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

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2018

SMADC's Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund for Agriculture Expanded for Shellfish Aquaculture 

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is pleased to announce the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund has expanded eligible loan uses to include shellfish aquaculture foundation development.

SMADC's objective is to encourage the foundation and expansion of shellfish aquaculture with the aim of supporting and maintaining a robust farm-raised seafood production industry in Southern Maryland. Eligible loan uses are limited to the purchase of oyster seed/larvae, substrate/shell, cages and harvesting equipment. Boats and other motorized vehicles are ineligible. The new loan opportunity may also offer options for existing commercial watermen, who are Tidal Fish License (TFL) holders (but not aquaculture lease-holders) to partner or create a joint venture with established oyster aquaculture businesses. 
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 addition to shellfish aquaculture the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund may be used for the purchase of livestock, the production of small fruits, and safety upgrades for growing, harvesting, packing and holding food in conformance with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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. In line with SMADC’s commitment to expand and promote a viable market-driven, sustainable and profitable agricultural community in the region, the loan terms incorporate 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).

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
Copyright © 2018 Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, All rights reserved.