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USDA Rural Development invests $2.19 million in Maine farms, agribusinesses

The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.
Balfour Farms is one of the 11 Maine farms and agribusinesses getting a Value-Added Producer...
Balfour Farms is one of the 11 Maine farms and agribusinesses getting a Value-Added Producer Grant from the USDA Rural Development(WABI)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 1:21 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Eleven Maine farms and agribusinesses are getting their share of a nearly $2.2 million dollar investment from the USDA.

The money comes from the department’s Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant program.

It helps producers with processing and marketing new products with the aim of increasing income.

“Supporting our Maine agricultural producers in their innovative business activities helps them to remain competitive and thriving as they market their locally-produced agricultural goods," USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA Rural Development provides diverse programs and opportunities that help rural businesses and communities prosper.”

The following is from a USDA Rural Development press release, which lists the Maine farms and agribusinesses benefitting from the grants:

  • American Unagi, LLC, in Thomaston, has received a grant in the amount of $237,900 to produce hotsmoked 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 US food security.
  • Baker Brook Farm & Creamery, in Windham, has received a grant in the amount of $43,437 to examine the feasibility establishing their own processing facility for milk and ice cream. The study intends to determine the feasibility of building their own processing facility. Baker Brook Farm will benefit from increases to their customer base and revenue by adding value to their different items.
  • Balfour Farm, LLC, in Pittsfield, has received a grant in the amount of $250,000 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 grant in the amount of $250,000 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 Community Farm to significantly increase their products in large regional supermarkets.
  • Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary, in Union, has received a grant in the amount of $250,000 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.
  • Bee Balm & Nettle, in Waldo, has received a grant in the amount of $12,000 to expand the 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.
  • South Paw Farm, in Freedom, has received a grant in the amount of $250,000 to expand the 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 their products in large regional supermarkets.
  • Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company, in Columbia Falls has received a grant in the amount of $250,000 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 Company to significantly increase the value of their raw blueberries by using the Instant-Quick Freeze process.
  • Singing Prairie Farms, LLC/Singing Pastures Farm, in Newcastle, has received a grant in the amount of $176,000 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 them to hire additional staff.
  • Toddy Pond Farm, in Monroe, has received a grant in the amount of $223,496 to expand the 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.
  • Two Farmers Farm LLC, in Scarborough, has received a grant in the amount of $250,000 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.

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