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Poultry sector fueling record year’s start for MARBIDCO
By JONATHAN CRIBBS
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 24, 2016) — MARBIDCO, the state agricultural loan agency, is on schedule to have a record year, an agency official said this month.
By the end of the fiscal year, MARBIDCO is projected to finance $5.8 million in loans and grants, topping the $5.6 million it issued in fiscal year 2014, said Stephen McHenry, the agency’s executive director.
About $4.7 million in loans have already been approved, and an additional $1.1 million have been requested, he said.
Expansion of the state’s poultry sector has fueled much of that growth, he said, with many loans going to poultry farm purchases or new house construction.
“Generally, the uptick in the economy — certainly the poultry industry is a good reflection of that,” he said. “It’s clearly been a good year.”
Included in that total is about $175,000 in value-added producer grants to farmers looking to diversify farm revenues with products such as jam, ice cream, salsa and other value-added items, McHenry said.
MARBIDCO is a quasi-public, independent nonprofit funded by the state to help the state’s farm, forest and seafood businesses achieve sustainable viability and profitability.
It was created in 2004 and set up to be self-sustaining by 2024 — a goal it’s on schedule to meet, McHenry said.
Among many lending programs, the agency offers rural business lending programs focused on equipment and capitals loans to vineyard planting, forestry equipment and agricultural cooperatives equity investment.
It also has specialty lending programs focused on energy efficiency improvement, shellfish aquaculture financing and remote setting shellfish aquaculture.