Maine Farms for the Future Program

RFP Public Notice

Maine Farms for the Future Program, Round 18: Phase 1 - Business Plan Development (2018-2020) with potential Phase 2 - Investment Support in 2020

The State of Maine, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, is required to offer grants for business plan development (Phase 1) and investment support (Phase 2) as authorized in the Maine Farms for the Future Program (Title7, MRS Chapter 10-B). 

A copy of the RFP, as well as the Question & Answer Summary and all amendments related to this RFP, can be obtained at the following website: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml

A Bidders Conference will be held on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the following location: Conference Room # 118 located in the Marquardt Building, 32 Blossom Lane, Augusta, ME, with a public entrance at Door D7.

Proposals must be received to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, located at the Burton M. Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street - 4th Floor, Augusta, ME 04330. Proposals must be submitted by 4:00 pm, local time, on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, when they will be opened. Proposals not received at the Division of Procurement Services’ aforementioned address by the aforementioned deadline will not be considered for contract award.

Additional Documents

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