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Grants Available Promoting Local and Value Added Food, Food Safety Training, Outreach and Tech Assistance

Deadlines to apply throughout May and June  

HAGERSTOWN, MD. (May 9, 2016) – The Washington County Department of Business Development Office of Agricultural Business Development is encouraging local farmers to apply for the following grant program funding opportunities available through the United States Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Agricultural and Resources-Based Industry Development Corporation. Deadlines for the programs vary. See specific details with each grant program.

  • Food Safety Outreach Program  will award $4.7 million in grants for food safety education, training, and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers, food hubs, farmers' markets, and others, to help these stakeholders comply with new food safety guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Applications are due June 2.
  • Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program are now available for nonprofit organizations and public entities for rural areas. This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

For those in the agriculture community interested in more information contact Leslie Hart, Agricultural Business Development Specialist at: 240-313-2284 or

Media with questions should contact Public Relations Manager James Jenkins at 240-313-2384.


About the Washington County Department of Business Development,

Agricultural Business Development  

Washington County Department of Business Development, Agricultural Business Development is a County agency providing assistance to new and expanding businesses throughout Hagerstown and Washington County, Maryland. The DBD, Agricultural Business Development is responsible for developing and managing economic development strategies and implementing programs to attract, retain, preserve and grow agricultural enterprises and related industries. The DBD interacts with a vast network of public, private and nonprofit organizations to address the agricultural and business needs of the community, as well as attract new companies to the county. Visit for more information.

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