Frederick Agriculture Operations Diversify Using Innovation Grants

Farmers and others in Frederick County’s agriculture industry are creating value-added products and services with support from Agriculture Innovation Grants. This award-winning grant program helps to ensure the industry thrives into the future. Today Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced $113,000 in Agriculture Innovation Grants to nine farming operations. The competitive grant program provides funds twice a year to encourage diversification and innovation in farm operations. “My goal is to leave a legacy of agriculture…

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$800M in Debt Relief for Distressed Farmers

In October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $800 million in debt relief to distressed USDA farm loan borrowers. These funds kick off a process to provide assistance to distressed farm loan borrowers using several complementary approaches, with the goal of keeping them farming, removing obstacles that currently prevent many of these borrowers from returning to farming, and improving the way that USDA approaches borrowing and servicing. Through this assistance, USDA is focused on…

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Washington County Recognizes 2022-2023 Farm of the Year

The Washington County Department of Business Development has announced the 2022-2023 Farm of the Year, Baker Farms LLC of Boonsboro, Maryland. The Farm of the Year program recognizes a Washington County farm that showcases excellence in agriculture and promotes a greater understanding of the challenges faced by today’s farmers. Production, conservation, preservation, community involvement, and dedication to farming and agriculture are the gold standard for this award. Applications are accepted annually from August to September,…

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Public Service Offers Path to Solve Student Debt and Worker Shortages

An expanded student loan forgiveness program can open the door to solving the student debt crisis and a shortage of public sector workers.   America faces two significant problems: a substantial balance of student debt, and a drastic shortage of workers in many public sector jobs. While these two issues appear unrelated, they may, in fact, lead to each other's solution.  The Current State of Affairs   President Biden's recent move to forgive up to $20,000 per borrower…

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CBF – MD and VA close on Blueprint Goals, PA Far Behind

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's 2022 State of the Blueprint shows Maryland and Virginia making good progress, Pennsylvania considerably lagging. Last week the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) released its annual State of the Blueprint. The report outlines the health of the bay and updates on the pollution reduction progress made by states in the bay watershed. A common theme for several years has been Maryland and Virginia both coming close to meeting their reduction targets and…

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Fun Fact: Autumn is for Apples

Apple orchards are located in most areas of Maryland with a concentration of orchards in Washington, Frederick, and adjoining counties. Baugher's Orchards and Farm in Westminster, MD Autumn is for apples, and there are 205 apple orchards in Maryland, with many that offer pick-your-own. There are over 15 varieties grown in the state, and they are harvested between August and November each year. However, growing apples is a year-round process. Growers plant the trees in…

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New Small Acreage Cover Crop Program Launched

The newly launched Small Acreage Cover Crop Program supports small farm producers and urban agriculture.  The pilot program is operated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and aimed at helping historically underserved farmers and communities build healthy soils, increase yields, sequester carbon, and improve local water quality. Financial assistance for this program is capped at $1,000 per grower, per year. “The incredible character, work ethic, and resilience of our farmers has been an inspiration…

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Cecil Opens Applications for Emergency Food and Shelter Funding

Cecil County has opened applications for $124,186 in aid for Emergency Food and Sheltering programs.  Cecil County has been awarded Federal funding through the State Set-Aside (SSA) process under Phase 39 and Phase ARPA-R of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to supplement and expand emergency food and shelter programs in the County.  The National Board will distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need…

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USDA Opens Applications for $100M in Biofuel Infrastructure Grants

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture opened applications for Biofuel Infrastructure Grants. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier this week announced that USDA is accepting applications for $100 million in grants to increase the sale and use of biofuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. USDA is making the funding available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). This program seeks to market higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by sharing…

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