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Agricultural Grants - Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Seeks Proposals for FY18 Agricultural Development Grants

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Agricultural Resource Development, is seeking proposals for the FY2018 Agricultural Development Grant Program. In accordance with State procurement practices, the Department is hereby announcing the publication of a Request for Proposals (RFP# 201711189) for proposals from qualified applicants.
The 119th Legislature authorized an Agricultural Development Fund (7 M.R.S.A., Chapter 10 §306A - 309). The Legislature identified the agricultural industry need for accelerating new market development, adoption of improved technology and promotion of agricultural products produced in Maine.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may allocate the grant funds among projects involving market research, market promotion, or a combination of those activities for the purpose of expanding existing markets and developing new markets for agricultural products produced in Maine; or for testing and demonstrating new technologies related to the production, storage or processing of State agricultural products. All submitted proposals need to be for projects which demonstrate readiness and that can be commenced immediately upon acceptance.
The Department has $250,000 available and may select multiple projects with maximum amounts of up to $50,000 per award.

The Commissioner has established priorities for this RFP. Proposals that incorporate one or more of the following priorities will be considered more favorably in the evaluation process:
1. Technological and/or process improvements that demonstrate profitability of Maine grown crops, or result in reduction of costs associated with drought or other natural crop disturbances for Maine farmers.
2. Product enhancements for value added, nutrition, marketing and/or food safety.
3. Alternative markets or diversification; examples could be: participation in national or regional commodity events, special merchandising activities, expanded farm stands, or rural educational tours.
4. Development or expansion of livestock processing.

A copy of the RFP, as well as the Question & Answer Summary, and all amendments related to this RFP can be obtained at the following website: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml
Proposals must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services by 4:00 pm on January 4, 2018.