Maine Farmland Belief has awarded grants to 5 farms, totaling $238,103, to develop their companies. The farms participated in MFT’s Farming for Wholesale program and labored with enterprise advisors to analysis and outline enterprise plans targeted on scaling up for wholesale markets. These grants are aggressive and functions endure an intensive overview course of by a committee comprised of MFT employees and business consultants, based on a information launch from the belief.
The 2020 crop of grantees embrace Buckle Farm in Unity, Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro, Crescent Run Farm in Jefferson, Corridor Brook Farm in Thorndike, and Morning Dew Farm in Damariscotta. Every farm was awarded roughly $50,000 which was equally matched by the farm’s personal investments, infusing practically $100,000 into advancing every of those companies. All of the farms will use grant funds to spend money on gear and infrastructure as they enhance manufacturing, enhance gross sales to wholesale markets, turn into extra environment friendly, and enhance the profitability of their companies.
Hannah Hamilton and Jim Buckle of Buckle Farm develop diversified greens. They’re utilizing their grant award to spend money on gear and infrastructure that can assist them shift their enterprise mannequin to considerably deal with produce for wholesale markets. “The Farming for Wholesale grant allowed us to speed up our farm to a wholesale solely mannequin far faster than we may on our personal,” shared Buckle, based on the discharge. Reflecting on the opposite parts of this system he continued, “The course was a important half that helped us develop a plan for achievement.”
Christelle and Jon McKee of Copper Tail Farm increase one of many solely Animal-Welfare Accepted dairy goat herds in Maine. The farm expanded its herd, constructed additions to its barn and creamery, and can use grant funds to buy creamery gear, a tractor, and chilly storage to extend its effectivity at a bigger scale. Christelle McKee says already the grant has helped the farmers, “The Maine Farmland Belief grant has been superb for our enterprise and our household. Having the gear and storage to scale up has made our elevated manufacturing rather more environment friendly. Our high quality of life has drastically improved, which is essential to the sustainability and success of our farm,” based on the discharge.
Pheonix and Megan O’Brien of Corridor Brook Farm produce diversified greens primarily for giant grocery retail. With grant funds they’ll assemble amenities wanted to develop their manufacturing and meet meals security necessities, which helps them attain viability shares Pheonix O’Brien, “The Farming for Wholesale program and Implementation Grant has allowed us entry to capital to develop our enterprise, be worthwhile and aggressive in our markets. The grant has allowed us to scale our infrastructure to supply on a industrial scale that’s viable for our small household farm,” based on the discharge.
With new animal housing and gear, Michael and Ryan Dennett of Crescent Run Farm are including extra sheep to their flock and shifting their enterprises to deal with rising alternatives. They’re constructing partnerships with photo voltaic vitality corporations to have their sheep graze pasturelands below photo voltaic panels.
Brady Hatch and Brendan McQuillen of Morning Dew Farm are additionally investing in a brand new multi-purpose facility to proceed rising microgreens, seedlings, and greens and turn into extra environment friendly.
That is the fourth 12 months the belief has supplied implementation grants for farms which have participated within the Farming for Wholesale program. “These farmers are all expert enterprise homeowners and we’re excited that they’re transferring in direction of larger profitability and success of their targets with these enterprise plans,” mentioned Alex Fouliard, Farming for Wholesale Program supervisor, based on the discharge “The way forward for farming in Maine will depend on farmland and thriving farms. We’re MFT is happy to proceed serving to Maine farms thrive by providing important schooling and financing to implement new modifications and concepts.”
Study extra concerning the Farming for Wholesale Program on the belief’s web site mainefarmlandtrust.org.
Maine Farmland Belief is a statewide nonprofit that works to guard farmland, help farmers and advance the long run for farming.