The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. and the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp. have awarded $38,000 in matching grants to eight farm-based businesses in Anne Arundel County through the Agricultural Business Improvement Grant program.

The grant recipients and funded projects include:

New Roots Farm: $10,000 to purchase new livestock and electronic livestock recordkeeping software.

En-Tice-Ment Stables: $10,000 to install new footing in and make repairs to the farm’s equestrian riding arena.

Langton Green: $5,000 to purchase a walk-in refrigerator that will allow the nonprofit to expand produce production for its community-led CSA program.
Pencek Farm & Vineyard: $5,000 to purchase new trellis systems and wildlife fencing to protect the winery’s new vines.

Maci Childress of Hopkins Family Farm: $3,000 to purchase new cattle fencing and a grooming chute for 4-H project cattle.

Dodon Vineyards: $2,000 to support a new fowl project for integrated pest management.

Morris Hill Farm: $3,000 towards the purchase of a new delivery van that will support direct-to-consumer door sales and participation in new farmers’ markets.

Back 40 Farm: $250 to purchase new peach trees for direct-to-consumer sales.

“MARBIDCO is very pleased that its Local Government Ag/RBI Cost Share Grant Program can work in tandem with AAEDC’s Agricultural Business Improvement Grant Program to positively improve the operations of five local farm businesses,” said MARBIDCO Executive Director Steve McHenry. “By partnering in this three-way cost-sharing arrangement, these small agricultural enterprises will now be able to purchase some much-needed equipment to continue to grow their farm enterprises. We are delighted to work with AAEDC in this effort and thankful for its continuing support of our homegrown commercial food and fiber production industry.”

Launched in December 2023, the ABIG program accepted applications for matching grants of up to $10,000 to help farm-based business in Anne Arundel County grow their operations and generate additional revenue. All grant recipients are required to contribute at least 50% of project costs, as well as provide proof of completion of the project within a year of the grant award.

AAEDC received 20 grant applications in ABIG’s first year, with projects totaling $451,570 and funds requested totaling $139,305. Each grant application was numerically scored based on its impact to increase revenue, increase or retain employees, expand operations or increase efficiency, increase the local-grown food supply or provide agricultural education opportunities.

AAEDC distributed the program’s $20,000 in funds among the top-ranked projects, which ranged from a project cost of $500 (Back 40 Farm) to $44,581 (New Roots Farm) and was able to provide an additional $18,000 in funding via MARBIDCO, which cost-shared qualifying projects.