On July 3, 2023, Maryland’s congressional representatives announced a $3.8 million allocation from the USDA to the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO). The funding aims to assist small and medium-sized food businesses in Maryland in enhancing their meat and Blue Catfish processing capacities. Despite the state’s robust agriculture and seafood industries, limited USDA-approved facilities have led to processing delays.
The funding will help in purchasing livestock processing equipment, upgrading facilities, and acquiring real estate for processing. Through its revolving loan program, MARBIDCO will offer loans between $200,000 and $4,000,000, and match the equity contribution of approved applicants up to 10% of the project costs. This initiative aims to boost local industries, mitigate the invasive Blue Catfish population, and reduce food costs for consumers. (Learn More)