State Launches $10 Million Farmer COVID Relief Program

Earlier this week, Governor Larry Hogan announced a new program that will provide direct payments to farmers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The State's $10 million initiative will provide assistance to contract poultry growers and eligible farmers. Currently, contract poultry growers are not receiving funds from the USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), leaving the state's top agriculture commodity without significant financial support. Under the new Maryland program, poultry growers are able to receive direct…

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Congressional Reps Announce $50k for Western MD Ag Processing Study

Today, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen along with Congressman David Trone announced $50,000 in funding for the Western Maryland Resources Conservation & Development Council to establish a feasibility study on the industrial hemp processing industry. Funding for the study comes from the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership between federal agencies and 13 state governments. Their mission is to encourage community capacity and economic growth in the region. The study will examine…

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Rural Maryland Council Accepting Nominations for Rural Impact Awards

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Maryland Rural Impact Awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have performed extraordinary acts of service to communities throughout rural Maryland. RMC will present several different awards at their annual Executive Board meeting on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Submissions are due Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Award categories include: Rural Community Volunteer Rural Champion Outstanding Rural Economic Development Outstanding Rural Community Development For…

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ESLC, U.S. Army, DNR Collaborate to Preserve 441 Acres in Cecil for Addiction Recovery

441 acres of agricultural land and critical species habitat in Cecil County will be permanently preserved thanks to a partnership between the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) the U.S. Army and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Through a new conservation easement, 441 acres of land in Cecil County will be preserved. The preserved property is the Bracebridge Hall location for Recovery Centers of America (RCA), who works to save lives from addiction. 89 acres…

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MARBIDCO Launches New Farmland Acquisition Program

MARBIDCO is following up on the success of their Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program with a similar initiative aimed at farmers not eligible for the first program. The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp. (MARBIDCO) has announced the new Small Acreage Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program is open. The program is designed to purchase permanent easements from next generation farmers with farms between 10 and 49 acres in size. The money allows farmers to…

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Carroll Contemplating Community Solar Zoning Changes

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners recently approved a zoning code amendment that would allow community solar projects on agricultural remainders between five and 20 acres. The amendment heads to the County's planning and zoning commission for final approval. Community solar allows consumers the option of purchasing solar energy produced by smaller solar arrays through subscriptions. This gives residents access to clean energy without having to install panels on their own property. In Maryland, community…

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Howard’s Roving Radish Program Opens First Storefront

Howard County's successful Roving Radish recently opened its first storefront in Columbia. The award-winning program provides affordable, locally sourced meal kits to residents while supporting local farms. From Howard County's website: Roving Radish, an award-winning Howard County program that provides healthy meal kits sourced from local farms, has opened its first storefront in Long Reach Village Center. The 4,142 square foot space will have a storefront offering fresh meat, dairy, eggs, and milk from local…

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Private Partnership to Build Anaerobic Digestion Facility in Somerset

Site preparation is underway for a new anaerobic digestion plant in Somerset County thanks to a private partnership between enviro-tech company CleanBay Renewables Inc. and construction and engineering company Kiewit Corporation. Through the partnership, Kiewit will design and build CleanBay's bio-refinery in Westover, which will have the ability to recycle more than 150,000 tons of chicken litter annually for conversion to natural gas and fertilizer product. CleanBay will invest $200 million in capital for the…

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Trump Signs Landmark Conservation Bill

Today, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. The landmark conservation bill provides $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the roughly $20 billion deferred maintenance backlog for federal lands. Conservation advocates have seen many highs and lows since the bills introduction earlier this year. The President and congressional leadership initially signaled support for the move, but set it aside upon the arrival of the pandemic.…

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St. Mary’s Approves Farmers Market Nutrition Grant for Seniors
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St. Mary’s Approves Farmers Market Nutrition Grant for Seniors

A grant recently approved by St. Mary's County Commissioners will allow senior residents to purchase fresh produce from local farmers markets. From The Bay Net: The Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) gives recipients 60 years of age and older, who are residents of St. Mary’s County and who are at or below the established federal poverty limit, a booklet of checks to use at recognized farmers markets. The checks can be used between now…

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