Farms for the Future
Farms for the Future (FFF) is a two-phase business assistance and grant program that helps Maine farmers plan for the future of their agricultural enterprise. FFF is a program of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources and is currently administered by Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
A premise of this program is that farmers frequently have good ideas for making their farm more economically viable but not the time to work out the details or gather necessary information. Farms for the Future is intended to help farmers work out the details and provide them with necessary information. In the first phase, Business Planning, selected farmers receive a package of services to develop a detailed business plan with a team of skilled professionals. Farmers determine the membership of their farm’s planning team. Applications are accepted once a year in the fall. Most of the research and writing of the business plan takes place during the winter months. The final product of this phase is a business plan that can reasonably be expected to receive a loan from a reputable lending institution OR provides sufficient information for the farmer to make an informed decision on whether or not to go forward with his/her plans.
Farmers are eligible to apply if they own and operate five or more acres of farmland, and have an idea for change that will increase the long-term economic viability of their farm. (Folks who are not currently actively farming or are seeking funds to purchase or start up a farm are generally not eligible).
Once a farmer completes a plan, he or she is eligible to apply for the second phase, Implementation Grants. Farmers usually have two opportunities to submit their business plans to compete for grants providing 25% of the cost of implementing the changes needed. Grants are limited to $25,000. The remaining 75% of the financing may include cash, loans, other grants, and in-kind services provided by the farmer. Farmers who accept the Implementation Grants must sign an agreement stating that they will not convert any farmland to non-agricultural uses for five years. At any time, a farmer can repay the amount of the grant to buy back this agreement.
|Exposure: The remaining 75% of the financing may include cash, loans, other grants, and in-kind services provided by the farmer.|
|Farmers who accept the Implementation Grants must sign an agreement stating that they will not convert any farmland to non-agricultural uses for five years. At any time, a farmer can repay the amount of the grant to buy back this agreement.
36 Water Street, PO Box 268
Wiscasset , ME 04578