Agricultural Development Grant

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This program provides cost-share grants to conduct market promotion, market research and development, value-added processing and new technology demonstration projects. The Agricultural Development Grant program was created in 1999, capitalized by the interest earned from the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund bond. Grants are awarded every one to two years through a competitive proposal process.

2020 Grant Cycle Timeline

  • February 11, 2020: ARD grant RFA posted
  • March 27, 2020: Application deadline
  • April 2020: DACF evaluates proposals
  • May 2020: DACF issues conditional award letters and 2020 ARD grant awards announced via news release.


The 2020 application and RFA can be found at the Division of Procurement Services.

Past ADG Projects

2018 Awards +

2018 Awards

Organization Award Amount Project Name Description
Blue Sky Produce $10,000 Fresh Wild Blueberry Demonstration Project Introducing consumers to fresh Maine wild blueberries is a terrific opportunity to create awareness and drive sales for fresh and frozen wild blueberries
Lajoie Growers LLC $50,000 Investing into equipment and packing materials for value-added products The company is investing into necessary equipment and packing material to develop a value-added product with our crops and market them on a global scale.
Tide Mill Organics $50,000 Beoming a Maine State inspected poultry processing facility Becoming State-Inspected will allow Tide Mill Organics to process more than 20,000 birds per year and develop value-added products, such as ground turkey and chicken, poultry sausages and pet food.
University of Maine $27,735 Ensuring Safety of Maine wild blueberries Maintaining and continually improving the margin of food safety in processing Maine’s wild blueberry crop is a priority for growers and processors.
Circle B Farms $19,000 Purchase and demonstrate the efficiencies and economic benefits of a small root peeler and carrot stick cutter. The purchase of the equipment will allow Circle B to process the 22,000 pounds of finished products needed for the schools and colleges requesting these products, which they are not currently able to offer because they are hand processing
Wild Blueberry Commission $50,000 Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program 2.0 Facing low prices and stiff competition, entering new markets is key for the industry and school foodservice is a bright market opportunity

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2017 Awards +

2017 Awards

Organization Award Amount Project Name Description
Maine Landscape & Nursery Association $50,000 Plant a pollinator Garden! Promotion to support Maine's Nursery Industry Starting in Spring 2017, the grant will enable MELNA to participate in the MFS as an elite sponsor with premiere exhibit space to showcase the Plant a Pollinator Garden! promotion. For 3 years, MELNA plans to put coded mystery pollinator seed packets (with web link for info) into the hands of about 10,000 show visitors
Maine Aquaculture Co-Op $46,000 Maine Scallop Aquaculture: Development of Ear-Hung Scallop Aquaculture Infrastructure through Cooperative Model and New Technologies The Maine Aquaculture Co-op (Co-op), the first aquaculture cooperative in Maine, and with a membership comprised primarily Maine fishermen, seeks to develop scallop aquaculture infrastructure to support the ear-hung method of growing scallops, as a mechanism to diversify income opportunities for Maine fishermen and realize economic opportunity for Maine. Ear-hung scallop aquaculture is new in the U.S. but has been successfully practiced in Japan since the late 1950s and involves hanging scallops on vertical lines in pairs, allowing scallops better access to nutrients and accordingly, better growth
Undine Marine LLC $50,000 Construction and Beta Testing of the Modular Mark II Submersible Mussel Raft Successful engineering and performance of the Mark II Maine Modular Submersible Mussel Raft will result in a new aquaculture equipment company and create annual additional farmed mussel sales of over $1 million by 2020.
Maine Cap N Stem LLC $32,600 Project to Increase Production Capacity of B2B Mushroom Farm to Meet Maine Demand We will (with increased production) be able to diversify the types of our business-to-business customers to include smaller fruiting farms (and also more out of state customers) – in particular we would like to advocate for small scale start-ups of fruiting facilities that could provide additional income for existing traditional produce farms and meet the needs of localized communities.
Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine $50,000 Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine proposes to launch a campaign during USDA’s National School Breakfast Week promoting Wild Blueberries as an ideal school food. The results will be a measurable increase in sales and the creation of a stable market channel for Maine Wild Blueberries.
The Hop Yard, LLC $19,775 Creating Viable Commercial Hop Bales The Hop Yard, LLC proposes to bring a European style “RB60” hop baling machine into the state in order to allow local growers to preserve product, open new market opportunities, and ensure storage of hops is on par with other hop growing regions.

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2016 Awards +

2016 Awards

Organization Award Amount Project Name Description
Apple Ridge Farms Inc $22,000 New Technology Vinegar Acetator for Increased Production, Dependability, and Efficiency in Natural Vinegar Production Increased Production, Dependability, and Efficiency in Natural Vinegar Production
Appleton Creamery $13,040 Appleton Cheese Trail Development of Cheese Trail in Appleton, Maine
Aroostook Hops LLC $37,573 Creating a hop pelletizing facility to produce Maine-grown and pelletized hops Technology development for Hops Market Development
Bartlettyarns, Inc $12,937.50 Commercial Wool Baler Technology Improvement purchase to increase efficiency and safety of operations.
Coastal Enterprises, Inc $36,068 Ethnic Produce: Crop Diversification for Maine Farmers to Reach New Markets Market research to increase demand for locally produced ethnic produce in the local marketplace.
LaJoie Growers, LLC $50,000 Diversifying Farm Products with Cold Storage Capacity Implementation of refrigeration to expand market season
Lakeside Family Farm $27,106 Farm-to-Workplace: Bringing More Maine Food to Maine People Design and Implement Farm to Workplace program.
Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine $50,000 2016 Wild Blueberry Metro Marketing Program Targeted market promotion to bring Wild Blueberries to New York City.

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2015 Awards +

2015 Awards

Organization Award Amount Project Name Description
AgMatters, LLC $55,000 Food Safety Information for Regional Distributors, food hubs and other Maine food holding systems Food Safety Education for Maine Crop Distribution Systems
Aurora Mills & Farm LLC $50,000 Diversification for Grains Cleaning Establishing Cover Crop Seed Cleaning Capability inside the State of Maine, with associated demonstration of growing practices
Buck Farms $50,000 Local Malting Facility with Local Barley for Local Breweries Maine Malt House
Crooked Face Creamery $20,950 Market Research and Cold-Smoking Technology Market Expansion of a National Award Winning Artisan Creamery
Downeast Salmon Federation $31,200 Mobile promotion and local outreach Downeast Salmon Federation Mobile Smokehouse
Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine $50,000 Technology Upgrades for Food Safety Around Year Round Local Fruits and Vegetables Modern Storage Facility for Year-Round Distribution of Local Farm Produce to Food Insecure Mainers
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom $10,000 Creation and Printing of Educational Books on Agriculture Increasing Maine Agricultural Markets & Nutritional Awareness of Maine Crops through Elementary Education
Peaked Mountain Farm $31,115.74 Diversified and alternative plantings for pollination Commercial Propagation of Common Milkweed and Butterfly Weed
Tide Mill Organics $50,000 USDA Poultry Processing Developing Retail Markets for Maine Organic Poultry
University of Maine System $29,590 Plum Research Increasing Local Plum Production for Farm Market Diversification
Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine $50,000 Alternative Marketing Campaign 2015 Wild Blueberry Real Foods Pick Wild Trade Program

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