Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today welcomed an announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it has awarded a total of $1,549,262 to nine Maine agricultural producers. The funding, awarded through the USDA's Rural Development Value Added Producer Grant Program, will support activities related to the processing and marketing of agricultural, value-added products.
"This federal investment will assist local, independent farms across the state that are seeking to expand their product lines and customer base,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “Maine-made food is renowned for its quality and taste, and we are pleased that this funding will allow more consumers to access the state’s homegrown products.”
The grant recipients in Maine are as follows:
- Dickey Hill Farm in Monroe will receive $24,145 to assist with the branding, processing, marketing and distribution of organic winter greens.
- Penobscot McCrum in Belfast will receive $248,000 to assist with personnel, ingredients, and marketing expenses associated with transforming raw potatoes into processed potato wedges and expand their existing customer base.
- Jessica Laing Dowling in Whitefield will receive $177,717 to help produce and market artisan cheeses from goat and sheep milk.
- Thirty Acre Farms in Whitefield will receive $250,000 to help expand the marketing and processing of sauerkraut and other fermented products made from organic vegetables.
- Avena Botanicals in Rockport will receive $250,000 to assist with personnel, processing, and marketing costs to increase sales of organic, herbal products and expand their existing customer base.
- American Unagi in Thomaston will receive $49,400 to help assess the feasibility and marketability of processed products made from farm-raised American eels.
- Dogpatch Farm in Washington will receive $50,000 to help brand and direct market pork from critically rare Mulefoot Hogs.
- Whitney Brook in Bridgewater will receive $250,000 used to help expand the farm’s market for organic seed potatoes and table stock potatoes.
- Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner will receive $250,000 to help with brand unification, expanding product reach nationally, and to increase production of raw apple cider vinegar, hard cider, fruit wines, and carbonated sweet ciders.
This year, the USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Program has contributed a total of $44 million nationwide to help small-scale agricultural producers.