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Nikko Brady Contributes the Delaware Perspective to the Advisory Board of the Chesapeake Agricultural Innovation Center

by Muphen R. Whitney

Nikko Brady has served as the Deputy Principal Assistant in the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) for the past four years. Her interest in agriculture stems from her interest in food and how accessible it is. Ms. Brady’s main objective in her current position is to ensure food sufficiency in the First State.

“How secure we are in producing food is a main priority in my work with the DDA and with the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy,” Ms. Brady said recently. “Our work is geared to ensuring that the people of Delaware have access to nutritious food options.”

Ms. Brady is bringing her experience and expertise in food production and food security to her position on the Advisory Board of the Chesapeake Agricultural Innovation Center. She lauds the Center’s mission to be a central repository for information sharing and knowledge transfer and for the resources it will offer its programs’ participants.

“The workshops, the office hours for meeting with mentors, the access to subject matter experts and industry experts – the Ag Innovation Center offers the information that value-added producers will need to connect the dots for developing a successful enterprise. This is the one-stop shop that value-added producers have available to them to put their plans into action.”

As is true with Maryland value-added producers, Ms. Brady has found that being able to access technical and scientific support in a timely fashion is a key need of value-added producers in Delaware.

“The Ag Innovation Center really is going to be a crucial resource to help our value-added producers in Delaware plan and execute their visions and make them profitable. The Ag Innovation’s efforts — together with the work that DDA does in providing contacts, classes, connections, and navigation through the requirements and regulatory process — will be vital to ensuring food sufficiency and successful value-added food producers in our two States.”

 

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The CAIC Board of Directors is made up of people chosen for their dedication to agriculture innovation in Maryland and Delaware. The Board Members plan CAIC’s activities that will establish the services that the Center will provide for its constituency. These programs include enhancing innovation and technology use in the agriculture and aquaculture industries in Maryland and Delaware. In addition to Nikko Brady, Advisory Board members are Charlotte Davis, Maryland Department of Agriculture; Holly Porter, Delmarva Chicken Association; Andrew Rose, MidAtlantic Farm Credit; Lindsay Thompson, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board; John Torres, Maryland Farm Bureau; Shelby Watson-Hampton, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission; Donald Webster, Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Council; Richard Wilkins, Delaware Farm Bureau; and Roxanne Wolf, Shore Gourmet.

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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.

Date and Time of Session: Wednesday, October 20th; 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Course Description: This presentation discusses strategies for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) growth via marketing and sales. The presentation focuses on each company’s plans to diversify its revenue streams by using e-commerce, exporting, and overall customer acquisition tactics to support and enhance brand awareness.
Desired Prerequisite Knowledge and Experience of Attendees: There are no prerequisites for this Virtual Presentation.
Criteria for Acceptance into the Virtual Presentation: Attendees need to have a product-based business; this is not suited for technology and/or app companies.