Cover photo for Maine Farms for the Future Program

Maine Farms for the Future Program

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry

Opens November 15, 2021

About

The Maine Farms for the Future Program is a competitive grant program that provides selected farms with business planning assistance and investment support.

The goal is to provide grants to for farm business owners to conduct research and strategic business planning on their “Ideas for Change” that might increase Farm Vitality, which is defined as, “an increase in long-term, maintainable, farm profitability and net worth."

The Program offers a spring and fall application period for eligible farm business owners who choose to apply.

Eligibility

The Phase 1 grant allows selected farmers to research ideas for change on their farm and work with a certified business advisor, as well as other agricultural and professional service providers to develop an investment-grade business plan. To be eligible to apply for the Phase 1 grant of $6,000 to research and develop a business plan, an Applicant must:

  1. Be a private, for-profit company that is owned by individuals, partners or corporations, that grows or produces agricultural products for commercial sale (excluding marijuana farms, except as permitted under 7MRS Ch.406A, Section 2231);

  2. Own and operate a Farm Business that has been producing agricultural products commercially in the State of Maine for at least two (2) years (24 months) at the time of application;

  3. Have ownership of the land that is being farmed, or be a partner or shareholder in a legal entity that owns the farmland; or if the farmland has been purchased recently, provide evidence of at least two years (24 months) of experience operating a commercial farm operation elsewhere in Maine;

  4. Have State of Maine certification or licensure as required for their type of agricultural operation, i.e. Nutrient Management Plan, Commercial Kitchen License, Milk License, etc.

Terms

The **Phase 2 cash grant and/or low-interest rate on a loan through the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund **(AMLF), assists those farmers selected for Phase 1 between January 1, 2000 and the current year, who have a current business plan with implementing the project(s) described in their Business Plan. In exchange for a Phase 2 grant, each farm must sign a Farmland Protection Agreement that will be valid for 7 years. If a farm is permanently protected with a conservation easement, the farm may only compete for the low-interest rate on the AMLF loan.

To be eligible for a Phase 2 cash grant and/or the low interest rate through the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund, an Applicant must:

  1. Be a “Selected Farm” which is a farm that was previously selected for and completed Phase 1 after January 1, 2000; and

  2. Satisfy all other eligibility criteria and match requirements listed in the Phase 2 Application Form.

Resources

Similar Programs

Details

Release Date

November 15, 2021

Organization

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (ME DACF)

Financial Instrument

Grant

Updated October 22, 2021

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.