January 06, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Congresswoman-elect Chellie Pingree today welcomed a $250,000 federal investment to strengthen Maine’s organic food supply chain and support independent organic producers. Awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program funding will help Apple Creek Farm LLC, an organic farm in Bowdoinham, expand processing, marketing, and sales of their certified organic products, boosting revenue and creating jobs.
"Value-Added Producer Grants are essential to helping local farms survive and prosper. This investment will not only help keep Maine farms in business, but it will also give people in our communities access to healthier, better quality foods and ultimately help strengthen the resiliency of our food supply chain," Collins, King, and Pingree said. “These are the kinds of investments our rural communities absolutely need, and we are thrilled to see them being made in Maine.”
USDA announced 23 VAPG program grants totaling $3.9 million to help producer-owned companies process and market new products.
VAPG is part of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) which is an umbrella program created by Pingree and Collins through the 2018 Farm Bill. In the 117th Congress, Pingree, a long-time organic farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee, and King authored the bipartisan, bicameral PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act to make it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers.