Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry
Maine is home to 7,600 farms of all sizes, scales, and agricultural practices. Aging or limited infrastructure has hindered the ability of some of Maine’s farmers and food processors to meet the growing demand for local food. The pandemic exacerbated the situation, with restaurants, schools, and other food service institutions closing. With our farmers and food businesses suddenly losing some of their biggest wholesale markets, farms and food businesses were forced to rapidly pivot to find new customers for their products. These adaptations often involved high unanticipated costs.
The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is establishing the Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program to provide recovery grants to Maine farm and food processing businesses. These grants can be used for equipment purchases, construction, facilities improvement, utility upgrades, capacity-enhancing technology, technical assistance, and other capital expenses. Improving agricultural infrastructure will allow this sector to increase production and storage capacity, enhance supply chain resilience, and drive growth within the state’s agricultural and food economy while increasing the overall production of Maine-grown foods. The program is being administered by Coastal Enterprises, Inc (CEI).