Annapolis, January 16, 2024 – Today marks the official launch of Cultivate + Craft, a dynamic consulting firm at the forefront of value-added agriculture, agritourism, and craft alcohol manufacturing. Cultivate + Craft focuses on fostering profitability for farms and small businesses while helping to connect Marylanders and policy makers to authentic products and unique experiences.
Cultivate + Craft fills the void left by the closing of Grow & Fortify. After operating successfully for nine years, Grow & Fortify closed its doors in December of 2023. Owned by Kevin Atticks, who currently holds the position of Secretary of Agriculture, Grow & Fortify shared a mission and services closely aligned with those of Cultivate + Craft. Atticks has worked alongside Dudeck and Howley for many years. “It’s incredible news that Cultivate + Craft will continue the work started by Grow & Fortify to support value-added agriculture,” said Atticks. “The industry needs them.”
A Unique Approach to Agriculture
Cultivate + Craft offers comprehensive consulting services tailored to the specific needs of farms and small businesses. The firm specializes in regulatory reform, assisting start-ups and businesses looking to scale up, and emphasizes the integration of innovative solutions and strategic planning to enhance overall profitability. Examples of this include connecting clients with resources, funding opportunities, and project feasibility.
Leaders with a Proven Track Record
Led by industry veterans Kelly Dudeck and Janna Howley, who each have more than 20 years of experience in agriculture and economic development, Cultivate + Craft emerges as a beacon of expertise. Previously with Grow & Fortify for 9 years, Dudeck and Howley bring a wealth of knowledge, strategic insight, and a shared passion for prosperity for Maryland’s growers, makers and manufacturers.
“As both Director of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), and as a local Maryland farmer myself, I could not be more thrilled to see Janna and Kelly opening their own firm”, said Shelby Watson-Hampton. “Their knowledge, passion, and dedication to fostering and elevating the value-added agricultural economy is unparalleled, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for the newly created Cultivate + Craft.”
A Strategic Alliance with Industry Associations
Cultivate + Craft is honored to be the trusted consulting partner for major industry associations: the Maryland Wineries Association (MWA), the Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM), and the Maryland Distillers Guild (MDG). This strategic alliance positions the firm as a leading authority, well-versed in the regulatory landscape and legislative nuances that shape Maryland’s agriculture and craft alcohol sectors.
“On behalf of the Brewers Association of Maryland, we are thrilled to reaffirm our partnership with Janna Howley and Kelly Dudeck”, says Caroline Sisson, president of BAM. “Their unwavering dedication, strong commitment, and impactful advocacy have significantly contributed to the growth & success of the craft brewing industry in Maryland.”
Dudeck serves as the Executive Director of the Brewers Association of Maryland, while Howley serves as the Executive Director of the Maryland Wineries Association.
Comprehensive Consulting Services
Cultivate + Craft offers a spectrum of services:
- Value-Added Agriculture and Agritourism Advancement: Assist farms, state and county agencies, and other strategic partners in diversification, creating engaging agritourism experiences, establishing a stronger connection between producers and consumers, and creating new markets to maximize profitability.
- Association Services: Extend support in areas of management, promotion, membership, events, and legislative advocacy.
- Craft Alcohol Manufacturing Excellence: Provide specialized guidance to craft alcohol producers, Cultivate + Craft ensures compliance, production optimization, and strategic market positioning.
- Creating Collaborations: Foster a social and economic environment for local growers, makers, and manufacturers to form collectives, exchange ideas and enhance the visibility of their products.
Regulatory Reform and Legislative Advances
Cultivate + Craft is committed to driving positive change through regulatory reform and legislative advances. By focusing on things grown, made, and manufactured in Maryland, the firm champions initiatives that will shape a thriving and sustainable future for the state’s agricultural and craft sectors.
Janna Howley, Co-Founder, added, “By leveraging our experience and strategic partnerships, we are poised to make significant contributions to the regulatory landscape, ensuring a vibrant future for Maryland’s agriculture and craft industries.”
“We are excited to embark on this journey with Cultivate + Craft” said Kelly Dudeck, Co-Founder. “Our goal is to link consumers with these vital local businesses, promoting profitability and fostering growth for Maryland’s farms and small enterprises, ultimately contributing to the preservation of agricultural land.”
Cultivate + Craft welcomes new clients and conversations.
Kelly Dudeck Cultivate + Craft
About Cultivate + Craft:
Cultivate + Craft is a consulting firm specializing in value-added agriculture, agritourism, and craft alcohol manufacturing. With a mission to enhance profitability for farms and small businesses, the firm collaborates with industry associations, including the Maryland Wineries Association, the Brewers Association of Maryland, and the Maryland Distillers Guild.