Frederick County government's Agriculture Innovation Grants program is accepting applications through Feb. 1. 

County officials say the program is designed "to keep agriculture a viable and profitable industry for future generations of farmers." Farmers may apply for grants of $5,000 or more to help expand or diversify their business operations.

Applicants must be among one of several groups to be eligible, including: crop or livestock producer, an agriculture cooperative or a value-added producer.

Funds may be used for research and development, production buildings, major fixtures, or processing facilities, according to the county.

After Feb. 1, a review committee will score applications and make recommendations. The process is expected to take about four to six weeks.

The next application period will be in July. More information can be found at DiscoverFrederick.Md.com/ag_innovation_grant. Applicants can ask for a printed application by contacting Katie Stevens, associate director of agriculture business development in the Office of Economic Development, at 240-285-2795 or kstevens1@frederickcountymd.gov.

Follow Hannah Himes on Twitter: @hannah_himes

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