Howard County Partnership Bolsters Food Safety, Boosts Local Economy

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, joined by Council Vice Chair Christiana Rigby, Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder, and others, announced a transformational $11 million in joint funding to support critical renovations to the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in Jessup.

County Executive Ball included $1 million in his fiscal 2023 budget to support the redevelopment of the produce market, supplemented by $10 million in State funding, to ensure this Howard County facility remains on the cutting edge of food distribution best practices.

The Wholesale Produce Market is an economic driver for Howard County, employing more than 3,000 Marylanders and housing 43 tenants. In addition, hundreds of fresh food companies surround the Market, making Howard County the most prominent food business cluster in Maryland.

“This facility is truly a one-of-a-kind asset for our entire region, with over 330,000 square feet of terminal space used to distribute an enormous volume of produce daily,” said County Executive Ball. “At any time, virtually any type of produce grown in the United States, locally, and around the world is available in this global market. In addition, this decades-old operation will now be modernized – to expand critical refrigeration capacity and allow for an enclosed expansion of the Market’s back dock.”

The combined funding will help expand critical refrigeration capacity and allow for an enclosed expansion of the Market’s back dock. This market is a vital component in the food chain for the entire Mid-Atlantic region, connecting local farmers, wholesale produce vendors, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, and residents in Howard County and Maryland.

“The Maryland Food Center Authority is a major economic generator in our county, region, and state,” said Council Vice Chair Christiana Rigby. “This investment will spur the development of additional food businesses and increase food distribution in our county. I am so grateful to all the county and state partners whose efforts are moving this expansion forward.”

Visit the Howard County website for more information.