Supporting Local Farmers During COVID-19

Apr 29 2020

Supporting Local Farmers During COVID-19

Barn and feilds in sunlight During the COVID-19 pandemic, our farmers are working hard to make sure our community has access to healthy food and fresh produce. According to the Maryland Farm Bureau, Anne Arundel County has 381 farms totaling 28,111 acres. Fortunately, farmers’ markets in Maryland are considered an essential business and can remain open.

Here are some ways you can continue to buy local and support our farmers.

Farmers’ Markets Guides

Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation publishes the Arundel Grown Guide, an informative directory of locally grown and produced goods in Anne Arundel County.

Southern Maryland Farmers’ Market Guide includes farmers markets from the five southern Maryland counties of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Maryland’s Best provides a map of Maryland farmers and seafood companies doing direct sales to replace markets unavailable during the COVID-19 pandemic along with Maryland farmers markets.

The Maryland Farmer’s Market Association has an interactive guide to direct-buy options (on-farm pick-up, home delivery, CSAs, and beyond) during COVID-19.

Assistance for Farmers

Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund Program for Farmers

To help Maryland’s food and fiber producers, harvesters and primary processors adjust to the business disruptions caused by COVID-19, MARBIDCO is offering loans through its new Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund. The program is targeted to assist existing agriculture or resource-based enterprises in making timely adjustments to their business operations to help take advantage of new or continuing market opportunities. Eligible farms and rural businesses can apply directly to MARBIDCO for loans up to $3,000 in working capital and up to $10,000 for equipment purchases at low interest rates with flexible terms. Applications must be submitted by May 31.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package was set aside for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund (EIDL). SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis. They will provide further information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) as soon as possible.

USDA Federal Resource Guide

USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through: technical, training, and management assistance; financial assistance; and state and local assistance. See the COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide for more information.

Agriculture, Farming & Agritourism Commission

Interested in learning more about the current status of the agricultural community in Anne Arundel County? You can virtually join the Agriculture, Farming & Agritourism Commission for their monthly meeting on Thursday, April 30 at 2:00 pm.

The mission of the Anne Arundel County Agriculture, Farming and Agritourism Commission is: The promotion, coordination, development, furtherance and establishment of agriculture, farming, and agritourism in the County.

The meeting will be held via Zoom. This meeting is open to the public. However, only commission members and pre-approved guests are invited to engage in conversation.

Our thanks to Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation’s Agriculture Program for sharing many of these great resources with us! 

Did you know most of our county’s farms are located in Southern Anne Arundel County? When the time comes for getting out of the house and taking a socially-distanced drive around this beautiful part of our county, visit the Roots & Tides Scenic Byway (or download our Roots & Tides brochure here) and heritage sites along the way. The Byway begins in Annapolis and passes through Edgewater, Galesville, Shady Side, and Deale. There is much to see!