Relief Funds Available to Help with Escalating Fertilizer Prices
FREDERICK, Md. –Frederick County’s agriculture industry is creating value-added products and services to ensure the industry thrives into the future. To support their efforts, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and County Council Vice President Michael Blue today announced over $500,000 in Agriculture Innovation Grants to nine farming operations. Executive Gardner doubled the funding for the program for this cycle, using a portion of the County’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation. The competitive grant program provides funds twice a year to encourage diversification and innovation in farm operations.
“By encouraging innovation, we will be able to leave a legacy of agriculture for the next generation,” Executive Gardner said. “Farmers are vitally important because they produce food and fiber for all of us. When our farmers thrive, the economies of our small towns and rural villages also thrive.”
The projects selected for funding are expected to create 24 full-time and 26 part-time positions. Grant recipients include Amber Fields Malting and Brewing, Keymar, to construct and equip a malting and brewing grain processing facility; Chestnut Hill Farm and Market, Thurmont, to purchase a well and irrigation system and other equipment necessary for growing vegetables, and to purchase a freezer and delivery truck; Glamourview Creamery, outside of Walkersville, to create an on-farm dairy processing facility and a market; Moon Valley Farm, in Woodsboro, to upgrade an existing packshed to earn Good Agricultural Practices certification; Pasture Living Farm, Myersville, to install a walk-in freezer for a USDA-inspected processing plant; Chocolate and Tomatoes Farm, Middletown, to purchase a freeze-dryer; Distillery Lane Ciderworks, Burkittsville, to establish a certified craft beverage product testing facility; Good Faith Farm, Middletown Valley, to build a processing facility for beef jerky; and Stone Pillar Farm, Mount Phillip Road, to construct a walk-in cooler.
In this third cycle of Agriculture Innovation Grants, 65 applications were received. 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, Associate Director of Agriculture Business Development, at 301-600-3037.
Executive Gardner also announced a one-time Farmer Relief Grant Program to help full-time Frederick County farmers partially offset the rapidly rising cost of fertilizer. “We need our farmers to continue growing crops, so this grant is designed to keep fields in production,” she said. Grants will provide $20 and acre to verified fertilizer purchases. Applications will be accepting between June 15 and July 15. Details are available at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/FarmerRelief.