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Grants to Maine Nonprofits, Agencies, and Land Trusts to Preserve Agricultural Land

Working Farmland Access Protection Program


Agency
State

GrantWatch ID#
202171

Funding Source
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry - Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning
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Geographic Focus
USA: Maine

Important Dates
LOI Date: 05/19/23
Deadline: 08/04/23 5:00 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Maine nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and land trusts to preserve agricultural properties. Applicants must submit a letter of inquiry prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to protect the state's productive and economically significant agricultural lands and to prevent their conversion to nonagricultural uses. On these protected properties, WFAPP encourages agricultural practices that support soil health, carbon sequestration, and the long-term productivity of protected farmland. All proposals must be sponsored by the Bureau of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources.

WFAPP also seeks to protect properties that support farming operations in areas of the State that support and anchor a viable agricultural economy, that benefit beginning farmers or underserved communities, and that provide multiple public benefits such as protection of wildlife habitat.

The WFAPP program will either fund the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements or fee simple acquisition of properties. The majority of projects receiving WFAPP funding will be the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements that extinguish development and subdivision rights on protected farmland and restrict other uses and alterations that could threaten the continued agricultural use of the land.

Non-farmland portions of a farm property may be included in a WFAPP proposal and protected by the agricultural easement. These may include woodlots, wetlands, riparian areas, and farmsteads. If these areas contribute to the overall viability of the farm by providing additional income streams from activities such as a farm stand, timber harvesting, maple sugaring, or agritourism, the project proposal should identify these activities.



Recipient

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Project proposals can come from a state agency, a local or statewide land trust, a non-profit conservation organization, a town, or other entity that is an eligible holder of conservation easements under Title 33 M.R.S.A, Section 476(2) and a “qualified organization” under Internal Revenue Code Section 170(h)(3).

Owners and operators of farmland who are interested in protecting their land from development are welcome to contact LMF or BAFRR for more information about the WFAPP, but will need to work with one of these eligible entities rather than applying directly to LMF.

Ineligible
There is currently no formal process for LMF funding to support pre-acquired agricultural easements. Contact BAFRR and LMF staff if you would like to seek funding for a pre-acquired easement.

WFAPP funds may be applied only to the purchase of land or interests in land and may not be used for reimbursement of other project costs.

Pre-Application Information
Deadlines
- Project Inquiries due May 19, 2023
- Full Proposals due August 4, 2023

A Subsequent Call for Proposals may be released contingent on the availability of funds.

An applicant is expected to provide matching funds greater than or equal to 100% of the total Award Amount. This means that for every $1 of WFAPP funds, there must be $1 of match value. For this round, 100% of the required match value must be supplied in the form of cash or land value.

Applying for Funds: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/lmf/funds/index.shtml

Estimated Size of Grant
Award Amount: WFAPP will consider requests for up to 50% of the appraised value of the land or interest in land to be acquired. In the case of multi-parcel projects, this limit applies to the total value of all parcels; WFAPP may contribute more than 50% towards the purchase of an individual parcel as long as the total award is no greater than 50% of the total value of all parcels.

Supplemental Awards - By statute, the LMF Board may also award up to 5% of the appraised land value for access improvements (if the project includes public access, which is not required for WFAPP projects), up to 5% of the appraised land value for farm business planning and capital improvements, and up to 5% of the appraised land value for stewardship and management.

Contact Information
Inquiry forms should be sent to both:
Land for Maine's Future
22 State Houe Station
Elkins Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0022
LMFSubmissions.DACF@maine.gov

Alex Redfield, Agricultural Resource Division
Deering Building, 90 Blossom Lane
Augusta, ME 04333
alexander.redfield@maine.gov

Submit 10 copies of the proposal applications and all supporting materials to:
Working Farmland Access and Protection Program
Attn: Alex Redfield, Agricultural Resource Division
Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
Deering Building, 90 Blossom Lane
Augusta, ME 04333

(207) 592-0640
alexander.redfield@maine.gov

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