Saturday, November 11, 2006

Md.’s Wine Industry Gets $147,000 in State Funding

from AMERICAN FARM magazine
NOVEMBER 7, 2006

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced Board of Public Works approval of two grants totaling $147,000 in state funding on Nov. 1 from the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund to the Maryland Grape Growers Association and the Maryland Wineries Association.

The Fund was established in 2005 to promote the production and consumption of Maryland wine and the increased production of grapes in the state.
The grants will be used for a variety of projects including marketing, research, advertising, retail/festival promotions, activities that promote the growing of wine grapes and educational seminars.

The Board is comprised of the governor, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer.

“Through the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund we are helping to support Maryland’s wine and grape growing industries — an increasingly important component of Maryland’s economy,” said Ehrlich. “By supporting the development of highly profitable agricultural sectors, such as our rapidly growing wine industry, we are helping to keep farmers on the land and making Maryland a better place to live and to visit.”

In 2005, Gov. Ehrlich authorized the creation of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Maryland Wine and Grape Growing and the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Council.
The commission is made up of seven members appointed by the governor from the industry, the research community, and state government, and two members appointed by the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House.

The council is comprised of the secretaries of the Maryland departments of Agriculture, Budget and Management, and Business and Economic Development.
It is the responsibility of the council, upon advice from the commission, to recommend to the Board of Public Works how grants from the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund shall be allocated.

To date, $250,000 has been made available through the fund in two fiscal years.