The mission of the Division of the Agricultural Resource Development is to encourage agricultural development and sustainability through education, annual industry events, technical assistance, research, economic development and environmental stewardship of Maine’s existing and future farm businesses.
Technical Production and Marketing Assistance
Division staff provide agricultural businesses with assistance in the following program areas: market development, promotion and exhibitor opportunities, business development and planning, labor, farmland protection and foreign trade assistance.
A number of grant and loan programs are available to help producers adopt new technology, promote products or conduct market research. Each program has it's own eligibility criteria and reporting requirements.
Promotions and Events
Maine’s agricultural fairs showcase the diversity of Maine’s more than 8,000 farms. The Agricultural Trades Show is the prime annual event for producers in January. Many other special events occur throughout the year. The Real Maine marketing program promote sales of Maine food and farm products. Order promotional items stickers, hang tags, signage, hats, aprons, or packing tape. Visit realmaine.com for searchable listings Maine food and farm producers in your area.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program
The Department is the designated agency for the TEFAP program, a federally supported program that provides donated federal commodities to local voluntary feeding programs across Maine. There are over 250 participating programs in the statewide network. The Food Assistance Program works in conjunction with the Community Action Programs of Maine to coordinate the distribution of the donated USDA commodities to the local voluntary feeding programs.
Maine Senior FarmShare Program
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) receives a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund the Maine Senior FarmShare Program (MSFP). This program provides eligible low-income seniors the opportunity to receive a share (worth $50) of first-quality, fresh, local produce at no cost directly from local Maine farmers during the growing season.