ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) has announced a grant funding opportunity to encourage Maryland’s agricultural producers to engage in value-added activities and pursue financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Value-Added Producer Grants Program (USDA-VAPG). The USDA-VAPG is a highly competitive nationwide grants program with approximately $33 million available for distribution in 2021. These federal grant funds, which can range up to as much as $250,000, can be used for planning (up to $75,000) or working capital expenses (up to $250,000) in accordance with USDA regulations. Eligible purposes include feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for producing and marketing value-added agricultural products, and for farm-based renewable energy projects.
MARBIDCO is making available Maryland Value-Added Producer Matching Grants (MVAPMG) of up to 15% of the amount of a USDA-VAPG award to help an eligible applicant meet the one-for-one non-federal financial matching requirement (with a cap of $25,000). All applicants that meet the MARBIDCO requirements will receive a commitment of matching funds to be included with their federal USDA-VAPG application. A MVAPMG monetary award from MARBIDCO will only be provided to an applicant that is selected to receive USDA-VAPG funding.
The application submission deadline for the national USDA-VAPG program is March 22, 2021. Questions regarding the USDA-VAPG can be addressed to the Maryland/Delaware Office of USDA-Rural Development at 302-857-3629, or visit USDA’s website for more information: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants.
Applicants seeking to receive a commitment of matching funds from MARBIDCO must submit an application at least two weeks prior to the federal submission deadline. The deadline for the submission of hand-delivered MARBIDCO applications is Monday, March 8, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. (or, by mail, postmarked no later than Thursday, March 4, 2021). Electronic submissions are due March 8, 2021, by 4:00 p.m. and can be sent to email@example.com. Please visit the MARBIDCO website for more information and to download the MVAPMG application form: http://www.marbidco.org. Questions about the MVAPMG may also be addressed by contacting Daniel Sweeney, MARBIDCO Financial Programs Associate, at 410-267-6807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARBIDCO was established by the Maryland General Assembly a decade ago to help enhance the sustainability and profitability of the State’s agricultural and resource-based industries in order to help bolster rural economies, support locally-produced food and fiber products, and preserve working farm and forest land. MARBIDCO is a nimble, quasi-public financial intermediary organization that has a mission to serve exclusively the commercial farming, forestry, and seafood industries of Maryland. Young and beginning farmers are a special focus for MARBIDCO, as is farm operation diversification. In delivering its financing programs, MARBIDCO works cooperatively with commercial banks and Farm Credit Associations, as well as, a host of federal, State, regional, and local government agencies and universities. Since 2007, MARBIDCO has approved some 728 financings totaling nearly $66 million for food and fiber business projects located in of all Maryland’s counties – and in the process has leveraged more than $157 million in commercial lender financing. For more information about MARBIDCO’s programs, please visit: www.marbidco.org.