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The Rural Maryland Council is pleased to announce the winners of grant funding for Fiscal Year 2013 from the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund. Established in 2000, the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistant Fund (MAERDAF) offers important financial support to rural-serving nonprofit organizations that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, and agricultural and forestry education efforts. The Fund also provides targeted financial assistance to community colleges that support small and agricultural businesses through enhanced training and technical assistance offerings.

During Fiscal Year 2013, a total of 22 rural-serving organizations submitted applications, requesting more than $417,000 in grants from the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund. This year, however, $195,956 was available which was distributed to 11 rural-serving nonprofits. Recipients are:

 Allegany College of Maryland: $16,812

Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center: $14,098 

Evergreen Heritage Foundation: $18,749 

Lead Maryland Foundation: $25,000 

Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council: $18,610 

MAC, Inc. (Area Agency on Aging, Lower Shore): $25,000 

Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc.: $12,556 

Maryland Rural Health Association: $10,000 

Mid-Shore Regional Council (Shore Gourmet): $18,731 

Southern Maryland Agricultural Commission: $17,400 

Upper Shore Regional Council (Harvest Directory): $19,000 


Between FY 2001 and FY 2013, the MAERDAF program awarded more than $3.25 million in grants to 47 organizations. Many rural-serving organizations have been able to establish or continue programs and projects that have had a significant and positive impact on Rural Maryland because of the MAERDAF program. Moreover, the Fund has helped many nonprofits develop institutional capacity, improve grant-writing skills, and enhance the internal development of volunteer boards and staff. 


The Rural Maryland Council administers MAERDAF in partnership with the Maryland Departments of Agriculture, Maryland Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Maryland Departments of Business and Economic Development, Maryland Departments of Housing and Community Development, and Maryland Departments of Natural Resources. 


MAERDAF Grant Applications Being Accepted 

Deadline: July 15, 2013 

The Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) will award $167,000 in grants to rural-serving nonprofit organizations during FY 2014 

Eligibility Requirements for FY 2014 MAERDAF Grants 

· Eligible applicants must be a 501(c)(3) IRS tax designation or similar and serve a regional or statewide rural constituency. Trade associations are not eligible. The applicant does not have to be located in a rural area or in the area it serves. 

· Eligible projects must serve more than one rural county and be completed between August 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. 

· State-designated rural counties are: Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester. 

· The maximum allowable grant this year is $25,000. The average grant over the life of the program is about $18,000. 

· Priority is given to applicants that have secured matching funds from non-state sources; however matching funds are not required. Federal funds are considered matching funds. 

· Only very minor changes in scope are allowed after a grant has been awarded. Some project timelines can also be modified. 

· Unused grant funds must be returned to the Rural Maryland Council no later than July 15, 2014. 

· Past and current grantees are eligible for a 2014 grant if they have met all the requirements of their previous grant agreements, including reporting deadlines. 

· The MAERDAF Grant Review Board is comprised of representatives appointed by six state agencies. Its decisions are final. Those agencies are: the Rural Maryland Council, the Maryland Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Business & Economic Development, Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene, Dept. of Housing & Community Development, and Dept. of Natural Resources. 

· The MAERDAF Program is administered by the Rural Maryland Council. 


How to Submit Your Application Packages 

A complete MAERDAF Application includes: (1) A completed MAERDAF application form; (2) A project narrative no more than 5 pages long; and (3) Appendix Attachments, A-E. 

NEW: Applications will ONLY be accepted by email this year. Please include all required items in ONE Word or PDF file and be sure we receive it by midnight on July 15,2013. Email your application to: 

· Paper applications will not be accepted and will be deemed ineligible if received. 

· Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted and will be deemed ineligible. 

· Incomplete or illegible applications will be deemed ineligible. Double check your materials to ensure all attachments are included, all information is clearly written, all budget numbers add up; and all scanned items are legible.