Regional Agriculture Project (RAP) is designed to further SMADC’s mission to support farms, farmers, and the future of agriculture in Southern Maryland. Its purpose is to create economic viability for farmers in Southern Maryland and to foster collaboration among the region to enhance and sustain the regions’ agricultural economy.
SMADC encouraged everyone to work together on this grant on multiple levels within the county — Farm Bureaus, Soil Conservation Districts, Economic Development/county government offices, University of Maryland Extension and area farmers — so that together, funds would be used to strengthen cross-county relationships and to bolster the entire farming community.
SMADC is excited to announce that all counties participated in this program, and many partnered together, or will offer their project services to other Southern Maryland farmers. SMADC’s total investment toward the Regional Agriculture Project is $125,000. Every county provided matching funds to the project for a total regional investment to the agriculture community of $980,000. Funds will be awarded by SMADC in December, and all projects are expected to be started by 2018 and completed within 3 years.
Anne Arundel County Submission – Rockhold Creek Farm – 4H Program/Barn Restoration Project:
Return the historic dairy barn into a working agriculture building, which would then be used to create/expand the county 4H program as the primary use. The space will be available for regional events and educational opportunities.
Calvert County Submission – Calvert County Agriculture Digital Infrastructure Project:
Create the digital infrastructure and foundation necessary to ensure a long-term online presence for Calvert County agriculture. The proposed infrastructure and content management system will provide an opportunity for all producers to have a presence on the internet
Prince George’s County Submission – Prince George’s County Soil Health Demonstration Farm Project:
In order to help educate the farming community on farming Best Management Practices (BMP) that improve soil health, they propose establishing a research and demonstration farm using a variety of BMPs. A historic tobacco barn will be used as an on-site laboratory for soils, plant and other related work.
St. Mary’s County Submission – North St. Mary’s County Farmers Market Relocation:
Funds would be used to assist in the acquisition of property and the necessary road and site improvements necessary. The market will include an enclosed building with utility service that will allow the sale of value-added products that are currently unavailable at the market. The market currently includes vendors from both St. Mary’s and Charles counties. Charles County agriculture entities support the project and provided letters of support. Charles County is not submitting their own project as they support their share of funds to be used for regional enterprise.
SMADC is pleased at the quality and diversity of the awarded county projects, and looks forward to seeing them come to fruition. Follow SMADC online for further updates as the projects progress as projects are completed!