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Business Planning Resources

A business plan is an invaluable component for getting started in farming. One will be necessary for obtaining any sort of financing. If the task of writing one seems somewhat daunting, there are many organizations and programs that offer training and assistance for free or at minimal cost. These are some that exist in Maine.

• Beginning Farmer Resource Network

The Beginning Farmer Resource Network is a coalition of Maine agriculture agencies and organizations working together to connect aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers to resources for farm business success.

http://umaine.edu/beginning-farmer-resource-network/home/planning-managing-your-farm-business/

• Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

CEI’s Maine Farms Program offers several programs to assist farmers, including graphic design assistance, loan programs, and the New American Farmers project.

http://www.ceimaine.org/

• Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC)

From micro start-ups to expanding small businesses, can help with marketing, manufacturing, government contracting, finance, and international trade.  Participates in Maine SBDC program.

http://www.emdc.org/

• Maine.gov Agricultural Business Information

This governmental site includes useful links for those looking to have agricultural businesses in Maine, including a questionnaire from the Cooperative Extension on whether farming in Maine is right for you. It also includes links to trade organizations and regulations for agricultural businesses.

http://www.maine.gov/portal/business/

• Maine Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA offers business training and financing.  Site includes an online tutorial for getting started in a small business.

http://www.sba.gov/me/

• Maine Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

SCORE provides free business consultation to entrepreneurs.  This website is for the Portland office, but provides contact information for SCORE offices throughout the state.

http://www.scoremaine.org/

• Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

Provides comprehensive business management assistance, training, resource and information services to Maine’s micro, small and technology-based business communities. Whether one has an established business or is about to acquire or start a new creative venture, one can obtain no-cost to client, confidential, professional business management assistance, valuable information, expert training and extensive resource links.

http://www.mainesbdc.org/

• Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC)

Offers Economic Development, Business Finance, Small Business Counseling and Planning services for northern Maine.  Participates in Maine SBDC program.

http://www.nmdc.org/

• Women, Work and Community

Offers business and financial planning training as well as micro-loan programs.

http://www.womenworkandcommunity.org/

About Maine Farmlink

Because the majority of Maine farmers are now of retirement age, getting new farmers onto the land is imperative. Many farmers who wish to retire do not have anyone to take over the farm. Likewise, many people who want to farm do not have the family or resources they need to get started. FarmLink is a collaborative endeavor connecting next generation farmers to the land and resources they need to keep Maine’s farms viable now and into the future. FarmLink works with each party to fully understand their interests and needs. This personal contact and customized support, combined with the assistance of program partners, has helped Maine FarmLink become a successful and effective program.

For more information, call Maine FarmLink at:
(207) 338-6575 or email: info@mainefarmlink.org

Maine Farmland Trust
97 Main Street
Belfast, Maine 04915
Phone: 207-338-6575
Fax: 207-338-6024
Email: info@mainefarmlandtrust.org