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Technology Grant for Projects Dealing with Nutrient Reductions

The Rural Maryland Council is holding a workshop at Chesapeake College on soil science and health. The workshop will also include a presentation on the guidelines and application process for a $100,000 Innovation Technology Grant. The grant is for projects dealing with the integration of nutrient reductions with climate change adaptation. The workshop will be held on April 21, 2017 Chesapeake College – Health Professions Center Room Wye Mills, MD at 8:30AM-12 PM. Click here to find out more mda.maryland.gov/Documents/Healthy-Soils-Workshops.pdf.  

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Double Trouble Farms

Governor Larry Hogan visited Double Trouble Farms in Rhodesdale, MD to take part in the official ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating innovative technology that converts poultry waste to energy. Biomass Heating Solutions Limited (BHSL), an Irish company, utilizes Fluidized Bed Combustion Technology to reliably convert poultry manure into heat and electricity for use on the poultry farm. The pilot program is a public-private partnership between The Maryland Department of Agriculture and BHSL. To learn more about BHSL please visit http://www.bhsl.com

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Black Gold Farms Company Profile

Black Gold Farms located Rhodesdale, Maryland has been a part of the community since 2009. Black Gold has about 12 employees year round with approximately 50 more employees during the peak season that runs from June to September. Black Gold leases 1700 acres of farm land in Dorchester County and sell their potatoes to Frito Lay and Utz. In their peak season they can load 50 semi-trucks of potatoes every day for seven days a week. Operating under the Global G.A.P. initiative they are dedicated to economic, social and ecological responsibility in all aspects of their work. To learn more about Black Gold Farms visit www.blackgoldfarms.com.

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2017 Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program

MEA is pleased to announce the launch of the FY2017 Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the agriculture sector. MEA will provide grants up to $150,000 on a competitive basis to farms/businesses in the agricultural sector. Eligible projects include energy efficiency measures and renewable energy measures when done in conjunction with energy efficiency. Applications are due Thursday, December 15, 2016. Grantees will be notified once the review process has been completed. Successful candidates must complete their approved projects by April 1, 2018. For further information on the program application and other documentation, please visit http://energy.maryland.gov/business/Pages/incentives/MathiasAg.aspx. If you have further questions not answered in the application materials, please contact EnSave, a MEA subcontractor, at 800-732-1399.

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USDA Accepting Trade Mission Applications

A trade mission to Hong Kong and Shanghai, China will take place September 7-15, 2016 led by Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor. The mission is designed for women who are leaders in agriculture to create relationships with potential customers and trading partners.  The mission will also assist in gathering market intelligence and the development of strategies for sales in key markets adding light into the role women play in the Chinese agricultural industry. The USDA started the Women in Agriculture initiative in 2014 with the goal of encouraging women of all ages and socioeconomic status to become part of the industry. The application deadline is July 20, 2016. While the trade mission is targeted toward women, men can apply as well. To learn more about the USDA trade mission please visit www.fas.usda.gov/topics/hong-kong-and-china-september-2016

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Fundraiser to Support Seafood Industry

The Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association (CBSIA) is holding their annual Crab Feast Fundraiser at J.M. Claytons Crab Co on September 20, 2015 from 2-5 P.M. The tickets cost $35 per person. Tickets include all you can eat crabs, hot dogs, hamburgers, steamed corn, water melon as well as tea and soda. The event will feature a Gun Raffle with a chance to win either a Berretta A400 Extreme or a Beretta A400 Excel Shot gun. All proceeds collected will benefit CBSIA, an association that works with local seafood processors in an effort to maintain a historic industry and a way of life.  Limited Space is available. For further information please contact Aubrey Vicent at 410.382.7807 or Bill Sieling at 410.507.3249.

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Creation of Local Scenic Railroad

By SUSAN BAUTZ, Special to the Dorchester County Department of Economic Development “People love trains,” according to David Owens, vice president of the Eastern Shore Scenic Railroad (ESSR) volunteer group. If the numbers riding the train at the Hurlock Fall Festival are any indication, he is right. Once a year an engine and two restored passenger cars make six round trips between Hurlock and Federalsburg. The trips are sold out. About a thousand excited children, parents, and grandparents wait eagerly for a ride. Older folks remember train travel fondly; but for most children riding the rails means watching Thomas the Tank Engine. The success of the one day event and the popularity of scenic railroads in Western Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania encouraged the ESSR volunteers to pursue the creation of a scenic railroad on 6.4 miles of Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) owned track between Hurlock and Preston. For the past nine years the group has worked with MDOT’s railroad division to obtain rights to the short, unused and deteriorating track through leasing or ownership. The project promises to be an incredible boost to heritage tourism and translate into tens of thousands of dollars in terms of economic impact not …

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Value-Added Agriculture is Regional Effort

Agriculture is the leading industry on the Eastern Shore encompassing the majority of Maryland’s farms. The Upper Shore’s Harvest Directory aims to preserve our land and the rural character of our region by encouraging resi­dents to sustain this valuable industry. The directo­ry is ex­panding to include Dorchester County and become a more regional resource. Upper Shore Regional Council (USRC) Executive Director Doris Mason said, “We at the USRC are excited to be partnering with the Dorchester County Economic Development and Dorchester County Tourism offices to add the county to our Harvest Directo­ry partnership, as we support agriculture across the shore! As we collaborate re­gion­ally on projects such as this, we position ourselves to compete globally, as even larger pro­jects and opportuni­ties to emerge for us!” The partnership between Dorchester County Economic Development, Dorchester Coun­ty Tourism, Washington College, and the Upper Shore Regional Council is an excit­ing collaboration.  Washington College’s Geographic Infor­mation Systems Program will expand the directory’s web and mobile application to in­clude Dorchester County. The current branding will change from the Upper Shore Harvest Directory to the Eastern Shore Harvest Directory. For more information about the Harvest Directory, please visit them at www.uppershoreregionalcouncil.org/harvestdirectory. Another value-added agricul­tural initiative on the …

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Building Sustainable Working Waterfronts

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Chesapeake and Coastal Service (CCS) will host a Working Waterfronts Exchange on Thursday, June 18, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Although attendance is free and open to the public, space is lim­ited and registration is required. Nicole Carlozo, natural resource planner with DNR, said, “The Working Waterfronts Exchange will highlight working waterfront protection and revitalization ac­tivities in Maryland’s coastal zone and provide an opportunity to connect communities and share lessons learned from other coastal states.” DNR will share information about the state’s Working Waterfronts Program, and the University of Maryland Environmen­tal Finance Center will share the results of an economic and business analysis completed for the City of Cambridge. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  A reception will follow at the Richardson Maritime Museum.  Water-dependent businesses are encouraged to take part in the Working Waterfronts Exchange.  If your business would like to advertise or set up a booth, please con­tact Nicole Carlozo for more information at 410.260.8726 or nicole.carlozo@maryland.go.  Registration will be available soon.

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Campaign Shows Face of Rural MD

The Rural Maryland Foundation’s purpose is to support efforts of citizens and governments to meet the economic and social needs of rural Maryland.  They recently traveled the state promoting their ASPIRE campaign and spent four days asking rural residents their aspirations for their communities.  The foundation made a short video from their unscripted responses and shared it on YouTube and other social media outlets. Charlotte Davis, executive director of the Rural Maryland Council, said, “We wanted to show the face of Rural Maryland.  This video allows us to do that while also demonstrating to viewers who Rural Marylanders are and hopefully convey a better understanding of what our needs are in a positive way.” Tell the Rural Maryland Foundation what your aspirations are at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RY7SVLZ.  To learn more about the ASPIRE campaign, please visit www.ruralmdfoundation.org, email them at ruralmdfoundation@gmail.com, or call (410) 841-5772. To watch the video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsAlfs-N5aQ&feature=youtube.  You may see a face or two you recognize!

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