Tide Mill Farms Awarded with $50,000 Agricultural Grant

Paige Bell of Tide Mill Organic Farm tends to one of the grassfed cows located at the Edmunds property. (Photo courtesy of Jane Bell)

Tide Mill Farms in Edmunds is one of five operations that have been awarded grants by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Tide Mill will receive $50,000 of the $187,735 awarded by the state.

Tide Mill Organics will use the funds to improve its organic poultry processing plant in Washington County to become a State-Inspected Processing Facility and to develop value-added products, such as ground turkey and chicken, poultry sausages, and pet food.

Each of the projects address critical needs in the agricultural industry, Washington County in particular, for development of new markets and processing techniques for wild blueberries and organic poultry processing. They also include support for the creation of value-added vegetable products that can be marketed on a global scale.

The other projects awarded in the state were blueberry producer Blue Sky Produce in Scarborough, which will conduct educational demonstrations for fresh blueberries in New York and New Jersey; LaJoie Growers in Van Buren, which is seeking to develop and market dehydrated beets for the global market; the University of Maine in Orono, which is developing aqueous washing procedures for wild blueberries to ensure improved food safety; and the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine in Orono, which is expanding its marketing to encourage frozen wild blueberries to be consumed in the nation's public schools. 

“The investments being announced today support producers and processors of Maine wild blueberries; value-added vegetable products to compete in the global marketplace; and organic poultry processing in Washington County,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Maine’s reputation for quality, locally-grown products, combined with the resourcefulness of the Maine people, will help agriculture realize its full economic potential.”

Commissioner Walt Whitcomb highlighted Maine’s efforts to support farmers and producers through enhanced marketing, technical support and promotion of Maine agriculture locally, nationally and internationally.

“Selected projects address critical needs in the agricultural industry, Washington County in particular, for development of new markets and processing techniques for wild blueberries and organic poultry processing,” said Whitcomb. “They also include support for the creation of value-added vegetable products that can be marketed on a global scale. We congratulate the grantees and look forward to successful implementation of their projects.”

The selected projects were chosen by a review committee from thirty-five (35) qualified proposals submitted in response to a formal Request For Proposals (RFP). Of those proposals received and reviewed by a committee in a competitive review process, five (5) projects were selected.