The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation works to bolster rural economies, advance and sustain locally-produced food and fiber products, and preserve working farm and forest land. Maryland's agricultural businesses are aided by the Corporation which provides access to affordable capital and credit, and business planning guidance.
To qualifying farms and rural businesses, the Corporation offers assistance in securing affordable capital and credit for equipment, commercial facilities, and real estate purchases, often by partnering with commercial lenders. Through grants and low-interest loan programs, the Corporation provides financing to farm, forestry and seafood operations to help them take advantage of emerging markets in food and fiber production, and in rural tourism or ecosystem services. Young or beginning farmers, including those engaged in shellfish aquaculture and agricultural enterprises, seeking to diversify their business operations, also receive assistance from the Corporation.
By serving as a financial intermediary for State and local land conservation organizations, and working with State and local land preservation agencies and commercial lenders, the Corporation assists with rural working land preservation (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 10-501 through 10-527).
Since 2006, the State budget has included mandatory funding to capitalize the Corporation's business investment programs. This authorization ends in 2025 (Chapter 150, Acts of 2021).
Since February 2021, the Corporation has administered the Certified Local Farm Enterprise Food Aggregation Grant Fund (Chapters 2, Acts of 2021; Chapter 32, Acts of 2021). Through grants and near-equity investments, the Fund is used to establish and operate food aggregation, storage, processing and distribution sites across the State.
The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of seventeen members. Eleven are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor, and six serve ex officio (Code Economic Development Article, sec. 10-505).
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