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Department Issues Request for Grant Proposals for New Healthy Soils Competitive Fund

Meet the farmers and conservation professionals

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 20, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will accept grant applications for its new Healthy Soils Competitive Fund beginning January 3, 2023. This unique program provides financial assistance to qualifying farmers and organizations to adopt conservation practices that benefit the climate, soil, and water.Maryland farmers and organizations with innovative conservation ideas are encouraged to apply for these grants.

Successful applicants will receive up to $50,000 to support 3 years of enhanced healthy soil practices. Funds are available to farmers or organizations that want to manage the following practices in innovative ways: 

  • Cover Crops
  • Conservation Tillage
  • Pasture and Hay Planting
  • Conservation Cover 
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Conservation Crop Rotation
  • Nutrient Management
  • Integrated Pest Management 

​​​​The following Agroforestry practices are also available for funding:

  • ​Alley Cropping
  • Hedgerow Planting​
  • Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
  • Silvopasture
  • Tree and Shrub Establishment

​Grants provided by the Healthy Soils Competitive Fund may also be used to purchase equipment that supports the adoption of soil health practices. In addition, the grants cover research and administrative costs for organizations that provide technical support to producers. 

Funding for Maryland’s Health Soils Competitive Fund is provided by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. Farm size is not a consideration for grant approval. There are no minimum or maximum acreage requirements. Grant recipients will receive 20% of the funds upfront, with the remainder distributed annually upon verification of progress.

This program was developed based on recommendations of Maryland’s Soil Health Advisory Committee. Grant applications are available on the website. They should be submitted to MDA by 5 p.m. on March 3, 2023. Grant recipients will be notified by April 30, 2023. 

For more information, please get in touch with Kevin Antoszewski at kevin.antoszewski@maryland.gov or 410-841-5866. 

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jessica Hackett
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

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