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  • Legislation is enacted (the Agricultural Stewardship Act of 2006/House Bill 2) that will provide seed funding of about $50 million in Fiscal Years 2008 – 2020 to the Maryland Agricultural and Resource Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) to promote the viability of Maryland’s agricultural, forestry, and seafood industries and help sustain Maryland’s rural working landscape. The Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program was also authorized in House Bill 2. The RMC had been providing staff support to MARBIDCO since its establishment by the General Assembly in 2004.
  • Legislation establishing the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (Senate Bill 902/House Bill 1487) is enacted.
  • Legislation is enacted (Senate Bill 753) that establishes the Rural Maryland Broadband Coordination Board and provides $10 million over three years to support the construction of a cooperative-based fiber-optic broadband “backbone” in rural areas of the State.
  • The Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF), which the RMC administers with the help of an interagency board, is funded again in the State Budget after a one-year hiatus. MAERDAF receives a record number of grant proposals, of which 25 are funded.
  • The Interagency Technical Assistance Committee on Wastewater Systems in Maryland, chaired by the RMC Executive Director, issues its final report.
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation provides for a second year a sizable grant to the RMC to continue the Strengthening Rural Maryland Families Direct Services Program.
  • The RMC, for a second year, hosts a series of rural prescription drug forums.
  • The RMC assists with the preparations for the second annual Local Officials’ Agricultural and Land Use Workshop as well as the inaugural meeting of the Governor’s Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture.
  • The 9th Annual Maryland Rural Summit is scheduled for October 25-27 at Sandy Cove in Cecil County.