Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program

August 19, 2022 - Funding was awarded to 64 agricultural businesses. The awards ranged from $41,669 to $500,000, averaging $301,217. Awards were distributed to a mix of different scales and types of production across all sixteen counties.

Additional details will be issued shortly – including formal award letters and decision notices.

Funding will be released after the appeal period has ended. Should no appeals be received, funds are anticipated to be released between 9/30/22 and 10/15/22. In the event that any appeals are received, the timeline for funding distribution will likely be revised.

DACF will provide grant agreements and other necessary information to funding recipients. For the many compelling projects that were not awarded grants through AIIP, we will provide a list of alternative funding resources that may help finance infrastructure upgrades at your farms and businesses.

We understand that there is a further need for financial support within Maine agriculture, and DACF is committed to advocating for additional funding that can support future investment programs.

FAQs

Can I receive feedback on the merits of my individual application or project? +

No. Unfortunately, the high volume of applications received prevents us from providing customized feedback on individual submissions.

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Can I learn more about the AIIP review process? +

  • After receiving more than 850 applications totaling nearly $180 million in funding requests, evaluation of AIIP submissions involved a rigorous, months-long review of the hundreds of qualified applications received.
  • Following eligibility assessment, multiple levels of quantitative and qualitative scoring were applied. Scoring criteria were directly aligned with the investment goals and priorities outlined in the AIIP Program Guidelines.
  • In addition to internal assessments, more than 40 external reviewers performed in-depth evaluations of AIIP applications. Only a small percentage of projects were funded in what was a highly competitive process.
  • There are many worthy, compelling projects that, unfortunately, will not receive AIIP awards due to funding limitations. However, given the high level of interest in the program, we understand that there is further need for financial support and great opportunity for investment within Maine’s agricultural and food processing sectors, and we are committed to advocating for additional funding that can support future programs.

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Are there other funding programs I could consider if I didn’t receive an AIIP grant? +

All AIIP applicants who were not approved for an AIIP grant will receive a list of alternative funding sources with their formal decision letter (to be sent by the Department).

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Will there be future rounds of AIIP funding that I can apply for? +

AIIP was made possible by a one-time allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funding through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. While further funding through AIIP is not guaranteed, DACF is committed to advocating for additional support from other potential sources.

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What role did CEI play in the AIIP process? +

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) was contracted as the Department’s third-party grant administrator. CEI’s support for the program implementation process was critical to its success. All decision-making authority resided with DACF.

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Please contact Tona Lenhart via email at tona.lenhart@maine.gov or by phone at (207) 481-1539 with any questions.

Award Recipients

Business Name County Amount Awarded
Apple Creek Farm Sagadahoc $250,000.00
Aroostook Band of Micmacs Aroostook $250,000.00
Aurora Mills & Farm, LLC Aroostook $499,911.00
Baker Brook Farm Creamery Cumberland $250,000.00
Bigelow Brewing Company Somerset $500,000.00
Black Acres Farm, LLC Franklin $224,500.00
Blue Barn, LLC dba Bluet Cumberland $178,000.00
Blue Barrens Farm Washington $120,347.45
Blue Hill Berry Co. Hancock $454,550.00
Blue Ox Blueberries Hancock $127,650.00
Blue Ox Malthouse Androscoggin $500,000.00
Brodis Blueberries Knox $500,000.00
Buck Family Farms, LLC Aroostook $500,000.00
Caldwell Family Farm Androscoggin $250,000.00
Circle B Farms, LLC Aroostook $250,000.00
Common Wealth Poultry Co Kennebec $500,000.00
Crooked Face Creamery Somerset $66,019.00
Crystal Spring Community Farm, LLC - DBA Crystal Spring Farm Cumberland $133,514.90
Emery Farm Kennebec $246,482.00
Fitzpatrick & Peabody Farms, LLC Aroostook $250,000.00
Five Pillars Butchery House of Meat, LLC Waldo $250,000.00
Frith Farm, LLC Cumberland $247,775.00
Goranson Farm Lincoln $41,669.00
Grace Pond Farm, LLC Knox $247,957.80
Greener Days Farm Lincoln $249,947.68
Harvesting Good Androscoggin/Cumberland  $500,000.00
Hatch's Custom Meat Cutting, LLC Aroostook $381,789.40
Heiwa Tofu Inc Knox $456,791.00
Herring Brothers Meats Piscataquis $498,000.00
Houlton Farms Dairy, Inc. Aroostook $497,550.00
Kennebec Cheesery at Koons Farm Kennebec $47,730.00
Maine Crisp Company, LLC Kennebec $497,798.00
Maine Food Group Cumberland $500,000.00
Maine Grains, Inc. Somerset $500,000.00
Maple Lane Farms, LLC Penobscot $500,000.00
McLaughlin Family Farms, LLC Aroostook $250,000.00
Merrill Blueberry Farms, Inc. Hancock $500,000.00
Michaud Farm Kennebec $159,456.82
Nature's Circle Farm Aroostook $250,000.00
Olde Haven Farm, LLC Kennebec $250,000.00
Pachanga LLC dba Tortilleria Pachanga Cumberland $308,104.48
Pumpkin Vine Family Farm, LLC Lincoln $250,000.00
R A S Wines Cumberland $443,500.00
Rainbow Farm Hancock $125,705.00
Ricker Hill Orchards Androscoggin $250,000.00
Roux's Farm, LLC York $80,000.00
Rusted Rooster Farm Piscataquis $250,000.00
Seal Cove Farm Hancock $67,742.00
Six River Farm, LLC Sagadahoc $250,000.00
Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine, DBA Liberation Farms Androscoggin $223,476.00
Southpaw Packing Company, Inc. Cumberland $500,000.00
Spear Farms, Inc. Lincoln $250,000.00
Springdale Jerseys, Inc. Waldo $153,622.00
The Margolin Family Farm and Processing Oxford $221,610.69
The Milkhouse Kennebec $139,200.00
Thirty Acre Farm Rules Lincoln $250,000.00
Thomas Farms Penobscot $249,420.00
Tide Mill Organic Farm, LLC Washington $497,569.50
Troy A Thibodeau, DBA Fleece, Feathers and Swine Androscoggin $250,000.00
Two Farmers Farm, LLC York $250,000.00
Ummah Enterprise, LLC Androscoggin $175,152.99
Weston's Meat and Poultry Kennebec $500,000.00
Winter Hill Farm, LLC Cumberland $250,000.00
WR Allen, Inc Hancock $465,317.89

About the Program

The Mills Administration has invested approximately $20 million in federal funds to help Maine farmers and food processors improve critical infrastructure. This funding will enable farms and agricultural businesses to pursue upgrades that will mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19, increase the supply of Maine-grown food, enhance supply chain resilience, and help grow and sustain one of Maine's heritage industries.

DACF is partnering with Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI) to administer the Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program (AIIP).

A range of funding will be offered through AIIP, including smaller grants for on-farm improvements and larger grants for processing projects. There will be no match required and no minimum request amount.

Examples of eligible investments include:

  • Capital improvements, including modifications to existing buildings and construction of new buildings;
  • Upgrades to utilities (including water, electric, heat, refrigeration, freezing, and waste facilities);
  • Growing, processing, and manufacturing equipment and construction;
  • Packaging and handling equipment;
  • Technology that allows increased capacity or business resilience (including software and hardware related to business functions, logistics, inventory management, plant production and monitoring controls, to enable extended or year-round production); and
  • Technical assistance, including market research and feasibility studies, engineering and construction planning, land use planning, facility design and configuration planning, and other services that directly support future implementation of infrastructure-related capacity-building projects.