Capital Resources

Several loan and grant programs are available to help producers adopt new technology, promote products or conduct market research. Each of the following programs has eligibility criteria and reporting requirements that are based on the legislation that created the program.

Agriculture Business Loans

Need a loan to make capital improvements to your farm, food processing or aquaculture business? The Division manages the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund. In addition, the Department has published a directory of sources of financing and grants.

Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund - This loan program offers a loan for either 75% or 90% of the total cost of a project for capital improvements for the business. At a favorable 5% interest rate, this program can help save money for agricultural enterprises making improvements. For more information contact us at (207) 287-3491, email dacf@maine.gov.

Other Resources:

Potato Marketing Improvement Fund - The Potato Marketing Improvement Fund (PMIF) provides financing to potato growers and packers to construct modern storages, modernize existing storages, and purchase packing lines as part of the industry’s plan to improve the quality and marketing of Maine potatoes.

Long-term, fixed-rate loans are available at low interest rates for the construction or improvements to storage and packing facilities. Funds cannot be used for working capital, refinancing, or non-project related equipment. PMIF funds may only be used for permanent financing after a project is completed. PMIF consists of two programs: Storage Retrofit Fund and the New Facilities Fund. Each is tailored to achieve specific industry goals. For more information, contact George McLaughlin at the Harley D. Welch Agricultural Center, 744 Main Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, (207)769-5061, or e-mail gmclaughlin@mainepotato.com.

Agriculture Business Grants

The Division of Agriculture Resource Development has a few grant programs available to help adopt new technology, promote products or conduct market research. Each program has its own eligibility criteria and reporting requirements. Contact us at (207) 287-3491 or email dacf@maine.gov for further information on any of the following programs:

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG)

The SCBG program is a federally funded competitive grant program, solicited once a year, which funds market research, market promotion and new technology projects specifically to benefit specialty crop producers. The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry and a Review Committee select, projects to fund through a competitive grant request for proposals process and then apply to USDA for accepting those projects selected. Grants typically are provided to projects that will help a number of businesses, rather than support individual businesses. For further information about the grant program, applications, or current projects, contact the Agricultural Resource Development Division at (207) 287-3491 or or get more information about the latest solicitation.

Agricultural Development Grant Program

The ADG program is a state funded competitive grant program; solicited once a year, which funds market research, market promotion and new technology projects. These grants are given to projects that will help a number of businesses, rather than support individual businesses. Funds for this grant program come from the interest received on the outstanding loans in the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund program. For further information about the grant program, applications, or current projects, contact us at (207) 287-3491 or email dacf@maine.gov or get more information about the latest solicitation.

Agricultural Technical Assistance Grant Program

The ATAG program, established under the AMLF loan fund, provides grants to potential loan applicants for testing new technologies and for adapting new technology or processes. This program was developed to help spur new technology adoption, especially for Ag businesses interested in the loan program. Grants are provided at the discretion of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. For more information on this grant program, Contact us at (207) 287-3491 or email dacf@maine.gov .

Maine Farms for the Future

The Maine Farms for the Future Program (M.R.S. 7, Ch 10-B) is a state funded competitive grant program; solicited once a year, to provide farmers with an opportunity to conduct strategic business planning to increase the long-term profitability and net worth of their farm. An appointed Review Panel selects farms through a competitive Request for Proposals process. Since 2000, more than 240 farms received grants for business planning, and 120 of them have used their plan to successfully compete for additional investment support in the form of a cash grant and/or a 2% interest rate on a loan through Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund program. For further information about the grant program, applications, or current projects, contact Stephanie Gilbert at (207) 287-7520 or get more information about the latest Request for Proposals.