The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission is pleased to announce two new rounds of the Southern Maryland Farmer Mini-Grant program.

The first new Mini-Grant round will begin accepting applications July 1, 2019 and close August 31, 2019 with awards being made by mid-October. The second grant round is expected to open on November 1, 2019 and close December 31, 2019.

Since the inception of the program in 2017, the SMADC Board has approved funding for over $84,000 in support of 58 projects representing diverse farming operations in all five Southern Maryland Counties.

Mini-Grant funds can be used for a variety of projects, that should be simple in scope, and ideally completed in a relatively short time frame. SMADC will award up to $2,000 per applicant for qualified projects, with a one-to-one match by the farmer. If you’re a current farmer with a great new idea to diversify your business, or a new and beginning farmer with a dynamic idea you’d like to get off the ground – apply for the next two rounds of the SMADC Farmer Min-Grant!

Example projects include the purchase of foundation livestock or plant stock, marketing and promotional materials, equipment and infrastructure for value-added production, fencing, hoop house, and on-farm upgrades to enhance food safety. Administrative expenses and events are not eligible for program funding.

“We are delighted with the popularity of our mini-grant series and the very diverse and creative use of the funding,” said Shelby Watson-Hampton, “Both small and large farm enterprises have benefited.”

An example of a recent recipient of a previous mini grant round, Loblolly Farm in Charles County, was approved for funding to purchase fluorescent ‘grow lights’ for seedling establishment. Over 30 thousand robust plants were germinated to full transplant size without the use of a greenhouse. “These lights have had a terrific impact on our business,” stated Benny Pino in the farm’s grant report, “We look forward to increasing our production in 2019.”

For complete details of the SMADC Agricultural Farmer Mini-Grant Program, including criteria, guidelines, and the application form, visit ‘Farmer Resources’ to find the ‘Farm Grants’ page at​

See the Mini-Grant Criteria

Access the SMADC Mini-Grant Submission Form