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Financing: Grants and Loans

Grants (National and Maine-specific):

Agricultural Development Grant
(Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources)

Funds market research, market promotion and new technology projects. These grants are given to projects that will help a number of businesses, rather than individual businesses.

http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/business/index.html

Agricultural Water Source Development Cost Share Program
(Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources)

Provides up to 75% of funding for irrigation ponds and wells for Maine farmers.

http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/business/index.html

Farms for the Future
(CEI & MDAFRR)

A program run in conjunction by Coastal Enterprises Inc. and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources. Offers business planning assistance and grants for farmers up to $25,000.

http://www.ceimaine.org/content/view/120/170

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

Includes information on sustainable agriculture grants, project reports and publications as well as information for consumers and educators.

http://www.sare.org/

The northeast SARE program is hosted by UVM at: http://www.uvm.edu/~nesare/

Farm Credit AgEnhancement Grants
(Farm Credit)

Grants for organizations promoting agriculture—not for individual farms.

http://www.farmcreditmaine.com/about/L3/agenhance.htm

Loans:

Listed below are some financing sources specifically for agricultural enterprises.  However, before you can get financing for purchasing a farm or equipment, you must have a business plan. There are many resources to help you create a plan and analyze the viability of your business idea.  Please refer to the business planning section for where to go for this kind of assistance.

One of the first places to try to obtain financing is in the community where the farm you are interested in is located. We have not listed local Maine banks here, but you can find almost all of them at www.mainebankers.com

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources (MDAFRR) offers a free brochure, “Finding Funding for Farming” that includes an overview of several local banks willing to consider agricultural loans as well as other funding resources.

Farm Financing (CEI)

CEI provides business loans to farmers. These are generally loans to cover equipment purchases, working capital, or other direct business needs. As a general rule, CEI has does not provide loans to purchase farmland.

www.ceimaine.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=49

Farm Credit of Maine

Offers a variety of services including loans, appraisals, insurance, financial and tax services.  Extensive site has information on starting a farm enterprise, obtaining financing and other publications.

http://www.farmcreditmaine.com

Finance Authority of Maine

Offers agricultural marketing loan fund, linked investment program for agriculture, nutrient management loan program, potato marketing improvement fund loans for agricultural businesses.

http://www.famemaine.com

Kennedy Organic Loan Fund (CEI)

Targeted specifically at organic farmers or farmers transitioning to organic production, the Kennedy Organic Loan Fund provides loans at more affordable rates, often at prime rate or below. Generally speaking, loan amounts are limited to $15,000.

http://www.ceimaine.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=49

Maine Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund (MDAFRR)

Provides low cost financing to help farmers, food processors and aquaculture operations adopt new and innovative equipment and facilities in order to improve and enhance the manufacturing, marketability and production of Maine products.

http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/business/amlf/

Maine Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Provides links to United States FSA loan programs, as well as Maine-specific FSA information.

http://www.fsa.usda.gov/me/

Fact Sheet #1

Fact Sheet #2

Potato Marketing Improvement Fund (Maine Dept. of Agriculture)

Provides financing to potato growers and packers to construct modern storages, modernize existing storages, and purchase packing lines as part of the industry’s plan to improve the quality and marketing of Maine potatoes.  

http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/business/pmif/index.html

Western Mountains Alliance

Includes information on western Maine Farm Fund, a small loan program with a low fixed rate for Maine farmers. http://www.westernmountainsalliance.org/index.html

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