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Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund
The Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund (AMLF) provides financing to help Maine agricultural businesses undertake projects to enhance the viability and vitality of the farm, and improve the manufacturing, marketability and production of their products.
AMLF provides eligible Borrowers direct loans of up to $250,000. The interest rate for these loans is either the federal prime rate or 5%, whichever is lower at the commencement of the loan.
Any eligible Borrower who previously received a Maine Farms for the Future Phase I grant may request the recommendation of the Maine Farms for the Future program for a 2% fixed interest rate. Borrowers who have completed Maine Farms for the Future Phase I should contact the FFF Program Administrator for additional details.
An eligible Borrower must:
- Be an agricultural or aquaculture enterprise;
- Be located in the State of Maine and currently engaged in growing or harvesting plants; raising animals; growing, obtaining or adding value to plant or animal by-products; aquaculture; or producing, processing, storing, packaging or marketing a product derived from such a business being sold commercially; and
- Propose a project that is an eligible use of the fund.
Eligible Uses of the Fund
The Fund may be used to for a wide variety of capital expenditures to improve farm business operations and profitability.
- Purchase equipment;
- Design, purchase, renovate, or improve farm buildings or structures;
- Develop a new water source or purchase irrigation equipment;
- Diversify existing farming enterprises by adding or testing new products;
- Expand an existing agricultural enterprise to comply with land use regulations;
- Improve pastureland to promote rotational grazing; or
- Implementing climate change mitigation strategies.
For a complete list of eligible expenses, please refer to Title 10 MRSA §1023-J or contact DACF to discuss your idea.
Note that construction projects are eligible for AMLF funding as "take-out financing." Borrowers must secure a construction loan from other lenders until the project is complete, at which point the loan portfolio can be transferred to AMLF.
Ineligible Uses of the Fund
The Fund may not be used for:
- Working capital (including payroll, marketing expenses, seeds, supplies or inventory); or
- Refinancing projects commenced, costs incurred, or expenses paid prior to loan application. However, the Borrower may submit a written request for a waiver. Such waiver must be approved in writing by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF).
Project Eligibility Process
- Before you complete any forms, take time to update your business plan, budget & financial projections to include the proposed project. Contact DACF staff with any eligibility questions in advance of submitting your proposal.
- Complete the fillable Project Eligibility Form (PDF) digitally, and email it to DACF.
- DACF will review your Project Eligibility Form and may contact you to conduct a telephone interview and make a site visit.
- The Commissioner will then either issue a Letter of Eligibility for your project or recommend that you revise and resubmit your Project Eligibility Form for reconsideration.
- If the Commissioner issues a Letter of Eligibility for your project, then you, as an eligible Borrower, may submit your completed AMLF Loan Application and FAME Personal Financial Statement to FAME. You must do this within 90 days. Please see FAME's Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund webpage for more details and forms.