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Thursday, December 6, 2018 • 8am-4:30pm

Chesapeake Bay Beach Club • Kent Island, Maryland

Scheduled for Thursday, December 6, 2018 on Kent Island, Grow & Fortify’s Value-Added Agriculture Summit will bring together an estimated 200+ attendees for this second time event. Meet Maryland’s robust and diverse value-added agriculture industry, which includes everything from apples, ales, agritourism and angus. Following up on a very successful 2016 Summit, the Grow & Fortify 2018 event would continue to focus on supporting and promoting Maryland’s value-added agricultural producers, growers, agritourism operations and small food businesses.

This year’s summit will feature AgPitch – a Shark Tank-style business competition, sponsored by MidAtlantic Farm Credit, for entrepreneurs to present their agriculture business ideas before an audience to compete for cash and related business services. Do you have an innovative idea for a new farm or agriculture-related business? Learn more!

Attendees will include value-added agriculture producers and small food businesses, state and county agency representatives (Planning & Zoning, Fire & Life Safety, Health, Economic Development Offices, Tourism, Commerce, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture), state and county elected officials, food and agriculture organizations, media and bloggers, and food policy organizations.

Learn, Explore, Launch

You’ll learn about value-added ag, meet with experienced and startup producers, and “curbside consult” with experts in the field.

What is Value-Added Agriculture?

Simply speaking, value-added agriculture is taking a raw agricultural commodity, and modifying or altering it to make it more profitable. Hops to beer, cucumbers to pickles, tomatoes to salsa…but also included are timber and fiber. This industry is growing, and creating a new opportunities for economic development for farmers, giving them a reason to stay on the land, and therefore keeping it in agriculture.

Who is Grow & Fortify?

Grow & Fortify (G&F) is a Maryland based company working to cultivate an environment where value-added agricultural producers, operators and growers innovate and thrive. G&F works with a wide variety of people and businesses; currently representing the Maryland Wineries Association, the Brewers Association of Maryland, and the Maryland Distillers Guild.

Schedule at a Glance

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast & Registration
9:00 – 9:15  Welcome: Grow & Fortify
9:15 – 9:45 Opening Remarks: Chris Hlubb
9:45 – 10:45 AgPitch18
11:00 – 11:15 Economic Impact Study Findings
11:15 – 11:30 Coffee & Pastries
11:30 – 12:30 Rapid Fire
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch & Networking
1:35 – 3:00 BREAKOUTS
   • Innovation
   • Emerging & Potential Markets
   • Sales Channels & Distribution
3:15 – 3:30 Ag Pitch Winner Announced!
3:30 – 4:30 Maryland Craft Bev Happy Hour

Curbside Consulting

Schedule a quick one-on-one consultation with one of our Curbside Consultants throughout the day. We’ll have experts in all areas of value-added agriculture!

See the Full Schedule

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration & breakfast
Breakfast in garden room

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Welcome: grow & fortify
Sunset Ballroom

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Opening remarks
Chris Hlubb, F3 Tech Accelerator
Sunset Ballroom

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Moderator: Andrew Rose, Director of Innovation,
Strategy & Development, MidAtlantic Farm Credit
Sunset Ballroom

Watch as five finalists present their ideas/business plans for agricultural innovation, Shark-Tank style! This highly interactive session will allow attendees to view presentations and vote for their favorite venture that will receive a
cash prize and related business services. Learn more on page 16.

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Economic impact study findings
Dr. Memo Diriker, Director, The Business, Economic and
Community Outreach Network (BEACON)
Sunset Ballroom

Grow & Fortify commissioned a study on the economic impact of value-added agriculture in Maryland. Dr. Diriker will present his findings.

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Coffee & Pastries • Visit Exhibitors
Garden room

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Rapid fire
Moderator: Holly Porter, Delmarva Poultry Industry
Beach house Ballroom

What does Maryland’s value-added agriculture industry look like?
Join us for a fast-paced introduction to just some of the
many faces working in this emerging market. 

With: Adin Alai, 9Fiber    Alice Blayne-Allard, Free State Cooperage  
Jonathan Bethony, SEYLOU Bakery & Mill    Lisa Carton, Black Locust Farms 
Peter Elmore, Star Bright Farm    Katey Evans, The Frozen Farmer
Gayle Galbraith, Federal Brewing Company    Brooks Long, Deliteful Dairy
Eric Rice, Willow Oaks Craft Cider    Jordan Shockley, Hooper Island Oyster Co.
 Joe-Sam Swann, Swann Farms

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Sunset Ballroom

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
See page 5 for rooms & Descriptions

Dive into value-added agriculture. Select from topics “Innovation,”
“Emerging & Potential Markets,” and “Sales Channels & Distribution. 

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Tavern Bayside

You heard their pitch, you placed your vote. Who will walk away
the big winner of this year’s competition?

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Maryland Craft Beverage Happy Hour

Tavern bayside 

Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions: 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Tavern ballroom • Moderator: Mike Thielke, ESEC

Join the folks from F3 Tech, an initiative focused on innovations and technology in agriculture, aquaculture and the environment, and other industry leaders and investors to learn more about agritech and aquatech in Maryland. 

Adam Borden, Bradmer Foods    Ryan Locke, Bayer Crop Science

Sam Glickstein, Biotrophics    Jordan Shockley, Hoopers Island Oyster Co.

Emerging & Potential Markets

Beach house ballroom • Moderator: Paul Spies, MD Commerce

Exciting things are happening across Maryland. Join us to learn more about opportunities in aquaculture, industrial hemp, cultivated meats,
sustainable proteins, organic grains and algae. 

Adin Alai, 9Fiber    Aline DeLucia, NASDA
Jonathan Bethony, SEYLOU Bakery    Craig Sewell, SMADC 

Dan Fucich and Kelsey Abernathy, Algen Air

Sales Channels & Distribution

Beach house Breezeway • Moderator: Shelby Watson-hampton, SMADC

Looking for a new and exciting way to sell your product? Join us as we look into business models that prove that thinking outside of the box can pay off. 

Drew Baker, Old Westminster Winery

Amy Crone, Maryland Farmers Market Association

Mike Koch, Firefly Farms Creamery 

Dan Kennedy, Free State Craft Beer Delivery 

Emma Jagoz and Jason James, Moon Valley Farm

Watch as five finalists present their ideas/business plans for agricultural innovation, Shark-Tank style! This highly interactive session will allow attendees to view
presentations and vote for their favorite venture that will receive a
cash prize and related business services.

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Economic impact study findings

Dr. Memo Diriker, Director, The Business, Economic and
Community Outreach Network (BEACON)

Grow & Fortify commissioned a study on the economic impact of value-added agriculture in Maryland. Dr. Diriker will present his findings.

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Coffee & Pastries



Curbside Consultants


Grow & Fortify

Value-Added Business Start-Up

Alcohol Licensing

Regulations for Alcohol and Food Processing



The Farmhouse Creative

Social Media Strategy, Planning and Best Practices

Turning Social Media Followers into Customers

Creating a Lasting Social Media Plan 

Email Marketing

Better Photos to Tell your Farm Story



Old Westminster Winery

Planting a Vineyard

Starting a Wine Business

Creating a Brand



Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation

MALPF Program Overview

What are Agricultural Easements?



UHY Advisors

Impact of the New Accounting Rules

Preparing for an Audit or Review

Tax Effects and Tax Planning

Inventory Management

Budgeting and Forecasting


Preserving Capital

Business expansion



University of Maryland Extension

Actionable Small Business Guidance

Diversified Marketing Strategies

Access to Land Grant University Resources

Specialty Foods Business Development

Next Generation Agritourism


Green, Sustainable, Strong

Creating a Culture to Optimize Hemp Cultivation

Starting an Ancillary Business to Support the Cannabis Industry

Partnering with Other Farmers to Take Advantage of Economies of Scale

Third Party Independent Lab Testing

Purchasing Equipment for Your Farm



Maryland Dept. of Agriculture

Maryland’s Best

Maryland’s Best Seafood

Farmers Markets

Homegrown by Heroes



Department of Natural Resources

Wood Products & Forest Management

Market Feasibility Analysis

Business Planning for Entrepreneur/Start-Ups



MidAtlantic Farm Credit

What to Expect when Financing your New Business

What Information is a Lender Going to Require

What to Include in a Business Plan



Eastern Shore
Entrepreneurship Center

Agriculture & Aquaculture Technologies 

Seed Funding Opportunities

Commercialization of a Business Idea



All Ag Media


Marketing Strategies 

Public Relations

Speaker Bios

Adin Alai 9Fiber Inc

Adin Alai is the CEO of 9Fiber, Inc., a waste management, agro-technology company created to serve the cannabis industry. Their patented process is the only eco-friendly, single-step cannabis (marijuana & hemp) waste processing technology in the marketplace today.

DREW BAKER Old Westminster Winery

Drew Baker is a farmer and entrepreneur with a passion to put Maryland wine on the world map. His flagship project, Old Westminster Winery, is a top-100 winery in the US with 1,500+ wine club members and distribution channels in eleven states. 

Jonathan Bethony SEYLOU Bakery and Mill

Jonathan Bethony and his wife own SEYLOU Bakery and Mill in Washington DC. His farmer-centric approach includes working directly with regional and organic growers to source 100% of his grains and produce. He has an in-house mill where he grinds the grain and is committed to using only 100% wholegrain flour to make all of SEYLOU’s breads and pastries.

Alice Blayne-Allard Free State Cooperage

Alice Blayne-Allard is owner and proprietor of Free State Cooperage, LLC, located in the Deep Creek Lake area of Western Maryland.  Free State Cooperage makes high quality, custom crafted barrels from white oaked locally sourced for the craft spirits, wine, and beer industries
in the region.

Adam Borden Bradmer Foods

Adam Borden is a partner in Bradmer Foods, a food industry consulting and investing firm, and also was most recently the Herbs & Spices Brand Manager at McCormick & Company. Adam has an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a BA in art history Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University. He is board president of Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws, the advocacy organization that legalized wine shipping and corkage in Maryland.

Lisa Carton Black Locust Hops

Lisa Carton is the co-owner of Black Locust Hops and has been growing hops in Northern Baltimore County for 12 years and home- brewing for 20 years. The farm has more than 5,000 vines in cultivation, growing several varieties including Brewer’s Gold, Chinook, Nugget, and
Cascade hops.

Amy Crone Maryland Farmers Market Association

Amy Crone is the Founder & Executive Director of Maryland Farmers Market Association (“MDFMA”), a non-profit organization that implements a statewide farmers market matching program. Since 2014, Maryland Market Money has provided more than $700,000 in funding to increase food access and farmer sales.

Charlotte Davis Rural Maryland Council

Charlotte Davis is the Executive Director of the Rural Maryland Council (RMC), Maryland’s only agency solely dedicated to rural development. RMC administers two key programs to support rural communities: the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) and the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF).

Aline DeLucia National Associations of State Department of Agriculture (NASDA)

Aline DeLucia is the Associate Director of Public Policy at NASDA where she represents a diverse portfolio of agriculture policy issues, including animal and plant health, invasive species and pesticides. She has a strong agricultural background and holds three Masters Degrees in agricultural studies.  

Dr. Memo Diriker Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network (BEACON)

Dr. Memo Diriker is the Founder and Director of BEACON, the premier applied business and economic research unit of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University. Dr. Diriker has served as the principal investigator of over 500 grants and sponsored research projects, totaling over $16 Million in awards. Dr. Diriker is the recipient of many honors and awards including an Influential Marylander award.

Peter Elmore Star Bright Farm

Peter Elmore continues his family’s farm heritage, returning to the farm with a degree from the University of Vermont in sustainable agriculture/community development and a certification in permaculture. 

Katey Evans Evans Farm & The Frozen Farmer

Katey Evans is president of sales and marketing for Evans Farms in Bridgeville, Del., a 2,000-acre grain and vegetable business. She is responsible for leadership of sales and logistics to more than 80 grocery stores throughout the mid-Atlantic, coordination of several farmers market teams, and a seasonal on-farm market. Katey also co-owns The Frozen Farmer, an on-farm creamery and sorbet shop at Evans Farms and the food truck that serves their farm fresh frozen treats at public and private off-site events.

Dan Fucich & Kelsey Abernathy AlgenAir

AlgenAir was founded by Dan Fucich and Kelsey Abernathy. Working with F3 Tech, Dan and Kelsey developed a consumer product company in Baltimore, that helps improve indoor air quality. Their attractive home accessory removes carbon dioxide and produces oxygen all while growing fresh algal biomass that can be used for consumption or as a garden fertilizer.  

Gayle Galbraith Federal Brewing Company

Gayle Galbraith is a Board Certified Nutritional Health Coach and the Founder of The Federal Brewing Company, an Eastern Shore-based kombucha microbrewery specializing in nutrient dense and adaptogenic formulations. Fed Brew currently operate at five farmers markets and are in the process of transforming a historic 3-story bank building in Federalsburg into their processing headquarters.

Sam Glickstein Biotrophics

Sam Glickstein is the founder of Biotrophics, a company dedicated to helping solve the issue of sustainability in the animal feed industry. While working in the hydroponic farm industry, Sam was exposed to the idea of feed sourcing and the issues involved with using wild-caught fish as fishmeal for quality protein in livestock feeds. As a result, he created Biotrophics, to engineering superior strains of insects as a sustainable replacement for fish meal.

Chris Hlubb F³ Tech (Farm-Fish-Food)

Chris Hlubb is a start-up innovator with international sales and operational management experience. He is a partner in F³ Tech (Farm-Fish-Food), a statewide private/public initiative that is creating a new renaissance of economic growth and prosperity through innovation and technology which is built upon Maryland’s traditional industries of agriculture and seafood.

Emma Jagoz and Jason James
Moon Valley Farm

Emma Jagoz is the founding farmer at Moon Valley Farm in Baltimore County, Maryland. She is the “crazy plant lady” who manages the farm’s CSA, field production, and day-to-day operations. Emma’s partner is Jason James, an experienced farmer who now manages Moon Valley’s restaurant and wholesale customers.

Dan Kennedy Free State Craft Beer Delivery

Dan Kennedy is the founder of Free State Craft Beer Delivery, Maryland’s premier craft beer delivery service. His concept is simple: you sell your craft beer, we make your craft beer deliveries. Free State maintains a 2,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Frederick, Maryland and works with more than a dozen brewery and winery clients. Kennedy’s facility is capable of cold-storing finished beer and housing dry goods, such as malt and cans. 

Mike Koch FireFly Farms Creamery

Mike Koch co-founded FireFly Farms with his partner and husband in 2000, building a successful goat cheese business from the ground up.  FireFly’s growth over the past 16 years has spurred a vibrant regional community of family goat farms, cheese makers, cheese mongers and a growing network of wholesale and retail distribution partners across the nation. FireFly Farms’ cheeses have won over 105 national and international awards and FireFly Farms was the proud recipient of the United States Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business Award.

Ryan Locke Bayer Crop Science

Ryan Locke is a passionate AgVocate with more than a decade in service of agricultural biotechnology. Ryan began his career with Syngenta as its first Developmental Sales Representative and now serves as the District Sales Manager for the Colonial District of Bayer’s Crop Science Division. He also serves on Bayer’s People Development Council and supports the Sales Excellence Associate Program to develop new grads into a career with Bayer Crop Science.

Brooks Long Deliteful Dairy, LLC

Brooks Long is a 7th generation dairy farmer from Williamsport, Md. He and his wife, Katie, took over the dairy operation from his parents in 2009 and bought the 160 acres of land from his grandparents in 2016. They milk around 65 cows on a rotational grazing operation. They began planning for Deliteful Dairy, LLC in 2016, and are currently building their processing and retail facility on their farm to be open in early 2019. 

Stephen McHenry Maryland Agriculture & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO)

Stephen McHenry is the Executive Director at MARBIDCO, an organization that provides targeted financial services to Maryland’s farm, forest, and seafood industries. Since it was established in 2007, MARBIDCO has advanced over $34 million through its popular MRBIFF program, allowing borrowers to leverage more than $114 million in commercial bank  financing. Last year, MARBIDCO received funding for the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program (Next-Gen) which helps young and beginning farmers acquire farmland.

Holly Porter Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc.

Holly Porter is the Assistant Executive Director for the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI), where she focuses on membership development, advocating for the chicken industry, government affairs and her eventual transition to Executive Director. Previously, Holly was policy coordinator at the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) and the co-director of the LEADelaware program.

Andrew Rose MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Andrew Rose is the Director of Innovation, Strategy & Development at MidAtlantic Farm Credit and organizes AgPitch, a business competition for agricultural innovation. He is deeply immersed in F3Tech, an agriculture incubation system and also serves as an advisor to Section1, an artist collective based in Baltimore. Andrew also co-founded GIVE, the only non-discriminatory leadership program in Maryland for rising professionals.

Craig Sewell Southern Maryland Meats

Craig Sewell is the Marketing and Livestock Specialist for the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC). The Southern Maryland Meats (SMM) program is under his watch. His past experience is as a professional chef and restaurateur, with an Annapolis café that was at the forefront of the ‘Buy Local’ movement. Craig is a Harvard University graduate and founding president of the Annapolis Sustainable Business Alliance. 

Jordan Shockley Hoopers Island Oyster Co.

Jordan Shockley is Senior Manager of Oyster Production for Hoopers Island Oyster Company, a vertically integrated oyster farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has also served as HIOC’s Nursery, Hatchery and Farm Manager. Jordan is a graduate of Salisbury University and interned at University of Maryland – Horn Point Lab Oyster Hatchery.

Paul Spies Maryland Department of Commerce

Paul Spies is the Agribusiness and Energy Program Manager for the Maryland Department of Commerce, working with Maryland’s Agribusiness and Energy companies, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs to ensure Maryland has the resources to attract new providers, foster growth and expansion of established firms and support new innovation. Paul is also actively involved in his family’s farm business in Cordova, Md. and is the co-owner  of
Triple Creek Winery. 

Joe-Sam Swann Swann Farms

Joe-Sam Swann is the owner and operator of Swann Farms, a 200 acre produce farm in Owings, Md., growing a variety of fruits and vegetables including sweet corn, peaches, berries, asparagus, melons, tomatoes, and pumpkins, and a limited amount of wheat and barley. Joe-Sam helped establish and grow the farm’s retail and u-pick business.
He is a graduate of Towson University and a LEAD Maryland Fellow. 

Shelby Watson-Hampton Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC)

Shelby Watson-Hampton is the Director of SMADC, which helps to promote agriculture in the five-county region and support new economic opportunities for area farmers. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and LEAD Maryland Fellow. Shelby is also the co-owner of Robin Hill Farm and Vineyards in Brandywine.


MidAtlantic Farm Credit hosts AgPitch, a competition that seeks innovative ideas to enhance the agricultural community. The inaugural competition, AgPitch17 received an overwhelming response and 29 innovators applied for AgPitch18.

The Grow & Fortify Summit is the final stop for the five finalists who will compete for a grand prize of $7,500 to help them launch their business, risk management services (provided by North Central Insurance Agency), office space (provided by the Maryland Business Incubation Association and F3 Tech Accelerator Program), and admission into Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Resources, Access, and Mentoring Program (RAMP). All finalists will receive cash prizes.

Meet the AgPitch18 Finalists

Johnny Oysterseed — An improved oyster farming system that facilitates efficient deployment/retrieval, easier maintenance to prevent marine fouling of the oyster cages, tumbling of the oysters to shape and promote uniform growth, and quicker transporting and storage of the cages to increase farming efficiency and possibly promote growth.

MadTech Drones — “The MADTECH System” captures real-time farm data using an advanced Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) network to fly two types of fixed wing drone technologies simultaneously. Data is coupled with rapid lab testing, targeted ground proofing, and prescriptions for farm equipment to enable a farm to be continuously optimized for efficiency in real time.

1000 EcoFarms — A web-based software platform that allows farmers to perform effective customer acquisition and communication, order and payment processing using a variety of payment methods, inventory management, and customer service tasks. Farmers may use the platform for free and add an unlimited number of products for sale, paying only a small commission (between 2.5 and 4.9%) for successful sales. In just two years, the EcoFarms platform has attracted more than a thousand farm users globally.

AgriMetis — Weed resistance and negative press have farmers switching from Glyphosate (Monsanto/Bayer Round-up). The current alternative, Glufosinate (BASF – Liberty Link), is expensive and surrounded by similar negative sentiment. AgriMetis hopes to change the crop management market with it’s US Patented Glu-L, a process which takes inactive isomers and makes them active. The result is an affordable product with added environmental benefits.

GreatAlga — GreatAlga, LLC is a Maryland-based startup dedicated to growing algae in bioreactors to optimize quality and cost. In the agricultural setting, GreatAlga produces healthy algae for regional feed facilities that incorporate algae into animal feed rations. Regional algae feed facilities benefit from GreatAlga’s expertise and ability to produce significant volumes of healthy algae.
Consumers benefit from healthy meat and dairy products.


Jan Baum Towson University

Jan Baum is the Founder and Director of the Center for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Towson University, where she is also a full professor. Known for her expertise and leadership in 3D printing technologies, Jan founded and directed 3D Maryland, the first state-wide initiative to establish 3D printing as a strategic industry for Maryland.

Alex Moore Stratagon

Alex Moore is a Senior Partner with Stratagon, Inc. and Immediate Past-President of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). At Stratagon, Alex leverages his more than 20 years of business and marketing experience to lead the firm’s Sales and Marketing consulting practice.

Mike Thielke
Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center

Mike Thielke is the Executive Director for the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC), where he plays a leadership role in the region’s startup and entrepreneur ecosystem. ESEC’s two primary initiatives, are hotDesks, a network of co-working spaces, and F³ Tech, an accelerator program that is focused on developing agriculture and aquaculture technologies. 

Isvara Wilson AgFirst Farm Credit Bank

Isvara Wilson is the Chief Administrative Officer for AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, which is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System and services Associations throughout 18 Eastern states and Puerto Rico. Ms. Wilson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and holds a Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law.

Sponsor the Summit

We’re seeking sponsors to support our effort to grow the value-added industry in Maryland and the broader mid-Atlantic region.

Without the committed support by our sponsors, this





Thanks to overwhelming interest and support....