The Maine Senior FarmShare Program is administered through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Please see below for more details on this program.
The program has been approved by USDA for the 2015 season! State agencies were notified of SFMNP grant award amounts on March 11. Allocation decisions are currently being determined and the agreements and supplies have been ordered for the allocation mailing. We are optimistic to have the materials sent to farmers by the week of March 23 and that the senior sign up can commence during that week.
Please understand that shares available for new farmers to participate are limited and possibly not available depending on our grant award dollar amount. New farms are only considered after allocating shares to prior year farmers who wish to participate again for the upcoming year. Share allocation to farmers follows the USDA procedure of distribution of SFMNP funds to previously participating State agencies. (I.e. the FarmShare program allocates available funds to keep prior year participating farmers at the level of shares they received the previous fiscal year if sufficient funds are available.) If funds are available after allocating to previous FarmShare farmers, new farmer applications are considered.
Share allocations to farms are based on a combination of many factors including a farm’s capacity and interest in providing shares; references; successful participation in prior years; the distribution of qualifying seniors around the state; the number of farms interested in participating; as well as the total funds available. There is always a possibility that a farm may be authorized later in the season. Maine often receives a follow up grant award later in the spring of prior year unused funds from USDA. If sufficient funds become available to authorize new farmers you will be contacted at that time.
It is important that you read and understand the guidelines before submitting your application. If you have any questions regarding the FarmShare Program, please call 287-7526 or e-mail the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Farmer applications are due to the Maine Senior FarmShare Program by February 13, 2015.
If you have questions, please call the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Agriculture Recourse Development, Maine Senior FarmShare Program at 287-3491, or e-mail: email@example.com