Grants Proposed For Agriculture Innovation In Frederick County


There could also be money for rural historic preservation.


Frederick, Md (KM) A program to provide grants to farmers who want to innovate or diversify their businesses is being proposed by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. She announced the new program on Thursday during her public information briefing.

“These competitive grants will be from a minimum of $5,000 or up. There’s no cap on this program,” she said. “They can be used for research and development, production buildings, major fixtures or equipment,  or to help with processing facilities.”

Gardner said farmers who want to take part must be crop, livestock, value-added or seafood producers, agricultural cooperatives or primary and secondary timber processors. “The County’s Office of Economic Development will administer the program twice a year, with grant cycles in January and in July,” she says. “Projects must be completed within six months, although extensions can be requested for certain larger projects.”

Funding will come from revenues from the county’s recordation tax. The rate was increased earlier this year, a move that’s expected to bring $6.8-million. Gardner said $500,000 of that amount will be set aside for economic development grants to support agricultural diversification, rural historic preservation and first-time homebuyer assistance.

The proposal is expected to be presented to the County Council on Tuesday.

Another program introduced by County Executive Gardner on Thursday was a Rural Historic Preservation Grant. It will offer up to $50,000 to individual property owners and non-profit organizations to stabilize, rehabilitate, restore or preserve the exterior an historic property.

in order to qualify, the property must be listed on the County Register of Historic Places, or the National Register of Historic Places or be part of an historic district.

Gardner says the Council will also discuss this proposal during Tuesday’s meeting.


By Kevin McManus