The CAIC Mission

The mission of the Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center (CAIC) is to provide value-added agriculture and aquaculture producers in Maryland and Delaware with the advice, guidance, technology, and other resources that they need to scale their businesses to a viable level of success. This will ensure a secure living for producers and sufficient nutritious, local food that is readily available to consumers.

CAIC’S Goals


CAIC’s primary goal is to promote the use of innovation and technology to solve real-world problems in the value-added agriculture and aquaculture sector.

CAIC will provide a comprehensive program to value-added agriculture and aquaculture producers in Maryland and Delaware to help them scale their business and to ensure the business’s profitability and viability. Our “Business Solutions for Value-Added Producers” program consists of the following consecutive parts that our Participants will take part in:


  • Virtual Presentations for Value-Added Producers that will help them establish their businesses on a solid basis of good practices.
  • Consultations with the Virtual Presentation Mentors to provide further guidance.
  • Individual sessions with Subject Matter Experts on questions of specific value and importance to each Value-Added Producer.
  • The opportunity to apply for Mini-Grants for Food Safety Classes and for Marketing Initiatives.



CAIC’s long-range goal is to establish a national hub for innovation and technology in agriculture and aquaculture value-added products. This facility will have the resources necessary to develop and test prototypes of new products, processes, and technologies.

Board Of Advisors

Nikko Brady
Delaware Department of Agriculture

Charlotte Davis
Maryland Department of Agriculture

Holly Porter
Delmarva Chicken Association

Lindsay Thompson
Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board

John Torres
Maryland Farm Bureau

Shelby Watson-Hampton
Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Corporation

Donald Webster
Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Council

Richard Wilkins
Delaware Farm Bureau

Roxanne Wolf
Shore Gourmet


Muphen R. Whitney
Program and Communications Director

Emiliano Espinosa
Community Outreach Coordinator


Mini-Grants up to $5,000 are available for:
– Market Research and Validation of Target Market
– Customer Acquisition
– Product Development Initiatives
– Food Safety Classes
Value-added producers and companies with traction ($20,000 or more in yearly revenue) in Maryland and Delaware are eligible to apply for Mini-Grants. Participants may apply once for each of the categories. Applicants must demonstrate that they have a unique and differentiated product or service that incorporates an aspect of innovation or technology in its production, processing, distribution, or other element of the food supply system.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Award decisions will be made and funds will be available no later than three weeks following the receipt of a completed application.
Application Process
Applicants must submit Mini-Grant proposals by filling out the form at this link. Copy(ies) of quote(s), proposal(s), estimate(s), or any other supporting documents.


CAIC offers access to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who can offer authoritative advice based on their deep knowledge and experience in a specific area. See the ADVISORS page of this Web site to learn more about the SMEs who are available to CAIC participants.