AUGUSTA — The State of Maine, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources offers grants for business plan development (Phase 1) and investment support (Phase 2) to improve “farm vitality” – defined as an increase in long-term, maintainable, farm profitability and net worth – as authorized in the Maine Farms for the Future Program (Title7, MRS Chapter 10-B).
The current Request for Proposals (RFP#201904076) and Phase 1 and Phase 2 applications for Fall 2019 as well as a Question & Answer Summary and all revisions/amendments related to the RFP can be obtained at the following website: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/
To be eligible for a Phase 1 grant of $6,000 to research and develop a business plan, an Applicant must:
- be a private, for-profit company that is owned by individuals, partners or corporations, that grows or produces agricultural products for commercial sale (excluding marijuana farms, except as permitted under 7MRS Ch.406A, Section 2231);
- own and operate a Farm Business that has been producing agricultural products commercially in the State of Maine for at least two (2) years (24 months) at the time of application;
- have ownership of the land that is being farmed, or be a partner or shareholder in a legal entity that owns the farmland; or if the farmland has been purchased recently, provide evidence of at least two years (24 months) of experience operating a commercial farm operation elsewhere in Maine;
- have State of Maine certification or licensure as required for their type of agricultural operation, i.e. Nutrient Management Plan, Commercial Kitchen License, Milk License, etc.
To be eligible for a Phase 2 cash grant and/or the low interest rate through the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund, the Applicant must be a “Selected Farm” which is a farm that was previously selected for and completed Phase 1 between January 1, 2000 and June 24, 2019, and satisfy all other eligibility criteria and match requirements listed in the Phase 2 Application Form.
Applications must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via e-mail, to the following email address: Proposals@maine.gov.
Application submissions must be received no later than 11:59pm local time, Tuesday, October 8th, 2019, when they will be opened at the Burton M. Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street – 4th Floor, Augusta, Maine. Applications not submitted to the Division of Procurement Services’ email address of Proposals@maine.gov will not be considered for contract award.
Future applications may be submitted per the semi-annual submission deadlines noted in the RFP as the second Tuesday of May and October.
–Maine, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
For more articles out of New England, click here.