Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund
The Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund (AMLF) program provides financing to help Maine farms and agricultural businesses enhance and improve their products. AMLF funded projects can demonstrate new and innovative equipment and facilities to improve and enhance the manufacturing, marketability and production of Maine products. Farmers, food processors and aquaculture operators can access the fund to enhance production processes, innovate marketing techniques, and/or make product improvements.
The program was developed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). The program operates in accordance with the following principal objectives:
- Finance sound business propositions
- Offer funds at reasonable rates and terms
- Encourage private sector participation
- Spread funds amongst eligible industries
- Follow simple and easy to understand procedures
Funds may be used for design, construction* or improvement of commodity and storage buildings and packing and marketing facilities; or for the purchase, construction, or renovation of buildings, equipment, docks wharves piers or vessels, located in the State of Maine and used in connection with an agricultural enterprise; or for the purchase of land (a) in connection with development of new cranberry acreage; (b) for irrigation reservoirs or to provide direct access to water for irrigation; (c) necessary for the start-up of a new agricultural enterprise; or, (d) for the expansion of an existing agricultural enterprise when the land acquisition is necessary to comply with land use regulations); or for improvements to pastureland including seeding and actions to promote rotational grazing.
*If the AMLF loan involves construction (and if FAME has approved a AMLF Loan Application) the Department will require the prospective AMLF borrower to secure an outside construction lender to oversee the construction budget, interim invoices and lien waivers, and project inspections; and provide official acknowledgment of project completion from the AMLF borrower and other construction lending sources, stating that the construction completion has been verified. After which FAME will provide the agricultural-related construction take-out financing.
Loan funds may not be used for working capital, or to finance or refinance projects commenced, costs incurred, or expenses paid prior to the date of submission of a completed application, and such costs and expenses shall not be considered eligible project costs for determining the programs matching financing or private funds requirement. However, such requirement may be waived for good cause, as determined by the Commissioner in his or her discretion, upon a written request for a waiver made at the time of the submission of the completed Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund - Eligibility Form.
- Up to 90% of total project cost, if eligible project cost is $100,000 or less*
- Up to 75% of total project cost, if eligible project cost is over $100,000*
- Up to 45% of total project cost, if eligible project is related to the production of potatoes*
- Maximum loan amount is $250,000
- Loans for land acquisition cost of start-up enterprises are limited to $100,000
- *The Borrower must inject at least 5% in private funds into project.
- Origination fee of 1% is charged at closing for all AMLF Loans greater than $100,000
- The borrower is responsible for all legal costs of closing the AMLF Loan
Interest Rate 5% fixed for the term of the loan or 2% if borrower has been awarded Maine Farms for the Future Grant.
Payment Deferred principal and interest payments may be available up to 24 months; interest accrues beginning at closing.
Term Up to 30 years and determined by the useful life of the assets being financed.
Security Adequate collateral to fully cover the amount of the loan, typically includes the project being financed and may also include other real estate, machinery and other items acceptable to the Department.
Guarantees of business principals owning 20% or more of the business, or 5% or more and receiving significant income from the business.
The Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund - Loan Application Form requires financial statements and business plans that show the potential for the loan to be cash flowed over the term of the loan period.
To be eligible for the loan program, a business or individual located in Maine must:
- Be identified by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as any individual or organization engaged in an ‘Agricultural Enterprise” as defined in the Rules. Generally, any business engaged in growing or harvesting plants; raising animals; growing, obtaining or adding value to plant or animal by-products; aquaculture; or producing, processing, storing, packaging or marketing a product derived from such a business.
- Submit a completed Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund - Eligibility Form (PDF) along with attachments specified in the Eligibility Form to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the project is deemed eligible, DACF will notify the prospective applicant and forward the Eligibility Form to FAME - the Finance Authority of Maine.
- Then the prospective borrower must complete and submit the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund Application Form (PDF) along with attachments specified in the Application Form to FAME and the FAME Personal Financial Statement (PDF)
For more information:
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Agricultural Resource Development Division
Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund - Eligibility Form (PDF)
207-623-3263 or 1-800-228-3734
FAME - Agriculture Loans – Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund
Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund – Loan Application Form (PDF)
FAME Personal Financial Statement (PDF)