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Maryland Department of Agriculture in Partnership with USDA Announces Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program Grant Opportunities

ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 8, 2024)– The Maryland Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program designed to assist in strengthening Maryland’s food supply chain between farmers and consumers by investing in infrastructure. The department has received $3.8 million through USDA’s RFSI program to administer and facilitate a competitive subaward grant process.  

“We are pleased to partner with USDA to offer grants in such a critical space,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “The department is aware that many farms and aquaculture operations are in need of this kind of support and we look forward to the projects that will come from this.”

RFSI Projects are expected to expand capacity for aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products including, but not limited to, specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and other value-added food products. Projects should expand middle-of-the food supply chain capacity and offer more and better market opportunities to small and mid-sized agricultural producers, to include underserved producers that lack access to value-added opportunities or processing to meet market demand for premium or value-added products.

The RFSI Program has two grant tracks: The Equipment-only Grant and Infrastructure Grant. Applicants may only apply for one track. Grant applications are due by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, March 15.

  • Equipment-Only Grants range from $10,000 up to $100,000; This fixed price grant can only fund equipment and should fit the scope and goals of the RFSI program. No match is required for Equipment-Only Grants. 

  • Infrastructure Grants range from $100,000 up to $3 million. This grant can fund capital investments such as construction, equipment (e.g. delivery vehicles, frozen or refrigerated storage, value-added food processing equipment, or other equipment for middle-of-the food supply chain activities), and building renovations. Infrastructure Grants can also fund facility design or engineering, staff time, modernizing systems (e.g. tracking, storage, information technology, etc.), plan development (e.g. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan), and market development. A match is required for Infrastructure Grants and starts at 50% of the total project cost. However, if the main applicant qualifies as underserved, the match requirement will be reduced to 25% of the total project cost. 

MARBIDCO has partnered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture to provide matching funds for this program.  If eligible, MARBIDCO’s funds can be used to help the grant applicant’s meet their non-federal match requirement if the project involves the aggregation of local farm products for wholesale or institutional sales. More specifically:

  • For historically underserved farmers, ranchers or other businesses that qualify under SBA categories of small, disadvantaged business, women-owned small business, or veteran-owned
    small business- grant of up to 100% match, up to a maximum of $50,000.

  • For all other eligible applicants- grants of up to 50% match, up to a maximum of $50,000, with this exception: If a unit of local government, rural regional council, or county school system is the applicant, the maximum award could be up to $400,000.

MARBIDCO’s RSFI matching grant application form will be posted on its website on February 1, 2024. The deadline for submission will be February 29, 2024.

An informational Zoom webinar about the RFSI program and grants will be held at 3 p.m. on January 24, 2024. Virtual office hours, for prospective applicants to connect with Maryland Department of Agriculture representatives, are scheduled for February 7 and February 21 at 10 a.m. Registration is required for each session.

For RFSI program information, application details, and webinar registration, please visit

For questions or more information about Maryland’s RFSI Program and the application process, please contact Karen Fedor at or 410-841-5773. 


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