Grant Opportunities for Farmers
Tuesday, February 7, 5:30-8:30 PM
Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA
$10 for Berkshire Grown members (all 5 workshops for $40); $20 for non-members.
RSVPs required. Register Here.
Supper will be provided.
Looking for funds to expand or improve your farm operation? Have a new project that needs outside funding? Unclear about what grants are available and whether or not you’ve got a shot at them? This workshop will breakdown the most accessible grants for small and mid-sized farmers in the Berkshire region. Our panel will cover state-specific (MA & NY) and federal funding opportunities for farmers at all levels of production and experience. Grants covered will include:
- USDA-RD Rural Energy for America Program
- USDA-RD Value Added Producer Grants
- NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
- NRCS Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)
- NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
- NE SARE Farmer grants
- MA Farm Viability Enhancement
- MA APR Improvement
- MA MEGA (for new farmers)
- MA Ag Energy Program
- MA Ag Environmental Enhancement Program
- MA Ag Food Safety Program
- NYS Beginning Farmer grants
- NY Farm Viability grants
- Risk Management grants
- Commodity group grants.
Panel presenters include Melissa Adams (MDAR), Laura McDermott (Cornell Cooperative Extension), and Dan Tighe (USDA/NRCS).
Laura McDermott, Small Fruit Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Laura McDermott has worked as a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator with fruit and vegetable farmers for almost 30 years. She received her MS degree from the University of Florida investigating cropping systems with low-chill peaches and since then has fine-tuned her expertise in commercial small fruit and vegetable production including pesticide resistance management and climate resilient farming. Today, Laura leads small fruit outreach efforts in New York State and regularly participates in applied research and outreach efforts.
Melissa Adams, Agricultural Planner & Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture
Melissa Adams coordinates farm viability grant programs for new farmers and APR farms, and business planning courses through Agricultural Business Training Program. Melissa has more than 15 years of experience in agricultural and community planning including work as Land Use Program Manager at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Economic Planner at American Farmland Trust, and consultant to Glynwood to lead the Keep Berkshires Farming planning process. Melissa has a B.S. in Business Management from Syracuse University and a Masters in Regional Planning from UMass Amherst.
Daniel Tighe, Soil Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Dan Tighe is a Soil Conservationist with NRCS based in the Pittsfield Service Center since June of 2016. Dan has a degree in Natural Resources with a focus in Forestry from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He covers all of Berkshire County to assist landowners in both a technical and financial capacity.
Alexandru Sava, Loan Specialist, USDA Rural Development
Alexandru Sava is a Loan Specialist with Rural Development. Alexandru is a fairly new addition to the USDA family, and is always learning something new, like today trying to overcome the fear of being in front of people… His main focus on the job are Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans, but also gets involved with fun stuff too, like the REAP, VAPG, and RBDG grants. Most rewarding for him is to see a happy farmer that is able to receive some benefits from the federal government. In addition to his regular job, he serves in the MA National Guard as a Finance Officer with 101st Finance Detachment out of Newton, MA.