Maine Dairy Processors Earn Funding from the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant Program
November 8, 2023
For more information contact: Jim Britt at: Jim.Britt@maine.gov
AUGUSTA, Maine - The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announced its Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grants today, and Maine is well represented among the list of selected awardees. Maine processors set to share grants totaling more than $1.5 million include Balfour Farm, LLC, Casco Bay Butter Company, Inc., Cosmic Goat Farm and Creamery, and Gifford's Ice Cream. NE-DBIC awarded over $12.2 million to 35 dairy businesses across the eight Northeast states. Grants were awarded in three tiers based on milk utilized on an average production day, ranging from $25K to more than $1 million. The awards encompass processors, including farmstead creameries, multi-state businesses, and cooperatives.
The NE-DBIC grants are substantial investments in Maine's and New Englands dairy industry, helping to sustain and expand markets and spur innovation for our dairy processors," commented DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal. "Maine's success, along with the achievements of our fellow Northeast states, showcases the resilience and potential of our dairy sector."
Specific NE-DBIC Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grants projects in Maine include:
- Balfour Farm, LLC (Pittsfield) will install more efficient processing equipment, including a cold smoking system, to increase their product line by 22% - award level, Tier Three.
- Casco Bay Butter Company, Inc. (Westbrook) will upgrade and expand its bulk butter processing line, increasing its capacity by 300% and moving 100% of in-house butter sourcing back to the Northeast region award level, Tier Two.
- Cosmic Goat Farm and Creamery (Litchfield) will install milk handling, storage equipment, and specialized cheese production equipment to increase capacity and meet the demand for their products award level, Tier Three.
- Gifford's Ice Cream (Skowhegan) will install equipment to expand their 16oz retail line of ice cream to create greater efficiency and increase their retail product volume. This project will occur at the fire-damaged Skowhegan processing plant award level, Tier Two.
The NE-DBIC Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant program follows a rigorous selection process, with applicants assessed in three tiers based on production volume. At least three dairy sector experts across the Northeast reviewed each application. Over 3,200 dairy farmers will benefit from this processing expansion, stabilizing and expanding options for their milk and increasing the amount of local dairy on store shelves throughout the Northeast. More information about the grant process, including tiers and the review and selection process, is detailed on the NE-DBIC webpage.
For more information on state and federal grant and loan programs available to Maine agricultural producers and food processors, visit the DACF webpage.