Business Financing Tools for Farmers

NEW: Financing Resources Manual

The Maine Aquaculture Financing Resources Manual, developed by MAA Project Manager Christian Brayden with support from FocusMaine, is an in-depth summary of all known financing resources available to Maine aquaculture producers. The manual notes that “financing an aquaculture business remains a challenging situation, but one that has become more attainable in the past five years” with an increase in the diversity of financing sources available to growers. “We are pleased to deliver this comprehensive resource to the Maine aquaculture community at a time when many small businesses are beginning to develop business plans to scale and sustain their operations,” said Brayden. “It has been wonderful to see the proliferation of so many institutions providing financial backing to these burgeoning Maine family businesses.”

The manual is the latest tool in a suite of resources developed by the MAA with significant support from FocusMaine to guide beginning aquatic farmers in developing sustainable business practices, including business plans, production plans, financial benchmarking reports, marketing tools, and a distribution guide – all developed by Brayden and colleagues. Through his work with MAA, Brayden also offers free business planning and consultation services to new and growing farmers. To date, over 80 farmers have participated in the program. Click here to download the report, and reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

Risk Management Tools

These risk management tools are designed to help Maine aquaculture producers find new ways to identify and respond to risk on their farms and in their businesses. The tools include a white paper and two-pager on risk management and mitigation, along with a two-page beginner’s guide to risk management. 

The white paper and two-pager include information and visuals to help farmers identify risk factors and risk management within each of the five categories of risk. These documents also include aquaculture crop insurance options currently available. Other topics, such as good record-keeping practices, are also discussed as part of a holistic approach to managing and mitigating risk.

The beginner’s guide to risk management is designed as a series of decision trees to help farmers identify risks, determine tolerance to risks, and explore options to mitigate and manage risks. This guide walks farmers through goal setting, risk tolerance, and risk identification. It also offers solutions within each category of risk to help them take appropriate action. Each of these products are available to download for free below. This project was funded in partnership with FocusMaine and MTI.

Need Help?

Please direct any questions related to these tools to Christian Brayden: [email protected].