The Dairy Improvement Fund loan program is intended to help farms and other dairy enterprises fund capital improvements to maintain and enhance the viability of their farms.
The Dairy Improvement Fund loan program was developed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and is administered by FAME.
Generally, any business or individual located in Maine and identified by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as engaged in commercial production of cow milk or cow milk products.
Eligible uses include design, construction or improvement of milking parlors, dairy cattle housing, silos, grain bins, feed sheds, or the construction or renovation of buildings, or equipment, located in Maine and used in connection with a dairy enterprise.
Loan funds may not be used for working capital, non-project-related equipment and expenses, or refinancing. Outside construction lending sources may be required for projects seeking to use the Dairy Improvement Fund for dairy-related construction take-out financing.
- Up to 90% of total project cost, if eligible project cost is $100,000 or less.*
- Up to 75% of total project cost, if eligible project cost is over $100,000.*
- Maximum loan amount is $250,000.
*If eligible project cost is $100,000 or less, borrower must inject at least 10% in private funds into the project. If eligible project cost is over $100,000, 25% in private funds is required.
1% fixed rate
Deferred principal and interest payments may be available up to 24 months from closing; interest accrues beginning at closing.
Up to 30 years and determined by the useful life of the asset(s) being financed.
Asset(s) being financed and other collateral, as required or available.
Guarantees of business principals owning 20% or more of the business, or 5% or more and receiving significant income from the business.
- Loan origination fee: 1% (for loans over $100,000).
Borrower is responsible for all loan closing costs.
The first step in the application process is an eligibility determination. Submit an Eligibility Form to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF). If the project is deemed eligible, DACF will notify the applicant(s) and will forward the Eligibility Form to FAME. The applicant(s) must then complete and submit the required program application documents (listed below) to FAME.
Eligibility Documents (DACF)
Eligibility Contact (DACF)
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Agricultural Resource Development Division
Application Documents (FAME)
- Application—Dairy Improvement Fund
- Personal Financial Statement
Application Contact (FAME)
207-623-3263 or 1-800-228-3734
For best results, please download .pdf forms locally, then open and complete them with Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t have Acrobat, you can download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader here. Save and print your completed forms, then mail to FAME.