Maine DACF launches new Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program

Fri, 12/31/2021 - 2:30pm

ROCKLAND — As part of the Mills Administration's Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) is preparing to launch the new Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program (AIIP).

The Mills Administration has invested approximately $20 million in federal funds to help Maine farmers and food processors improve critical infrastructure. This funding will enable farms and agricultural businesses to pursue upgrades that will mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19, increase the supply of Maine-grown food, enhance supply chain resilience, and help grow and sustain one of Maine’s heritage industries.

DACF has partnered with Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) to administer the AIIP. Applications will be accepted beginning on January 14, 2022.

Program guidelines and an application template are now available on the AIIP website. Two informational webinars about the AIIP are scheduled for interested applicants. The first webinar will occur on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at noon. The second webinar will occur on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at noon.

Webinars will be recorded and available for viewing after each session. Pre-registration is required. Interested applicants can register online here.

A range of funding will be offered through AIIP, including smaller grants for on-farm improvements and larger grants for processing projects. There will be no match required and no minimum request amount.

Some examples of eligible investments include capital improvements, including modifications to existing buildings and construction of new buildings. They also include upgrades to utilities (including water, electric, heat, refrigeration, freezing, and waste facilities); growing, processing, and manufacturing equipment and construction; packaging and handling equipment; technology that allows increased capacity or business resilience (including software and hardware related to business functions, logistics, inventory management, plant production and monitoring controls, to enable extended or year-round production); and technical assistance, including market research and feasibility studies, engineering and construction planning, land use planning, facility design and configuration planning, and other services that directly support future implementation of infrastructure-related capacity-building projects.

To learn more about the AIIP, visit the DACF Agricultural Resource Development Division grants webpage, or CEI's webpage. For questions, email