UNITY, Maine — The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), thanks to support from the John Merck Fund, is awarding $3,000 grants to each of three MOFGA-certified organic businesses: Turtle Rock Farm in Brunswick, Ripley Farm in Dover-Foxcroft and Left Field Farm in Bowdoinham. The funding will enable these businesses to access technical and consulting services to increase their sales to wholesale markets. In addition, MOFGA has partnered with Slow Money Maine, which will support two additional applicants at $1,500 each: Two Farmers Farm in Saco and Morning Dew Farm in Newcastle.
MOFGA’s Wholesale Technical Assistance (TA) grant program is designed to help Maine organic farmers and businesses access technical assistance at key points in their development so that they engage more successfully with such wholesale markets as restaurants, grocery stores and food distributors. This is MOFGA’s third year offering the program, which can help businesses evaluate profitability of different products or business models, conduct market research, research new equipment or packaging, address legal needs, redesign marketing efforts, and more. Past recipients include Sap Hound Maple Company, Green Spark Farm, Dandelion Spring Farm and Misty Brook Farm. MOFGA tries to find resources and support for all applicants, even those not chosen to receive the grants.
Past recipient Mary Ellen Chadd of Green Spark Farm said of the TA program, “This pilot will increase sales and profit by allowing me to seek new wholesale buyers for wholesale seedlings as we expand our sales of seedlings to grocery stores. Offering this education is an immense service.”
Many participants have become more comfortable looking at their numbers and conducting cost-benefit analyses for crops. They have said that the program significantly impacted their ability to achieve economic goals and to evaluate their bottom line and overall efficiency.
For more information about MOFGA’s TA grant program, please contact Heather Omand at firstname.lastname@example.org. The application process will open again in spring of 2019.
–Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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