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Three local farms receive Rural Development grants

Oct 13, 2020

Bangor — Three Waldo County farms are among 11 Maine farms and agribusinesses to share in $2.19 million in Value-Added Producer Grants from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

USDA Rural Development is investing a total of $2,192,833 in Maine, of which South Paw Farm in Freedom will receive $250,000; Toddy Pond Farm in Monroe will receive $223,496; and Bee Balm & Nettle in Waldo will receive $12,000.

South Paw Farm will expand its production, marketing and sales of organic produce. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow South Paw Farm to significantly increase its products in large regional supermarkets.

Toddy Pond Farm will expand its production, marketing and sales of cheeses and yogurts. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow Toddy Pond Farm to hire additional staff.

Bee Balm & Nettle will expand its production, marketing and sales of herbal loose-leaf teas and bath teas. The project will increase direct sales revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow them to hire additional staff.

Other grant recipients are:

American Unagi LLC in Thomaston, which has received a $237,900 grant to produce hot-smoked processed eel. These processed eel products will expand the customer base to serve the smoked fish and prepared food sectors with a new product. This project will allow for a more diversified revenue stream, local job growth, and an improvement to U.S. food security.

Baker Brook Farm & Creamery in Windham, which has received a $43,437 grant examine the feasibility establishing its own processing facility for milk and ice cream. Baker Brook Farm will benefit from increases to its customer base and revenue by adding value to its different items.

Balfour Farm LLC in Pittsfield, has received a $250,000 grant to expand the production, marketing and sales of certified organic aged raw milk cheese, fresh cheese and yogurt. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow Balfour Farm to hire staff.

Crystal Spring Community Farm LLC in Brunswick, has received a $250,000 grant to expand the production, marketing and sales of organic carrots and blueberries. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow Crystal Spring to significantly increase its products in large regional supermarkets.

Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary in Union has received a $250,000 grant to expand the production, marketing and sales of herbal tinctures, tonics, teas, scrubs and elixirs. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow Herbal Revolution Farm and Apothecary to hire additional staff.

Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Co. in Columbia Falls has received a $250,000 grant to expand the production, marketing and sales of frozen, branded blueberries. The project will increase retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Co. to significantly increase the value of its raw blueberries by using the Instant-Quick Freeze process.

Singing Prairie Farms LLC/Singing Pastures Farm in Newcastle, has received a $176,000 grant to expand the production, marketing and sales of pork snack sticks. The project will increase online and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow the business to hire additional staff.

Two Farmers Farm LLC in Scarborough, has received a $250,000 grant to expand the production, marketing and sales of certified organic produce. The project will increase distributor and retail revenue to the farm and grow the customer base.

The Value-Added Producer Grant program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new agricultural products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

Examples of activities include conducting feasibility studies and developing business plans for processing and marketing the proposed value-added product. Examples of working capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses, some inventory and salary expenses.

Interested entities should contact Brian Wilson, business and cooperative programs director, at 990-9168 or brian.wilson@usda.gov.

For more information, visit rd.usda.gov/me.

 

 

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