ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 27, 2023) The Maryland Department of Agriculture today announced a new grant program that helps urban farms and community gardens purchase and install equipment to access water and electricity needed to sustain and grow their operations. Approved by the Maryland General Assembly in 2022, the Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Grant Program provides the department with up to $500,000 in annual funding through Fiscal Year 2027. 

“Urban and community farms provide a needed source of fresh, locally grown food for many city residents,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “During the hot summer months, irrigation becomes essential for these growers. This grant program helps small, urban operations purchase and install equipment that will allow them to connect to existing water and electricity sources,” he said.

The department’s Small Farm and Urban Agriculture Program will accept grant applications from individual growers, organized for-profit agricultural businesses, and non-profit organizations on a first-come basis. The Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Grant Program will have a continuous signup process. 

To qualify for the grants, applicants must produce a farm product that generates a minimum of $1,000 in sales or donations annually. Grant recipients are required to comply with all local, state, or federal regulations and secure required permits for projects. Grant highlights include: 

  • Eligible expenses include water meters, water pipes, irrigation hoses, electric meters, electrical lines or other equipment authorized by the department 
  • The grant provides up to 87.5% of the total project cost 
  • Bids are required from authorized contractors to perform work on public roads, sidewalks, water mains, and transformers and from private contractors for on-site installation services

Eligibility for this grant is limited to operations located in urban areas as defined by the United States Census Bureau. View the interactive map to determine if your property meets the location criteria.

Urban producers may download grant applications from the website. Applications for Fiscal Year 2024 (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024) will be accepted as long as funds remain available. For more information, please contact Bill Tharpe, Program Administrator for the Small Farm & Urban Agriculture Program at bill.tharpe@maryland.gov or 410-841-5869. For additional information, please visit the website.  

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