Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund
The Department is currently accepting loan applications (PDF) for the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund at this time.
The AMLF loan program provides 5% interest loans for capital improvements for farms and farm related businesses. If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail the program manager, John Harker or call 287-7620.
Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund Program Description
The Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund (AMLF) provides low cost financing to help farmers, food processors and aquaculture operations adopt new and innovative equipment and facilities in order to improve and enhance the manufacturing, marketability and production of Maine products.
Funds may be used for the design, construction or improvement of commodity and storage buildings and packing and marketing facilities, or for the construction, renovation or acquisition of land, buildings, equipment, docks, wharves, piers, or vessels, located in the State of Maine and used in connection with an agricultural enterprise.
This includes, but is not limited to, land acquisition:
- for the purchase of land in connection with development of new cranberry acreage;
- for the purchase of land for irrigation reservoirs or to provide direct access to water for irrigation;
- for the purchase of land necessary for the start-up of a new agricultural enterprise; or,
- for the expansion of an existing agricultural enterprise when the land acquisition is necessary to comply with land use regulations); land improvements; purchase and remodeling of existing buildings; building construction, additions or renovations; leasehold improvements; purchase and installation of machinery and equipment (both traditional, new and innovative).
Funds may not be used for working capital, to finance or refinance projects commenced prior to issuance of a commitment for the AMLF loan, for non-project related equipment, for the refinancing or acquisition of projects for which a loan from the Potato Marketing Improvement Fund was obtained and it may not be used for interim financing during the construction of projects.
An eligible applicant must be an "Agricultural enterprise" meaning a person or business, located in Maine, engaged in the commercial growing or harvesting of plants; raising of animals; growing or obtaining plant or animal by-products, aquaculture, as defined in Title 12, section 6001, subsection 1; or further processing, storing, packaging or marketing a raw product derived from plants, animals, plant or animal by-products or aquaculture as defined in Title 12, section 6001, subsection 1, with the intent that the product be sold or otherwise disposed of to generate income. "Agricultural enterprise" shall also include a business or activity that attracts visitors to a farm for the purpose of supplementing income from the primary crop or livestock operation. "Agricultural enterprise" does not include a business engaged primarily in the growing, harvesting or further processing of forest species of trees for the purpose of producing pulp or other materials used in the paper manufacturing or wood manufacturing process.
The ALMF Program provides loan funds of 90% of total project cost, if project cost is $100,000 or less or 75% of total project cost if project cost in more than $100,000. In both cases the borrower must inject 10% equity in the form of cash or in-kind services. Maximum loan amount is $250,000. The interest rate is set at 5% for the life of the loan. An origination fee of 1% is charged at closing for all AMLF Loans greater than $100,000. The Borrower is responsible for all legal costs of closing the AMLF Loan. The term and payback provisions are negotiable and vary with the useful life of the assets being financed.
The Department will seek adequate collateral to fully cover the amount of the loan, whenever possible. This collateral typically includes the project being financed and may also include other real estate, machinery and other items acceptable to the Department. The Department will also require financial statements and business plans that show the potential for the loan to be cash flowed over the term of the loan period.
YOUR LENDER IS VERY IMPORTANT. Typically lead lenders provide a loan to cover the balance of the project costs that AMLF or owner's cash equity does not. Also, AMLF does not finance the construction phase of any project ? usually the lead lender provides the construction loan.
Individuals or entities considering an application to the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund should contact the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to determine project eligibility and/or to request a loan application package when funds become available. Upon determining project eligibility, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will forward copies of the complete loan application package to the Finance Authority of Maine for financial review and credit analysis. The Finance Authority of Maine is responsible for reviewing all loan applications for completeness and credit underwriting. The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry makes all final decisions regarding approval of a loan.
Staff of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and the Finance Authority of Maine may be contacted here:
Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund Program Specialist
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
28 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
TEL: (207) 287-7620
FAX: (207) 287-5576
Finance Authority of Maine
5 Community Drive
P.O. Box 949
Augusta, ME 04332-0949
TEL: (207) 623-3263
FAX: (207) 623-0095