New Dairy Improvement Fund Loan Program Announced

May 30, 2018

For more information, contact: at

Investments in Maine Dairy Cow Farms and Enterprises

For more information, contact: Stephanie Gilbert, 207-287-7520 Anne Trenholm, 207-287-7620

AUGUSTA - The Dairy Improvement Fund (DIF) is a new revolving loan program to help Maine dairy farms and enterprises fund capital improvements to maintain and enhance the viability of their farms.

The DIF program will assist farms that are engaged in the commercial production of cow milk or cow milk products. It was developed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). The program will operate in accordance with three core principles to:

  1. Provide financial support for sound business propositions
  2. Offer funds at reasonable rates and terms
  3. Partner with private sector equity

More about the program can be accessed on DACF's Dairy Improvement Fund webpage and at the FAME Dairy Improvement Fund webpage, which provides the Department's Eligibility Form and FAME's Loan Application.The DACF and FAME will host an informational meeting for all dairy farms interested in learning more about this investment opportunity.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING:

WHEN: Thursday, June 14, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Marquardt Building (Room 118), 32 Blossom Lane, Augusta.

WHO: Ron Dyer, Director of the Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources; Roxanne Broughton, Commercial Loan Officer at FAME.

WHAT: An overview of both the eligibility and application procedures will be provided, then prospective applicants can ask questions about the new program.

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Dairy producers should also be aware of a separate USDA program that is available to help dairy producers

USDA Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy)

The Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill through Dec. 31, 2018. Significant changes to MPP-Dairy for the 2018 coverage year are further authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The MPP-Dairy offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

2018 Registration and Re-Enrollment Period

The registration and re-enrollment period for coverage year 2018 ends June 1, 2018. Dairy operations must make a new coverage election for 2018, even if you enrolled during the previous 2018 signup period. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018.

For more information, contact your local USDA service center. Or see https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/Dairy-MPP/index