A Resource Guide for New Farmers in Washington County

General Resources:

Beginning Farmer Resource Network

The Beginning Farmer Resource Network is a coalition of Maine agriculture agencies and organizations working together to connect aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers to resources for farm business success. Learn more at http://umaine.edu/beginning-farmer-resource-network/

Capital:

Maine Farmland Trust Land Access Loan Program

MFT’s Land Access Loan Program provides loans for farmers to help them buy land, with priority given to beginning farmers of limited means in Washington County. Contact Erica Buswell, Project Manager, Land Protection and Beginning Farmers at (207) 338-6575 or ebuswell@mainefarmlandtrust.org.

Farm Credit East

Serves people involved in the business of agriculture, including farmers, nursery and greenhouse operators, forest products businesses, fishermen, lobstermen, part-time growers, agribusinesses and country home owners. A full range of credit services, financial services that enhance productivity and profitability. They have a Patronage dividend program, which typically reduces the average interest rate. Contact Pete Hallowell at 207-764-6431 or email: FarmCreditEast_PresqueIsle_Admin_WCMS@farmcrediteast.com

Land For Good

Their Farm Seekers Program puts farmers on the land by helping them access farms and farmland through traditional and innovative methods.  Land for Good helps new farmers know their options, and provides assistance to finding, evaluating and negotiating for a farm property. They work with educators, advisors and communities to support farm seekers and improve access to farmland.  http://landforgood.org/programs/farm-seekers/

Slow Money Maine

An intentionally inclusive, diverse network representing many sectors and communities in Maine, with a focus on supporting local sustainable food systems, SMM catalyzes the flow of funds and technical assistance to a wide array of food businesses. – See more at: http://www.slowmoneymaine.org/

Sunrise Ag Microloan

SAM targets Washington County-based commercial small farms and food producers seeking capital, as well as the county’s farmers’ markets, buying clubs, retail businesses, and food pantries. Contact SCEC Program Manager for Communications and Development, Tanya Rucosky at 207-255-0983 or email trucosky@sunrisecounty.org for more information.

Unorganized Territories Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

For businesses located in the Unorganized Territories, Washington County Government offers grants and a revolving loan program. Please go to http://www.washingtoncountymaine.com/index.php/business-economy/tax-increment-financing-tif-district  for more information, application forms and guidelines. Contact SCEC Program Manager Susan Hatton: email shatton@sunrisecounty.org, or contact by phone at either 207-255-0983.

USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service

NRCS offers voluntary programs to eligible landowners and agricultural producers to provide financial and technical assistance to help manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. Through these programs the agency approves contracts to provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns or opportunities to help save energy, improve soil, water, plant, air, animal and related resources on agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/me/programs/financial/

Training:

Sunrise Ag Microloan

SAM targets Washington County-based commercial small farms and food producers seeking capital, as well as the county’s farmers’ markets, buying clubs, retail businesses, and food pantries. Eligible uses of loan funds may include training and education. Contact SCEC Program Manager for Communications and Development, Tanya Rucosky at 207-255-0983 or email trucosky@sunrisecounty.org for more information.

Sunrise Scholarship Fund

SSF provides scholarships up to $500 for Washington County residents, of low-to-moderate income, who will be attending a training and/or certification program that will increase their opportunities for immediate employment or job advancement. Contact SCEC Coordinator of Governance and Special Projects, Peter Rensema at (207) 255-0983 or email prensema@sunrisecounty.org for more information.

Gracie Fund

The Gracie Fund is a student loan repayment program which encourages residents of Washington County, or those who consider Washington County their “home,” to establish roots in the community following completion of their post-secondary education. Contact SCEC Assistant Director Jennifer Peters at 207-255-0983 or email scec@sunrisecounty.org for more information.

MOFGA’s Farm Apprenticeship Program

This program connects people wanting to learn organic farming with experienced farmers willing to share their expertise. The typical arrangement involves an exchange of labor for room, board, a stipend, and informal, intensive training and experience in farming. Information for Prospective Apprentices Information For Host Farms.

MOFGA’s Farm Training Project

Learn farming skills from farmers themselves. Discover the diversity of Maine agriculture. For more information about or directions to any of the workshops, email education@mofga.org or call 568-4142.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

UMaine Extension gives local residents access to the resources and expertise of the University of Maine. Through educational programs, publications, and events, UMaine Extension delivers unbiased, research-based information to Washington County citizens. We can answer your questions on a wide array of topics. To find out how we can help you, browse their website http://umaine.edu/washington/contact-us/

Farm Credit East

Serving people involved in the business of agriculture, including farmers, nursery and greenhouse operators, forest products businesses, fishermen, lobstermen, part-time growers, agribusinesses and country home owners. Provides college scholarships annually. Contact Pete Hallowell at 207-764-6431 or email: FarmCreditEast_PresqueIsle_Admin_WCMS@farmcrediteast.com

Maine AgrAbility

The Maine AgrAbility project is dedicated to helping farmers, fishermen and forest workers work safely and more productively. We offer education for agricultural workers whose lifestyle and business have been impacted by a disability. We provide training and education to health care providers, agricultural professionals, emergency response agencies, and other community groups about agricultural workers with disabilities. https://extension.umaine.edu/agrability/

Marketing:

Sunrise Ag Microloan

SAM targets Washington County-based commercial small farms and food producers seeking capital, as well as the county’s farmers’ markets, buying clubs, retail businesses, and food pantries. Eligible uses of loan funds may include marketing assistance. Contact SCEC Program Manager for Communications and Development, Tanya Rucosky at 207-255-0983 or email trucosky@sunrisecounty.org for more information.

Business Planning:

Maine Farmland Trust Farm Business Development

Farm Business Development (FBD) helps farmers develop business plans through its works directly with farmers to enhance their ability to make business decisions and choices about their farm operations.

Complete the application and Farmer Self Assessment.  Send both forms to Business Development Manager, Farm Viability, Elizabeth Sprague:  esprague@mainefarmlandtrust.org

The Women’s Business Center at CEI

The Women’s Business Center at CEI provides women and men with a comprehensive program of personalized business advising, classes, and workshops to support and advance entrepreneurs looking to start, manage, grow or finance businesses of any size.  Business advising is free of charge and available in-person or by phone.  Contact Certified Business Advisor Ruth Cash-Smith at rcs@ceimaine.org or by calling 207-255-0983.

Legal Assistance

Legal Food Hub

A branch of the Conservation Law Foundation, the Legal Food Hub provides pro bono legal assistance, workshops, and trainings to farmers, food entrepreneurs, and related organizations in order to foster a sustainable, resilient, and just food system. (http://www.legalfoodhub.org/about-us/)

Community Connections:

Washington County Community Food Council

Washington County Community Food Council (WCCFC) an action-based coalition that brings together stakeholders from diverse, food-related areas to monitor, evaluate, and improve the performance of our local food system. The WCCFC aims to increase food production capacity, expand access to healthy food to all Washington County residents, disseminate resources and link key stakeholders and growers together in order to promote stronger collaborations and improve visibility of existing efforts. For more info contact Regina Grabrovac at Healthy Acadia’s Washington County office at (207) 255 3741

Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine

The Beginning Farmer Resource Network is a coalition of Maine agriculture agencies and organizations working together to connect aspiring, beginning, and transitioning farmers to resources for farm business success. To learn more, visit their website at http://www.umaine.edu/beginning-farmer-resource-network/

Maine’s Local Food Network

A growing statewide map of Maine’s local food networks. Search for distributors, retailers, wholesalers, near-by farms or farmer’s markets. http://gro-wa.org/foodMap/#

Local Markets:

Machias Valley Farmers’ Market

Locally produced farm goods in season. Annual bedding plants, perennials, vegetable seedlings, mixed vegetables, maple syrup, baked goods, locally produced yogurts, cheeses, pork, sauerkraut, wild blueberries, Maine grown handspun yarn, recycled cloth weaving & sea glass jewelry.

Route 1 on the dike across from Helen’s Restaurant
Machias, ME 4654
Tel.: (207)255-8556
Point of Contact: Barbara Anthony Email: barbaraanthony003@gmail.com

Sunrise County Farmers’ Market – Calais
Calais, ME 4619
Contact Terry Moffit at true2wonders@gmail.com or 796-2585.

Sunrise County Farmers’ Market – Eastport
Sutherland Overlook
Water Street
Eastport, ME 4631
Point of Contact: Sally Ericson: sallye@blast.com

 Princeton Farmer’s Market

Princeton Farmer’s Market is sponsored by the Princeton Grange #293. They are open every Thursday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 pm from mid-June through the beginning of October. Vendors are available selling the freshest local fruits and vegetables. Vendors are also selling locally produced maple syrup, locally produced handmade gifts and crafts, snacks. During the summer, the market occasionally features local artists playing a variety of music, a barbecue from the local volunteer Fire Department, and booths from local not-for-profit groups.
West Street
Public Baseball Field
Princeton, ME 4668
Tel.: (207)214-9094
Point of Contact: Wayne Seidl at (207) 796-2330.

Milbridge Farmer’s Market

Milbridge Farmer’s Market is located in the small fishing village of Milbridge and offers a great variety of locally grown products. Mixed organic produce and blueberries; goat cheeses, fudge & yogurts; locally grown pork; granolas, breads, perennials & vegetable seedlings; jams, jellies, chutnies and live music.
29 Main Street
Milbridge, ME 4658
Tel.: (207)638-2664

Maine Federation of Farmer’s Markets

MFFM now has resources for market members and shoppers alike! The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets is comprised of a Board of Directors that represents 25 of Maine’s farmers’ markets. http://www.mainefarmersmarkets.org/

Machias Marketplace The Machias Marketplace is an online farmers market and po-up green grocer. Thursdays, 10-5 PM, in the basement of Machias Hardware. On Facebook: Machias Marketplace email machias.fmp@gmail.com, (207) 271-2951.

Whole Life Market 80 Main Street, Machias, ME. 04654 Phone: 207-255-8855, Fax: 207-255-8866 Place orders: on-line at www.wholelifemarket.com.

Growing Concern is developing a county-wide wholesale food delivery system.  35 Manning Street Calais ME 04619 (207) 454-0183 http://www.growingconcern.me/

Eat Local Eastport Co-op
Thursdays 4pm-6pm
49 Water St, Eastport, ME 04631
Phone:(207) 853-2869
eatlocaleastport@yahoo.com