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Fund a Farmer Grant Applications Open

FACT (Food Animal Concern Trust) awards competitive grants of up to $3,000 to working, independent farmers located in the 50 United States and five major U.S. territories who raise beef cattle, bison, broiler chickens, dairy cows, ducks, geese, goats, laying hens, pigs, sheep and/or turkeys. Before submitting your online application, please read the complete set of eligibility guidelines below. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm CT on January 10, 2023 to be considered for this round of funding. Grants will be awarded in March 2023.

Berkshire Grown will be holding one hour grant grant editing assistance sessions on:

  • Monday, December 5th
  • Wednesday, December 7th
  • Monday, December 12th
  • Wednesday, December 14th

If you would like us to assist you with editing your applications, please have a rough draft prepared in advance of your meeting. Email Jordan at jordan@berkshiregrown.org to inquire about meeting times.

All applications will be submitted online through one main Fund-a-Farmer Grant application, no matter the type of project. To begin, applicants will be required to log-in or set-up an account in the Good Grants system. As in past years, FACT will fund the following:

Grants for farmers to improve or expand pasture for their animals: FACT will fund projects that would help farms transition to pasture-based systems, expand animals’ access to well-managed pasture, and improve the quality of pasture for animals. Farmers do not need to hold or be seeking certification.

Grants for farmers who are pursuing animal welfare certification: These grants support farms that are pursuing one of three animal welfare certifications: Certified Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) and affiliated certifications by A Greener World (AGW), Certified Humane® Raised and Handled (HFAC), or Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Animal Welfare Certified (steps 4 to 5+). Proposed projects do not necessarily have to address a particular standard required for certification. These grants will be made for on-farm projects that help improve animal welfare.

As in the past, the indoor winter markets will feature the abundance of local grown and produced foods found in the Berkshires. We invite you to come meet your local farmers, shop their products and support the local food economy.

All markets are from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. and are free and open to the  public. Although masks are not mandatory, wearing one is encouraged.

Berkshire Grown Great Barrington Farmers Market at the Housy Dome, 1064 Main St., Housatonic, MA. Housatonic is included on the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority BRTA route #21.
Saturday, November 19
Saturday, December 17
Saturday, January 21
Saturday, February 18
Saturday, March 18
Saturday, April 15

 

Berkshire Grown North Adams / Williamstown Farmers Market at Greylock WORKS, 508 State Rd., North Adams, MA
Sunday, November 20
Sunday, December 18

 

Admission is always free. SNAP/HIP and benefits are accepted at all markets. Market Match helps boost food budgets by matching the balance on SNAP shoppers’ EBT cards. At the Berkshire Grown Winter Farmers Markets, we accept SNAP and HIP and provide a 100% for match the SNAP balance on your card, up to $25. Visit the Market Managers for EBT, tokens and maps. 

See you at the Market!

 

Applications for our annual Winter Farmers Markets are now available. Market space is limited: farmers, returning vendors, and food producers using local ingredients are prioritized. However, we encourage all interested vendors to contact Martha Suquet, market manager, to discuss the application process.

The Winter Farmers Markets will be held at the Housy Dome in Housatonic/Great Barrington, and at Greylock WORKS in North Adams/Williamstown. Market dates are:

Great Barrington Farmers Market                          North Adams Farmers Market
Saturday, November 19 Sunday, November 20
Saturday, December 17 Sunday, December 18
Saturday, January 21
Saturday, February 18
Saturday, March 18
Saturday, April 15

 

Please review our current market vendor regulations here. Please note that Covid-19 regulations are subject to change.

Thank you for your interest; we are looking forward to a great market season!

Martha Jackson Suquet

Winter Market Manager

By Martha Jackson Suquet

Along with local vegetables, fruit, cheese and meat, local beer rounds out the joys of eating local in the Berkshires. We are lucky to live in a region with a wide array of quality craft breweries, each of which combines simple ingredients to blend into delicious, complex beers. For those bourbon-loving friends and wine aficionado visitors, the Berkshires offer high-quality local vineyards and distilleries, too.

Why are the Berkshires home to so many great beverage producers? It’s a combination of creative farmers and craft beverage makers, (some) government support, and a customer base that appreciates the quality and ethos of local beverages.

All alcoholic beverages are the result of a process that’s both simple and complex. A few basic ingredients, carefully fermented and often aged, give us a wide variety of tasty drinks. For beer, it’s hops, grain (often malted barley), yeast, and water. Wine is even simpler: grapes, yeast, and water. And distilled spirits can be made from a variety of ingredients: corn, wheat, sugarcane, even potatoes. On top of those basic components, additional flavorings like fruit, herbs, and spices can be added to create unique beverages.

Read the entire article here and find links to local craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries along with the October E-Newsletter

Pictured is Christine Heaton, co-owner of Big Elm Brewing.

Important Dates:  The online system will open to accept proposals starting on: October 1, 2022

Proposals, with all required attachments, are due no later than: November 15, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program offers competitive grants to farmers, educators, service providers, researchers, nonprofit staff, graduate students and others to address key issues affecting the sustainability of agriculture throughout our region. Northeast SARE is one of four regional SARE programs funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The program—including funding decisions—is driven by the Northeast SARE outcome statement: Agriculture in the Northeast will be diversified and profitable, providing healthful products to customers. Farmers and the people they work with will steward resources to ensure sustainability and resilience, and foster conditions where farmers have high quality of life and communities can thrive.

The Northeast region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

Click here for SARE’s 2023 Call for Proposals information.

Berkshire Grown’s Guide to Local Food and Farms is the region’s most comprehensive guide to farms, farmers markets, and restaurants offering local foods — use it to find farm stands, CSA farms, pick-your-own farms and orchards, as well as locally sourced value-added products like charcuterie, preserves, and fermented foods. Learn where SNAP, HIP, Market Match and other benefits are offered at farm stands and grocers in the Berkshire region as well as a reference section for the food pantries spread across the county. Keep the 2022 Guide to Local Farms & Foods handy and use it frequently!

Did you know you can plan a trip and ride the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Bus to some of the Farmers Markets? Click here for the current bus routes.

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