MD Strategic Plan for Agriculture Business Assistance and Development Kenny Bounds MD Strategic Plan for Agriculture Recommendation:
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Business Assistance and Development
“Increase Economic Development Assistance through MARBIDCO, MAERDAF (Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund) and other initiatives.”
Maryland Agriculture and Resource Based Industry Development Corporation
Maryland Resource Based Industry Financing Fund
Rural Business Working Capital Loan
MD Farm and Producer Viability Grant
MD Value Added Producer Grant
Local Government Cost Share Program
Installment Purchase Agreements
Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program
Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund
Financial support to rural focused nonprofit organizations that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development and ag/forestry education
Start Right Farmland Financing Program – eligible for all borrowers
Term and Operating Loans and loans for BMP’s– must qualify as YBSM
Low Interest Loans for Agricultural Conservation – new bond issue of $3 million coming this month.
“Support expansion of rural broadband.”
Rural Broadband Assistance Fund
Five Regional Economic Development Councils formed the Maryland Broadband Cooperative
“Identify business planning resources to assist farmers looking to diversify and implement value-added strategies.”
“Support market studies and research to improve profit margins and enable diversification.”
University of Maryland – Maryland Cooperative Extension
Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center
“To provide entrepreneurs, new and beginning farmers, and start-up and maturing businesses with the highest level of educational support for ensuring developmental success”
An opportunity exists for incorporating the resources and expertise found within the Small Business Development Centers.
Agriculture and the SBDC’s have not been in close contact in most regions of the state in the past.
Jorge Austrich, COO of the Small Business Division, has been appointed to be the interface between DBED and Resource Based Industries
Greg Cole serves on the MARBIDCO Board of Directors and Credit Committee
“Ensure that issues of importance to the equine industry are given careful attention.”
“Attract insurance underwriters who will provide affordable liability insurance.”
“Develop ways to reduce health insurance costs and increase availability for farm families.”
Some work has been done on this but it remain an issue in Maryland as well as nationwide.
MD Insurance Admin. produced a brochure designed to help farmers access coverage.
Direct Marketing Association is doing a market study to determine need, availability and costs
A host of tax reform proposals were made during the listening sessions.
The Incentives for Agriculture Task Force, chaired by Senator Roy Dyson and Representative Rudy Cane, had a significant package of tax reforms come out of their efforts but because of budget issues nearly all of these proposals did not pass this year.
When economic prosperity returns, the work done by this Task Force should be brought to the forefront.