Cover photo for Maine Dairy Improvement Fund

Maine Dairy Improvement Fund (DIF)

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry


The Dairy Improvement Loan Fund (DIF) provides financing to help Maine agricultural businesses undertake projects to enhance the viability and vitality of the farm, and improve the manufacturing, marketability and production of their products.


Enterprises


Eligibility

Eligible Borrower

An eligible Borrower must:

  • Be a dairy enterprise, dairy, dairy farm, or business making milk products;

  • Keep cows, sheep and/or goats that contribute milk to your products;

  • Be located in the State of Maine and currently producing milk products that are sold commercially; and

  • Propose a project that is an eligible use of the fund.

Eligible Uses of the Fund

The Fund may be used to:

  • Design, construct, or improve milking parlors, dairy barns and structures, and dairy feed storage structures; or

  • Purchase, construct, or renovate buildings, land and equipment to maintain and enhance the viability and vitality of an established dairy enterprise, dairy, dairy farm, or business making milk products, located in the State of Maine.

Ineligible Uses of the Fund

The Fund may not be used for:

  • Working capital; or

  • Refinancing projects commenced, costs incurred, or expenses paid prior to loan application. However, the Borrower may submit a written request for a waiver. Such waiver must be approved in writing by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF).


Terms

Deferred principal and interest payments may be available up to 24 months from closing; interest accrues beginning at closing.

Up to 30 years and determined by the useful life of the asset(s) being financed.

Fees

  • Loan origination fee: 1% (for loans over $100,000).

  • Borrower is responsible for all loan closing costs.


Application Instructions

The first step in the application process is an eligibility determination. Submit an Eligibility Form to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) bu email or regular mail to the below address:

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Agricultural Resource Development Division

Attn: yvette.meunier@Maine.gov

28 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333

If the project is deemed eligible, DACF will notify the applicant(s) and will forward the Eligibility Form to FAME. The applicant(s) must then complete and submit the required program application documents (listed below) to FAME.

Support





Updated January 14, 2023

Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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