Rural Maryland Council Announces Fiscal Year 2024 Grant Recipients

The Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) supports the Rural Maryland Council’s operating activities, including the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF), and the State’s five rural Regional Councils. The RMPIF grant program is designed to facilitate significant targeted investments in important economic and community development programs and promote regional and intergovernmental cooperation. The MAERDAF grant program provides capacity-building grants to rural serving nonprofit organizations and community colleges that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, youth engagement & leadership development, energy, rural broadband, and agricultural and forestry education.

Total Requested: 192 Applications $20,763,664
Total Awarded: 98 Grants $8,714,679


Regional Councils: 5 Grants = $3,000,000

Per Statute, one-third of the RMPIF is distributed to the State’s five rural regional planning and development councils:

Awardee Total Award
Mid-Shore Regional Council $600,000
Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore $600,000
Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland $600,000
Tri-County Council for Western Maryland $600,000
Upper Shore Regional Council $600,000

Regional Council activities funded through RMPIF, include:

  • Equity lending
  • Transportation software and systems
  • Regional agricultural development and education
  • Economic and small business development activities
  • Summer Career Enrichment
  • Rural economic research

Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund: 54 Grants = $4,745,558

The RMPIF grant program has three focus areas-Health Care, Entrepreneurship, and Infrastructure. RMPIF Entrepreneurship was expanded during the 2023 Legislative Session (House Bill 695) to include Workforce Development, Cooperative Development, and Agricultural Development. In FY2024, this program received 89 applications totaling $14,389,524 in requests. Of these requests, 54 grants totaling $4,745,558 were awarded.

RMPIF Health Care: 17 Grants = $1,500,000

Awardee Total Award
Asian American Center of Frederick $25,500
Atlantic General Hospital $206,160
Carroll County Youth Service Bureau $100,000
Chesapeake Housing Mission Inc. $22,260
For All Seasons, Inc. $30,000
For All Seasons, Inc. $125,000
Fort Ritchie Community Center, Inc. $45,393
Frederick Health Inc. $332,185
GRMC, Inc., DBA Garrett Regional Medical Center $85,000
Health Partners Inc. $79,000
Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation $30,000
Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation $150,000
Ivy and Pearls of Southern Maryland Community Charities, Inc. $10,000
Martin’s House & Barn $19,067
Maryland Diaper Bank $15,750
The Frederick Center $15,260
TidalHealth $209,425


RMPIF Health Care-Nonemergency Medical Transportation Pilot Program: 4 Grants=$191,803

Awardee Total Award
Caring Carroll, Inc. $45,000
LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc. $30,000
Partners In Care Maryland, Inc. $75,000
The Arc Southern Maryland $41,803


RMPIF Entrepreneurship (Expanded to include Workforce Development, Cooperative Development and Agricultural Development: 22 Grants = $1,516,156

Awardee Total Award
Affiliated Sante Group $53,300
Asian American Center of Frederick $120,000
Carroll Technology & Innovation Council $63,000
Carroll Technology & Innovation Council $15,000
Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce $60,000
Ferry Cove Shellfish $80,000
Frostburg State University $75,000
Garrett County Arts Council, Inc. $54,986
Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna $30,000
Habitat For Humanity of Wicomico County, Inc. $240,000
People for Change Coalition $70,000
Somerset County Economic Development $8,500
Somerset County Health Department $55,000
The Greater Cumberland Committee $203,834
The Interfaith Service Coalition, Inc. $28,000
True Oyster Restoration Initiative, Inc. $100,000
University of Maryland Baltimore Graduate School, Physician Assistant

Leadership & Learning Academy

University of Maryland, College Park $80,000
University of Maryland Eastern Shore $45,000
University of Maryland Extension – Calvert County 4-H $41,036
Vehicles for Change, Inc. $45,000
Wholesome Harvest Co-op $11,000


RMPIF Infrastructure: 11 Grants = $1,537,599

Awardee Total Award
African American Resources-Cultural and Heritage Society Inc. $313,928
Charles County Military Alliance Council $238,000
City Of Crisfield $110,000
Maryland Deaf Community Center $125,000
County Commissioners for Somerset County $235,735
Sport And Entertainment Corporation of Maryland $62,763
St. Mary’s Nursing Center $45,000
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region $200,000
The Federated Charities Corporation of Frederick $47,173
Town of Keedysville $10,000
Town of Middletown $150,000


Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund: 39 Grants = $969,121

The MAERDAF grant program has five focus areas-Agricultural and Forestry Education, Community and Economic Development, Energy, Rural Broadband, and Youth Engagement and Leadership Development. In FY2024, this program received 98 applications totaling $3,374,140 in requests. Of these requests, 39 grants totaling $969,121 were awarded.

MAERDAF Agricultural and Forestry Education: 13 Grants = $386,000

Awardee Total Award
Allegany College of Maryland $45,000
Around The Bay Farmer’s Alliance $45,000
Chesapeake Culinary Center $10,000
Delmarva Chicken Association $27,000
Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center $30,000
Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation $25,000
Future Harvest $33,000
Ladies of Charity Calvert County, Inc $6,000
LEAD Maryland Foundation, Inc. $30,000
Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation $40,000
Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education $35,000
Maryland Food Bank – Eastern Shore $30,000
MPT Foundation, Inc. $30,000


MAERDAF Community Development: 12 Grants = $245,930

Awardee Total Award
Aaron’s Place Inc $8,803
Adkins Arboretum, Ltd. $20,000
Bay Community Support Services, Inc. $44,000
Community Development Network of Maryland $15,000
Diakonia $12,627
Habitat for Humanity Choptank, Inc. $950
Mid-Shore Community Foundation $10,000
Mid Shore Community Mediation Center $8,950
Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Inc. $30,800
Moving Dorchester Forward $34,800
Rebuilding Together Kent County $30,000
Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic and Tourism Development $30,000


MAERDAF Economic Development: 8 Grants=$191,241

Ann’s Circle, Inc. (DBA Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center) $45,000
Allegany College of Maryland $45,000
Beach to Bay Heritage Area $26,200
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy $30,000
Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, Inc. $10,000
Lower Shore Land Trust $17,765
Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory $6,926
Pure Play Every Day, Inc. $10,350


MAERDAF Energy: 2 Grants = $71,100

Awardee Total Award
Maryland Rural Development Corporation $40,500
The Benedictine School for Exceptional Children Foundation, Inc. $30,600


MAERDAF Youth Engagement & Leadership Development: 4 Grants = $74,850

Awardee Total Award
Building African American Minds, Inc $44,500
Fair Hill Environmental Foundation, Inc. $15,000
Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore $5,000
The Parents’ Place of Maryland $10,350


Rural Maryland Council: Operating Budget – $750,000

Organization Funds Distributed
Rural Maryland Council $750,000


Founded in 1994, the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) serves as the state’s federally designated rural development council and functions as a voice for Rural Maryland – advocating, educating, and helping rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish and to gain equity to its suburban and urban counterparts. The Council administers the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) grant programs. Additionally, the Council conducts research activities to understand rural challenges and outreach to engage rural residents in developing solutions to these challenges and convenes groups to identify solutions through consensus and coalition building.

RMC operates under the direction of a 40-member Executive Board in a nonpartisan and nondiscriminatory manner. The Council’s vision is a future where all of Rural Maryland is prosperous with thriving resources, vibrant economies, and healthy, connected communities. The organizational goals are to:

  • Encourage healthy, connected communities throughout Rural Maryland through convening stakeholders, education, public relations, and advocacy;
  • Support the development and growth of vibrant economies in Rural Maryland;
  • Foster stewardship of Maryland’s natural resources; and,
  • Maximize outreach, resources, and mission through financial and organizational development.