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Maine Farms for the Future Program
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.
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.
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 apply, prospective applicants must use the following documents/forms:
- Request for Proposals or RFP which explains all application requirements and guidance
- Phase 1 Application Form OR Phase 2 Application Form, each with specific eligibility, scope of work, and scoring criteria
- Question & Answer Summary
- Revisions/Amendments related to the RFP
These are found on the Division of Procurement Services website: Under the heading: Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and sub-heading: Maine Farms for the Future Program
Helpful Links and Tools
- USDA NRCS Web Soil Survey - Provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. Soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future.
- Outline of Contents for Phase 2 Business Plan (PDF)
- Farms selected for Maine Farms for the Future – Phase 1 from 01/01/00 to 12/31/2018 (DOCX)
- Stephanie Gilbert