Skip to Main Content

View the summit program here.

Click here to access speaker bios.

The 2023 Rural Summit “Pathway to Prosperity” was held on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. This one-day conference covered topics on Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry, Community Development, Workforce and Economic Development, and Health Care. Participants had the opportunity to engage in discussions on rural development, networking, and more! Our keynote speaker was Becky McCray an international speaker on rural towns and our featured guest speaker was Brooke Lierman, Comptroller of Maryland.

Prior to the summit, a Forestry focused bus tour was held on Monday, November 13, 2023. Participants on the tour had the opportunity to visit the Garman Brothers, Inc., a family owned and operated sawmill in Crownsville. The Garman Brothers operation recently preserved their family farm and purchased a new sawmill utilizing MARBIDCO’s Wood Products Industry Equity Incentive grant program. The second stop on the tour was a visit to the Home Innovations Lab in Upper Marlboro. Home Innovations Lab is a full-service research campus and recently partnered with the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory to produce new guide to help identify design principles and construction practices to improve the moisture performance of wood-framed balconies and decks.

After the bus tour, the Rural Maryland Council held their Annual Meeting and Rural Impact Awards ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. The highlights of the meeting included a Rural Business Spotlight presentation by the Chesapeake Flower Exchange and board and committee reports.

2023 Rural Summit PowerPoint Presentations


Growing and Supporting Maryland’s Natural Climate Solutions

Maryland Climate -Smart Agriculture Project

Rebuilding our Region’s Food System

Community Development 

Enterprise Community Development

Rural Housing: A Snapshot 

The CAPABLE Model in Garrett County

Addressing Rural Homelessness

Helping Seniors Age in Place

Rural Affordable Housing: Myths vs Realities

Economic Development 

Small Business Credit Initiative Program

Cooperatives: Tools for Progress in Rural Maryland

Innovation in Rural Economic Development

Health Care 

Maryland AHEC Program

Health Tech Alley

View Plenary Session videos from the summit here.

2023 Rural Summit Senator Van Hollen Video – YouTube

2023 Rural Summit- Congressman Trone Video – YouTube

Keynote Speaker, Becky McCray

Becky McCray, International Speaker on rural and small-town development topics will be our keynote speaker. Becky McCray is a lifelong small-town entrepreneur. As co-founder of Save Your Town, she shares insights from her real-world experience as a business owner and cattle rancher. Her practical perspective is featured at her highly ranked website, Small Biz Survival, and in her award-winning book, Small Town Rules. View her full bio here.

 Comptroller of Maryland, Brooke Lierman, Guest Speaker

Brooke Elizabeth Lierman (born February 14, 1979) is an American civil rights attorney and politician who is the 34th Comptroller of Maryland. She was first elected in 2022, becoming the first female Comptroller of the state and the first woman elected to an independent state government office in Maryland. She was previously a Democratic member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 46 in Baltimore. View her bio here.

Many thanks to our sponsors! 

Rural Champion $5,000.00


Rural Supporter $2,500.00 



Rural Advocate $1,000.00 


Rural Contributor Level $750.00


Rural Associate Level $500.00



Rural Friend $250.00 

View 2021 Rural Summit information here.