The Trump Administration has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is investing $2,192,833 in 11 Maine agribusinesses and farms.

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “Supporting our Maine agricultural producers in their innovative business activities helps them to remain competitive and thriving as they market their locally-produced agricultural goods. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA Rural Development provides diverse programs and opportunities that help rural businesses and communities prosper.”

In Maine, 11 farms and agribusinesses will receive Value-Added Producer Grants totaling $2.19 million. Of those 11 farms and agribusinesses, those included are from the towns of Thomaston, Union, Waldo, Freedom and Monroe.

American Unagi in Thomaston received a grant of $237,900 to produce hotsmoked processed eel. These processed eel products will expand the customer base to serve the smoked fish and prepared food sectors with a new product. This project will allow for a more diversified revenue stream, local job growth and an improvement to food security.

Herbal Revolution Farm and Apothecary in Union received a grant of $250,000 to expand the production, marketing and sales of herbal tinctures, tonics, teas, scrubs and elixirs. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and allow Herbal Revolution Farm and Apothecary to hire additional staff.

Bee Balm and Nettle in Waldo received a grant of $12,000 to expand the production, marketing, and sales of herbal loose-leaf teas and bath teas. The project will increase direct sales revenue to the farm, grow the customer base and allow them to hire additional staff.

South Paw Farm in Freedom received a grant of $250,000 to expand the production, marketing and sales of organic produce. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base and allow South Paw Farm to significantly increase their products in large regional supermarkets.

Toddy Pond Farm in Monroe received a grant of $223,496 to expand the production, marketing and sales of cheeses and yogurts. The project will increase wholesale and retail revenue to the farm, grow the customer base and allow Toddy Pond Farm to hire additional staff.

The Value-Added Producer Grant program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new agricultural products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

Interested parties may contact Business and Cooperative Programs Director Brian Wilson at 990-9168 or brian.wilson@usda.gov.

For more information, visit rd.usda.gov/me.