Assistance for Farmers and Food Businesses in Washington County


Sunrise Ag Microloan

SAM targets Washington County farms and food producers and retailers seeking capital. SAM microloans can also help markets, buying clubs, retailers, and food pantries. Contact SCEC Local Foods Program Manager, Tanya Rucosky at 207-255-0983 or email for more information.

Unorganized Territories Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Businesses in the Unorganized Territories of Washington County are eligible for a grant and loan program. Please go to  for more information, application forms and guidelines. Contact SCEC Program Manager Susan Hatton: email, or by phone at 207-255-0983.

Slow Money Maine

Slow Money Maine is a broad network focused on supporting local sustainable food systems. SMM sparks the flow of funds and technical assistance to a wide array of food businesses. See more at:

FSA Operating Loans

Direct Farm Operating Loans start, and strengthen farms.  Contact Valerie Porter (207) 255-3612

FSA Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loan Program

Farm Ownership Loans can be used to buy farmland, and construct or repair buildings. These loans can be used for soil and water conservation, or to refinance debt.  Contact Valerie Porter (207) 255-3612

FSA Farm Storage Facility Loans

The Farm Storage Facility Loans help farmers build or improve buildings to store their produce. This includes grain bins, hay barns, bulk tanks, and cold storage. Drying and handling and storage equipment is also eligible. Contact Valerie Porter (207) 255-3612

Farm Credit East

Farm Credit East serves farmers, foresters, and fishermen. They offer a full range of credit services, financial services. Contact Pete Hallowell at 207-764-6431 or email:

USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service

NRCS programs provide financial help to plan and do conservation work.  These programs can support rock removal, and hoop house construction.

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund offers help to veterans who are beginning farmers. Grants may be up to $5000. Contact: Rachel Petitt at   (530) 756-1395

Maine Farms for the Future Program

The Maine Farms for the Future Program (FFF) is a grant program that offers help with business planning assistance and investment. The Phase 1 grant lets farmers to research ideas for change on their farm.  Farmers work with a certified business counselor to write an investment-grade business plan. The Phase 2 cash grant and/or low-interest loan helps farmers get their project(s) going. Contact Program Administrator,  (207) 287-7520 Research Assistant, (207) 287-3491

TechStart Grants

TechStart Grants fund Research and Development to do market analysis, business plans and intellectual property protection work.  Grants are focused on those developing new ideas and new products. TechStart Grants can be up to $5,000. To learn more, email Kim Doughty, MTI Lending & Grants Associate, at

Seed Grants

MTI Seed Grants are up to $25,000. Seed Grants fund early research and development. Seed grants fund proof of concept work, prototype development, field trials, prototype testing, pilot studies, or technology transfer work. To learn more, email Kim Doughty, MTI Lending & Grants Associate, at

MTI SBIR/STTR Assistance Program

MTI helps companies develop proposals to federal agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR program. Opportunities include a $5,000 Phase 0 KickStarter grant and a Technical Assistance Program. For more information, please contact Karen West at or at 207-845-2934.

Value Added Producer Grants

The Value Added Producer Grants help farmers process and/or market new products. Beginning, family, small or cooperative farms and socially disadvantaged farmers get priority. For more information, contact Brian Wilson at (207)990-9168 or email

 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

REAP gives grants and loans to farmers and rural businesses to do renewable energy projects.  REAP also helps farmers and rural businesses do energy efficiency work. For more information, contact Brian Wilson at (207)990-9168 or email

Kiva Loans

Kiva offers no-interest crowd funded loans. Kiva loans can be up to $10,000 to farmers, fishermen and food related businesses.  For more information contact Patricia Pinto at

Legacy Planning:

Land for Good

Land for Good helps farmers pass their farms on to the next generation. For more information, contact

Beginning Farmers:

Beginning Farmer Resource Network

This network connects beginning farmers to resources for farm business success. Learn more at

Land for Good

The Farm Seekers Program puts farmers on the land by helping them access farms and farmland through traditional and innovative methods.


Sunrise Ag Microloan

SAM loans can be used by Washington County farms and food producers and sellers. Loans funds may be used training and education. Contact SCEC Program Manager for Communications and Development, Tanya Rucosky at 207-255-0983 or email for more information.

Sunrise Scholarship Fund

SSF gives scholarships of up to $500 to people in Washington County. SSF scholarships help low-to-moderate income students to attend a training and/or certification program. All training needs to increase the student’s chances for immediate work or job advancement. Contact SCEC Assistant Director, Jennifer Peters, at (207) 255-0983 or email  for more information.

Gracie Fund

The Gracie Fund is a student loan repayment program. It helps residents of Washington County put down roots after college.  Contact SCEC Assistant Director Jennifer Peters at 207-255-0983 or email for more information.

MOFGA’s Farm Apprenticeship Program

This program connects people wanting to learn organic farming with experienced farmers. Usually new farmers work for exchange for room, board, a stipend, and informal, intensive training and experience. Information for Prospective Apprentices Information For Host Farms.

MOFGA’s Farm Training Project

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

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

UMaine Extension offers farmers the resources and expertise of the University of Maine. UMaine Extension gives unbiased, research through trainings, publications, and events. Find out how they can help at

Farm Credit East

Farm Credit East helps farmers, greenhouse operators, foresters, fishermen, and lobstermen. It offers college scholarships. Contact Pete Hallowell at 207-764-6431 or email:

Maine AgrAbility

The Maine AgrAbility helps farmers, fishermen and forest workers work safely. It offers training for workers impacted by a disability.


Sunrise Ag Microloan

SAM targets Washington County-based commercial small farms and food producers seeking SAM loans can be used by Washington County farms and food producers and sellers. Loans may be used for marketing. Contact SCEC Local Foods Program Manager, Tanya Rucosky at 207-255-0983 or email for more information.

Business Planning:

The Women’s Business Center at CEI

The Women’s Business Center at CEI offers a broad program of personalized business advising and workshops. This helps farmers start, manage, grow or finance their businesses.  Business advising is free of charge and available in-person or by phone.  Contact Certified Business Advisor Ruth Cash-Smith at or by calling 207-255-0983.

Maine Farmland Trust Farm Business Development

FBD helps farmers develop business plans.  It works with farmers to boost their skill in making business decisions. Contact Business Development Manager, Farm Viability, Elizabeth Sprague:

Organic Certification:

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Association

MOFGA Certification Services (MCS) is an accredited certification agency. They currently certify farms throughout Maine and New England. Call 207-568-6030 or email

Farm Service Agency Organic Certification Cost Share Program

This program gives certified organic farmer a chance to get back up to 75% of their certification cost each year.

Legal Assistance:

Legal Food Hub

The Legal Food Hub gives free legal help and trainings to farmers, and food entrepreneurs. For more information contact: (


Maine PTAC

Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center helps Maine businesses sell to the government.  Contact Dan McGrath SCEC’s Government Procurement Counselor at or call 255-0983

Machias Valley Farmers’ Market (MVFM)                                           Contact Barbara Anthony Email:

Sunrise County Farmers’ Market – Calais
Contact Terry Moffit at or 796-2585

Sunrise County Farmers’ Market – Eastport
Contact: Sally Ericson:

 Princeton Farmer’s Market                                                                         Contact: Wayne Seidl at (207) 796-2330.

Milbridge Farmer’sMarket                                                                

Contact: (207)638-2664

Maine Federation of Farmer’s Markets

MFFM has resources for market members.  For more information, visit:

Machias Marketplace the Machias Marketplace is open Wednesday through Friday from 10-5 PM. Contact Inez Lombardo on Facebook: Machias Marketplace or by email, or phone (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

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

Eat Local Eastport Co-op 49 Water St, Eastport, ME 04631 Phone :(207) 853-2869

Maine’s Local Food Network

Maine’s Local Food Network is a growing statewide map of Maine’s local food system. Search for distributors, retailers, wholesalers, near-by farms or farmer’s markets.


Eastern Maine Development Agency (EMDC)

EMDC houses the local program manager for the National Farmworker Jobs Program.  This program can help farmers connect to workers, and support the cost of worker training.  Contact Program Manager Chris Huh at chuh@emdc or call 207-610-1521.