There are many resources available for farmers who are looking to start out. Take a look at what’s available at the county, state and federal levels.


Howard County Department of Health
Your easiest resource for on-farm food processing, on-farm dinners and right-to-farm regulations.

Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning
An online resource for information on development, zoning, agricultural and environmental preservation, and community planning in Howard County

Howard County Department of Licenses and Permits
The Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits is dedicated to ensuring that buildings are built in such a way that they are safe and functional.

Howard Soil Conservation District
Staff of trained specialists help landowners make wise land-use decisions for their properties. Cost sharing assistance from federal, state and/or local sources may be available for conservation practices that control erosion and improve water quality.

The Howard Soil Conservation District is solely authorized to review sediment and erosion control plans and small pond designs for all proposed developments

Howard County Agricultural Land Preservation Program
Through this voluntary program, a farmer whose land meets certain size and soil criteria can offer to sell a perpetual easement to the County, while holding a fee simple title to the land and continuing to farm. The farm may be sold, but the easement, which restricts the development of the property, remains with the land and binds all future owners. View Map of land in Howard County.

Invasive Species Website
There is an ongoing threat in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, one that is causing damage to the environment, agricultural output, and the economy.  Many people are unaware that this threat even exists, let alone the magnitude of its scope.  This threat is referred to as “invasive species,” and is not to be taken lightly.

Maryland Department of Agriculture
Maryland agriculture is vital to the long-term health of the state’s economy, environment and quality of life. Maryland farmers – like homeowners and all residents – play a key role in protecting our state’s natural resources, especially the Chesapeake Bay.

Farm Business Planning Workbook
Examples of business plans, SWOT analysis and everything you will need to write your own farm business plan.

Farm Business Plan
Building a Sustainable Business

Entrepreneurship Tools:  Dream, Plan, Implement
Starting a business is an exciting and challenging undertaking. But, careful planning, a good understanding of all your numbers, adaptability, and perseverance are often the keys to a successful business start-up.

To help ensure your business’ success, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the basic requirements for starting a business in Maryland.

University of Maryland Extension
University of Maryland Extension (UME) is a statewide, non-formal education system within the college of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

UME educational programs and problem-solving assistance are available to citizens and are based on the research and experience of land grant universities such as the University of Maryland, College Park.

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
A resource for value added and on farm food processing and storage.

Future Harvest- A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (Future Harvest CASA)
Future Harvest A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (Future Harvest CASA) is a network of farmers, agricultural professionals, landowners and consumers living and working in the Chesapeake region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC. Future Harvest CASA promotes profitable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable food and farming systems that work to sustain communities.

Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center (MREDC)
MREDC, a one-stop-shop for the 21st century agricultural/natural resource entrepreneur, provides successful rural business innovation strategies for your farm business plan, and your production and management techniques.

The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation
The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1977 and is part of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.  The Foundation purchases agricultural preservation easements that forever restrict development on prime farmland and woodland.

MARBIDCO (Maryland Agriculture and Resource Based Industry Development Corporation)
MARBIDCO works with rural farmers, foresters, and seafood businesses to provide capital and credit for purchasing land and other resources.

Maryland Department of Assessments &Taxes

The Office of the Secretary of State
Links to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) and the Maryland Register.

  • Grants & Financing

    A resource to find out more information on State, Regional, and National loans and grants for farms

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  • Diversification Ideas

    Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversifying your farm's production is a great way to grow your business - and meet increasing consumer demand for fresh foods.

    Learn More