ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the launch of a grant pilot program aimed at empowering, preserving, and supporting agriculture-supporting organizations in Howard County. The new Enhanced Agriculture Grant (EAG) pilot program offers awards up to $250,000 for farmers, non-profits, and organizations who support Howard County’s agriculture. Pictures from the event can be found here.



Howard County is a leader in agricultural preservation, promotion, and innovation. Our farms and rural heritage are essential elements of the economy and quality of life that make us a beautiful and strong community to live, work, play, grow and thrive for all. We expect that this new program which includes a $250,000 in Agriculture Preservation Program Funds for FY24, will open the door to exciting and innovative investments in technology and equipment that would not have otherwise been possible.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

The Enhanced Agricultural Grant (EAG) pilot offers funding for programming, research, and capital investments for applicants that facilitate the expansion, sustainability, and education of Howard County agriculture. The grant concept was developed in partnership by the Howard County Office of Community Sustainability and supported by Howard County Councilmember David Yungmann. Applicants may receive grants up to $250,000.

 “Agriculture preservation is more than preserving land - it’s about having a sustainable industry that provides local food to our residents, productive uses of our preserved land and economic prosperity to our county,” said Howard County Councilmember David Yungmann. “I’m thrilled that we can support these businesses and the dedicated individuals and families that carry the heavy load of running them.”

Currently, the Howard County Economic Development Authority administers the Howard County Agricultural Grant for Innovation and Expansion (AGIE) for producers that want to expand or diversify their business operations. AGIE grants range from $1,000 to $20,000. The EAG allows for applicants to request additional funding than they were able to previously under AGIE.

“One of the priorities of the Howard County Economic Development Authority is to ensure the continued success of our farms,” said Jennifer Jones, CEO of Howard County Economic Development Authority. “We need to make sure that agriculture is an economically viable industry, and that’s where innovation grants are so critical. With this funding for the EAG pilot, our agricultural entrepreneurs and supporting organizations can implement even bigger projects.”

The Enhanced Agricultural Grant will be administered by the Office of Community Sustainability (OCS) in coordination with the Agricultural Preservation Board (APB). Applicants will submit grant proposals to OCS who will request recommendations from the APB for grant awards. The grants will be offered once a year with optional offering as funds allow under the discretion of OCS and the APB.

"Howard County has done an excellent job preserving farmland, but it’s as equally important to preserve agriculture as an industry for the next generation. This grant program will enable us to work toward achieving that goal,” said James Zoller, Agricultural Coordinator, Howard County Office of Community Sustainability.

As farms look to keep the next generation on the farm or to grow and diversify their operation the new Enhanced Agricultural Grant will go a long way to help support these efforts. I encourage local farms to take advantage of this new grant program,” said Leslie Bauer, President of the Howard County Farm Bureau.

The grant is open to all Howard County farms, organizations and non-profits serving the Howard County agricultural community. Grant applications will be evaluated by the Agricultural Preservation Board. Priority will be given to applications that strengthen agricultural overall in Howard County. For more information about the program and to apply, please click here.

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