Contact: Shelby Watson-Hampton
Director, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC)
(301) 274 - 1922, Ex. 1

For Immediate Release
April 23, 2018
SMADC's Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund for Agriculture
 Expanded for Hops Production  

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is pleased to announce the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund has expanded loan uses to include hops production.

SMADC's objective is to incubate the production of hops and increase acreage of existing hops enterprises in Southern Maryland. Eligible loan uses include perennial vine and root-stock for hops, trellising, and netting.

The Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund was launched in 2017 in partnership with the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) to assist Southern Maryland agricultural producers with smaller agricultural projects that typically might not be financed by traditional commercial lenders.

In conjunction with the new loan opportunity SMADC, in partnership with University of Maryland Extension (UME), recently launched a new series of workshops to support hops and small fruit production. “The number of local breweries has expanded rapidly over the last 5 years and with it the demand for fresh, locally sourced hops has increased,” commented Ben Beale, Senior Agent for St. Mary’s County UME Extension. Beale noted that hops can be grown well in our region, however they require careful management and attention to detail to be successful. The SMADC/UME workshop series will continue in the fall of 2018 with advanced training opportunities for both experienced and beginner producers.

MARBIDCO administers the loan program on behalf of SMADC. Loan amounts range between $10,000 to $20,000, with no collateral security pledge required. Only the personal guarantees of all the borrowers will be needed. SMADC has incorporated into this program an incentive for borrowers in good standing by forgiving approximately 20-25% of the loan amount due at the end of the loan term (by foregoing the final one-quarter of amortizing loan payments), essentially converting the end of the revolving loan into a small grant. In addition to hops production, the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund may be used for the purchase of livestock, shellfish aquaculture establishment, small fruits production and safety upgrades for growing, harvesting, packing and holding food.

For more details about the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund for Agriculture and to apply, visit For more information on SMADC grants, loans and other support resources for regional farms visit the SMADC website at

See the loan application details HERE

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, is committed to: a) a market-driven and sustainable farming future as Maryland transitions away from tobacco. b) a Maryland where farmland preservation, and environmental stewardship positively impact the quality of our air and water and c) cultivating awareness among consumers and leaders of the vital role our farms play in a balanced community, safe, nutritious food and a cleaner and healthier environment. To learn more about additional programs and resources, contact SMADC, P. O. Box 745, Hughesville, MD 20637; phone: 301-274-1922, Ex. 1, fax: 301-274-1924; email ; or visit
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