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Home - Financing Your Farm Business

Careful financial planning, building relationships with lenders and investors, and understanding the financial resources available are keys to successful financing for your farm. Financial planning involves understanding your income and expenses for your family and business, and getting real estimates for needed changes, purchases or upgrades to your business. Building relationships requires an understanding of the 5 C’s of credit (Character, Capital, Capacity, Collateral, and Conditions) as well as getting your potential lender out to the farm to better understand your business and financing needs.

Understanding the financial resources available takes time and effort. Where to find lenders who both understand farming and appreciate the challenges and risks inherent to running a farm business is not easy. Start with evaluating your own capital resources, followed by local credit unions and banks you currently do business with. Then broaden your search with the resources listed below.

Resources

General Resources on Financing your Business

Financial Institutions/Entities to Contact for Direct Assistance

Banks

Community Banks – It is always worth talking to your community bank first and establishing a working relationship whenever possible with the commercial lending team. Some banks are more favorable towards agricultural lending than others, but you will never know how active a bank is in the agriculture sector until you have the conversation about your farm business needs with a lender.

Farm Credit of Maine – the leading farmer cooperative bank in Maine that does a significant portion of lending to the agricultural community in Maine.

Alternative/Non-Traditional/Non-Regulated Financial Institutions (CDFIs, NGOs, CDCs)

The following institutions have various programs which might serve your needs. They have slightly different requirements than traditional sources of capital, and sometimes can work in conjunction with your commercial bank.

State and Federal Agency Loan Programs

State and Federal agencies have various development programs that have financing available, and typically work with commercial and alternative financing agencies to make a deal work.

State Agencies

Loans

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) – Economic Recovery Loan Program

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:

Grants

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:

Slow Money Maine

Federal Agencies

Loans: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Farm Service Agency (FSA):

Rural Development (RD):

 Grants: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Rural Development (RD):


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