They were awarded to 14 local farms.
Frederick, MD (KM) 14 farms in Frederick County have been awarded Agriculture Innovation Grants.
County Executive Jan Gardner said the goal of these grants, totaling $306,000 dollars is to encourage diversification, and new and innovative ways to keep local agriculture prospering.
During her public information briefing on Thursday, Gardner said one of the grant recipients is Moon Valley Farms of Woodsboro, which grows produce.
“They will use their grant towards the purchase of a permanent, in-ground irrigation system and well, which will help to increase production,” Gardner said. “The farm expects to create four new full-time positions and three part-time positions as a result of the growth in productivity.”
Gardner announced a grant will also go to the Rights of Man Farm in Ijamsville, which is an all natural beef and organic vegetable producer.
“They will add Christmas trees to their operation through the Ag Innovation Grant, purchasing a year of seedlings, along with a transplanter and irrigation,” she explained. “The sale of cut-your-own Christmas trees during November and December will bring in much needed income during an otherwise slow time for the farm.”
Frederick County Council President M. C. Keegan-Ayer said Kombucha Lady Farm in Rocky Ridge will also receive a grant.
“The Dodson’s Promised Land Farm grows most of the fruits and herbs for the Kombucha Lady brand beverage, which is sold around the region. They will use the grants to double their current production, and move processing to the farm itself,” she said. “The expansion is expected to create two full-time, and three part-time positions.”
Other grant recipients include: Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Thurmont, for an apple dessert trailer; Chestnut Hill Farm and Market, Smithsburg, for a well and irrigation system; Frey Farm, Union Bridge, for farm stand equipment; Inskeep Family Farm, Walkersville, for a hog nursery barn; Heritage Hills Hops, Frederick, for a hops pelletizer; Libertas Estates, Mount Airy, for the purchase of ducks for egg and meat production and to control pests; Moo Cow Creamery at Walnut Ridge, Middletown, for a walk-in freezer and refrigerated van; Needwood Farms, Burkittsville, for a walk-in freezer and shed; Stillpoint Farm, Mount Airy, for farm stand equipment; Valley Homemade and Homegrown, Middletown, for a pavilion; and Willow Oaks/Country Pleasures Farm, Middletown, for mead production fixtures.
Part of the revenue from the county’s recordation tax funds the Agriculture Preservation Grant program.
Frederick County has 1300 farms with 180,000 acres in agriculture.
By Kevin McManus