🚀 Take advantage of CAIC's discounted Grant Writing services for USDA's Value-Added Producer Grant. Apply now! 🌱📈

CAIC news

  • “New year, new you!” It’s a common refrain each time January 1 rolls around, and this year at CAIC, we’re celebrating the debut of our beautiful new logo. Designed and created by our social media manager (and graphic designer extraordinaire) Pam Foulke, with input from......

  • For Martin Proulx, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s first-ever value-added agricultural specialist, the path to his current position began with a part-time job during college. “I don’t come into agriculture with the traditional background,” the Frostburg State University business and marketing graduate explains. As a......

  • Welcome to the first installment of “Producer Conversations” on the CAIC blog! In the coming months, this series will highlight all of the participants in the upcoming Producers Growth Program cohort. First up: Eric Bowlus, the founder of Chew On This Jerky. A family-owned and......

  • What if you could combat food waste and hunger at the same time? That’s one of the goals of the Maryland Food Bank’s Farm to Food Bank initiative. Started in 2011, the program sends volunteers to collect excess produce from local farms and distributes it......

  • About the Program The Producers Growth Program will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to assess, plan, and execute a growth and scaling strategy for your business. At the start of the six-month program, you’ll be matched with an industry advisor who......

  • The USDA has recently opened their Value-Added Producers Grant. This grant helps value-added producers create new products, new marketing opportunities, and increased income.   The planning grant can be used to pay a qualified consultant and get support in developing a business plan, marketing plan......

  • We have several new and exciting opportunities at the center. Recently, we added Produce Safety Trainings designed to help farmers understand the process and requirements for becoming GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified, enabling them to sell their products to institutional buyers. Lyndsay Gilmour is the......

  • The Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center had an exciting month in March.   We hosted our first Value-Added Producers Unveiled event at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Eight of our Business Growth Program participants had an opportunity to share their scaling plans with the 46 attendees.......

  • CAIC Program Prepares Federalsburg Business for Next Step in Its Success   EASTON, Md; February 21, 2023…The Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center (CAIC) is pleased to announce that Gayle Galbraith – owner of the Federal Brewing Company of Federalsburg, Maryland – has been accepted into the......

  • 5 Questions for Jill McCullough of Windtree Bee Windtree Bee is a family-owned apiary in north Baltimore County. Run by Jill McCullough and her husband Craig, who serves as the primary beekeeper, it is truly a family affair. Their two daughters, Haley and Ellie, pitch......

  • 5 Questions for Retired Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sanders of Tobacco Barn Distillery   Tobacco Barn Distillery, created by three longtime friends in 2014, is one of the rare “farm to bottle” distilleries that grows the corn it uses to produce authentic “singe batch” bourbon......

  • After several years of building their successful Sweet Gnome candy business, Tom and Tina Cropper wanted to add a healthier option to their sweets line. They developed a healthy and delicious granola, but they had an appetite for more.   “After adding granola we still......

  • The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is seeking entrepreneurs to apply online for the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Now in its ninth year, this national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies developing innovative solutions to challenges faced by America’s farmers,......

  • The Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center Presents New Virtual Presentations for Agriculture and Aquaculture Value-Added Producers in Maryland and Delaware EASTON, Md; January 20, 2022…Mike Thielke, Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC), announced today that a new session of Virtual Presentations (VPs) presented......

  • In 2021, the Maryland State legislature asked the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology (Hughes Center), Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), and Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to create a process and strategy to develop a Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Maryland Agriculture. Input from......

MINI-GRANTs

Mini-Grants up to $5,000 are available for:
– Market Research and Validation of Target Market
– Customer Acquisition
– Product Development Initiatives
– Food Safety Classes
Eligibility
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.

ACCESS TO SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SMES)

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.