARBIDCO’s Value Added Producer Grant in March of 2021?)  A match is not required. However, this grant may be used as a match for MARBIDCO’s Value Added Producer Grant Program.