As of January 1, farmers in Western Massachusetts are invited to apply for Local Farmer Awards of up to $2,500. These awards are for capital/infrastructure improvement projects related to growing, harvesting, and processing that will help farms compete in the marketplace. The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), in partnership with Big Y and with the support of other funders, is entering the ninth year of the awards program which has helped more than 235 farmers carry out a total of 474 projects.
Some examples of how the awards have been used include electric fencing, no-till equipment, irrigation improvements, frost-free water systems, feed troughs, and shade cloth for greenhouses.
To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and either be a member of buy-local organizations, Berkshire Grown or Community Involves in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), or farm in one the four counties of Western Massachusetts. For a full list of eligibility requirements and application information, farmers are encouraged to visit www.farmerawards.org.
The deadline for applying is January 31, 2023.