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Pingree Announces $760,000 to Support Maine Farms

  • Fields Fields Bluberries

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a longtime organic farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee, today announced nearly $760,000 in federal grants that will support Maine agricultural producers and businesses. Awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) will help four First District farms boost production and expand markets for their value-added agricultural products.

"The Value-Added Producer Grant program is helping farmers in Maine and across our nation increase the value of their products, expand their markets, and strengthen their communities. The investments announced today will not only help keep local farms in business but will help them—and their customers—prosper,” said Pingree. “These are the kinds of investments our rural communities absolutely need, and as my Agriculture Committee colleagues and I continue our work on the upcoming Farm Bill, I am committed to building on this vital program and ensuring it will continue to strengthen our local markets.”

 The grants awarded are as follows:

$250,000 for Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary (Union, Maine) to expand processing, marketing, and sales of its Fire Cider Tonic and Energy Tonic. This project will increase its sales to a national level and allow for an increase in customer base and revenue.

 $10,000 for Fields Fields Bluberries (Dresden, Maine) to assess the feasibility of expanding the market of its blueberry crisp. The study intends to explore the options of using a co-manufacturer, finding distribution channels, and assessing what’s required for a farm expansion.

$250,000 for William H. Jordan Farm, LLC. (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) to expand processing, marketing, and sales of its locally produced, frozen, and shelf-stable produce. This project will increase the number of customers shopping at the on-farm store and expand its line of frozen and shelf-stable products through retail and wholesale channels. This project will allow for an increase in customer base and revenue.

 $249,975 for Ledgeway Farm (Pittston, Maine) to expand processing, marketing, and sales of Ledgeway's diverse array of goat milk soap bar products. This project will allow the farm to substantially boost customer growth and revenue.

VAPG is part of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) which is an umbrella program created by Pingree through the 2018 Farm Bill. Supporting local food infrastructure and producers is a top priority of Pingree’s in the upcoming Farm Bill. This year, she has introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Local Farms and Food Act to strengthen support for local and regional food systems – helping more people access nutritious, locally grown food and the bipartisan, bicameral Strengthening Local Processing Act, to support small meat and poultry processors. 

The Farm Bill is a legislative package passed roughly every five years that has a tremendous impact on rural communities, food security, farmers’ livelihoods, and how our food is grown. Click here to learn more about Pingree’s Farm Bill priorities.

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