Innovative Agriculture Projects Supported by County Grants

Eastern Paradise Farm

8 Businesses Selected Through Competitive Process

FREDERICK, Md. –Local farmers are pioneering creative ways to diversify their operations, thanks in part to Frederick County’s Agriculture Innovation Grants. Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater awarded over $124,500 in grants this month during the Spring 2023 grant cycle. Eight agriculture-related businesses will receive funding through the competitive grant program, which is designed to encourage diversification and innovation in farm operations.

“Exciting things are happening in Frederick County’s agriculture community,” Executive Fitzwater said. “Our award-winning grant program allows us to support innovation so our farms – and our farmers – can thrive for years to come.”

The projects selected for funding are expected to create 10 full-time and 34 part-time positions. Grant recipients include:

  • Carroll Creek Whiskey LLC (Tenth Ward Distilling) and Guy Dell Farm, Frederick and Jefferson – to add smoked corn production as a new enterprise at Guy Dell Farm. The locally grown smoked corn will allow Tenth Ward to increase distribution to four new states. Grant funds will be awarded to both businesses for their joint application.
  • Deer Run Farm, Emmitsburg – to add a farmer-grown, made, and used poultry feed product line to supplement the farm’s heritage chicken hatchery.
  • Eastern Paradise Farm, Middletown to expand a pick-your-own operation of rare Asian produce, berry bushes, fruit trees, vegetables, microgreens and edible flowers.
  • Links Bridge Vineyards, Thurmont– to purchase kegs and equipment so sparkling wine can be offered on tap to on-site customers. Additionally, kegs of sparkling wine on tap can be marketed to restaurants and bars.
  • Loew Vineyards, Mount Airy – to increase efficiencies and reduce costs with the purchase of a tank mixer and semi-automatic wine labeler.
  • Walnut Ridge Farm/Moo Cow Creamery, Middletown – to make electrical upgrades and purchase a generator and walk-in freezer. The grant will support the processing facility’s expansion and the addition of new product lines, including drinkable yogurt.
  • Willow Oaks Cidery/Country Pleasures Farm, Middletown – to offer a new product line of Pet-Nat, an off-dry, low-alcohol fruit wine that is gluten free and carbonated. The operation will be the first in the state to offer Pet-Nat from fruits other than grapes.

In this fifth cycle of Agriculture Innovation Grants, 25 operations applied for funding, with requests totaling nearly $975,000. Twice a year, grants are awarded in the amount of $5,000 or more to help agriculture industries expand or diversify their operations, information on the program is available by contacting Katie Stevens, Associate Director of Agriculture Business, at 301-600-3037.