AUGUSTA — Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner, Amanda Beal, today announced the department’s release of the 2020 Agricultural Development Grants (ADG) Request for Applications. These grants are specifically designed to accelerate new market development, adoption of improved technology, and promotion of agricultural products produced in Maine. DACF expects to award up to $500,000 in ADG grants in 2020.
“The purpose of the Agricultural Development Grants is to grow opportunities for agricultural businesses to innovate and thrive,” commented Amanda Beal, DACF Commissioner. “We look forward to this round of creative proposals, and the opportunity to help accelerate the implementation and impact of the ideas they bring to the table.”
The ADG works to support projects involving market research and market promotion, as well as testing and demonstrating new technologies. Additional priority will be given to projects that focus on: helping to diversify market opportunities for farms; creating new opportunity for multiple farms to expand access to local and regional markets; improving adaptation and increasing resilience to climate-related farm disturbances in support of long-term farm vitality and productivity; enhancing value-added food or fiber production opportunities for products containing all, or a majority of, Maine-grown ingredients/materials; and providing processing infrastructure opportunities for agricultural products from more than one farm.
“This grant is an exciting opportunity for agricultural producers and food processors to put forward creative and cutting-edge projects that help advance Maine’s agricultural economy,” said Nancy McBrady, Director of the Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources. “There’s a rich history of product innovation and market diversification grantees with this program.”
- February 11, 2020: ADG 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.
Eligible applicants include agricultural associations, industry and producer groups, community-based organizations, and schools and universities seeking to make Maine-grown and produced agricultural products more competitive and establish new technologies.
Established by the Maine Legislature, the ADG program provides cost-share grants to address the need to accelerate market development, adoption of improved technology, and promotion of agricultural products produced in Maine. The ADG program was created in 1996, capitalized by the interest from Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund bond. Grants are awarded every one to two years through a competitive proposal process.
DACF is the State of Maine’s support center for land-based, natural resource interests. The Department stewards the state’s various land-based natural-resource interests, including Maine agriculture, forests, outdoor recreation, and public access. DACF helps guide Maine’s 21st-century natural resource economy by supporting the creation of new jobs and businesses, improving and supporting existing land-based industries, and streamlining regulations. DACF professionals have a wide range of duties ranging from protecting the food we eat, stopping forest fires, and mapping the ocean floor to keeping our parks and public lands pristine and accessible, planning wise land utilization, and providing technical assistance to beginning farmers. To explore DACF’s hundreds of activities and programs, and to learn more about the department’s responsibilities, go online to https://www.maine.gov/dacf.
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
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