Maine Farms for the Future Program

About the Maine Farms for the Future Program

The Maine Farms for the Future Program (FFF) is a competitive grant program that provides selected farms with business planning assistance and investment support.

Farms are selected by an independent Review Panel, appointed by the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and comprised of professionals from the agricultural sector, including bankers, farmers, policymakers, and a former Commissioner of Agriculture.

The Phase 1 grant allows selected farmers to research ideas for change on their farm and work with a certified business counselor to write an investment-grade business plan.

Grant funds are also used to hire private consultants, attend industry and trade conferences, conduct market research, obtain special skills or training, and travel to other farms to analyze the feasibility of their ideas. The opportunity to apply is advertised in late summer/early fall for a mid-October deadline.

The current Request for Proposal and application is available at: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml Only those farms that complete their business plan in Phase 1 are eligible to apply for Phase 2 in the fall one or two years after receiving their Phase 1 grant and developing their business plan.

The Phase 2 cash grant and/or low-interest rate through the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund, assists farmers with implementing the project(s) described in their Phase 1 Business Plan. In exchange, farmers sign an agreement to protect their farmland for 7 years.

For more information, please contact stephanie.gilbert@maine.gov