Agricultural Innovation Grant

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.

Applications will open October 1.

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 Bryan Laing at
    4. Maryland Women’s Business Center offers one-on-one assistance.  Contact Karen Kalantzis at
  1. You must make contact with Frederick County Zoning Office to ensure planned project is an allowed use in Frederick County. This information will be verified to determine continued eligibility. If evidence of this contact is not found then your application will be automatically withdrawn from consideration. Evidence includes a copy of an email. 
    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 and copy Katie Stevens 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 signed rental agreement with terms.



  1. Must be currently operating in Frederick County for at least a year,
  2. Must have recorded at least $2,500 in annual (not cumulative) sales
  3. Must have documented evidence (e.g. email) of outreach to Planning & Zoning to discuss the requirements of your proposed project, and
  4. Must fall into one of the below categories:
·crop or livestock producer,
·value added producer,
·agricultural cooperative,
·seafood processor, or
·primary or secondary timber products processor

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 & Capital Needed (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. Also include a brief description of equipment or facilities to be acquired with an estimate of useful life of these assets)



  1. Innovation (Please include how your project will diversify your farm operation and increase revenue for the future)



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



Total Points