MDAR is now accepting applications from agricultural operations who wish to participate in the Department’s grant programs. Grants are available to help agricultural operations make farm improvements that enhance their economic viability, help prevent negative impacts to environmental resource, adapt and mitigate climate change, improve energy efficiency, adopt renewable energy, and improve on-farm composting. Interested farm operators are encouraged to review the information and applications on each program’s webpage. If interested in applying, applications must be submitted with any supporting documentation by the program’s deadline.
Below are brief descriptions of each program. For more information (including applications) please visit the program’s website.
Climate Smart Agriculture Program (CSAP)
The Climate Smart Agriculture Program links MDAR’s water, energy and climate grants together into one application. This includes the Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program, the Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP), and the Agricultural Energy Grant Program (ENER). By bringing these three grants under one program, MDAR is seeking to simplify the application process for applicants. This program continues the goals of the three individual grants by implementing projects that help the agricultural sector adapt to climate change, mitigate climate change, reducing or preventing impacts to natural resources that may result from agricultural practices, and that improve energy efficiency and facilitate adoption of alternative clean energy technologies.
The CSAP grant is broken into two sections. Section I: Environment is for environmental projects such as soil health, water use efficiency, or other projects working towards reducing or limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Section II: Energy is Ag-Energy projects to improve energy efficiency or to facilitate clean energy adoption.
Applicants can apply to either or both sections.
Participants selected for funding under either section are provided with reimbursement grants for 80% of total project costs up to $50,000.
www.mass.gov/how-to/how-to-apply-to-the-climate-smart-agriculture-program – Application due: 4:00PM on Friday, June 11, 2021
For more information contact:
Section I: Environment – Laura Maul at (617) 626-1739 or at Laura.Maul@mass.gov
Section II Energy – Gerry Palano at (617) 626-1706 or at Gerald.Palano@mass.gov
Viability Grant Programs:
APR Improvement Program (AIP)
AIP provides business planning and technical assistance to farms with land that has already been protected through MDAR’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. The program assists with issues of financial viability, resource conservation, family succession, modernization of infrastructure and other issues that by addressing may enhance the long term continued use of the agricultural resource. Grant funds of $40,000 – $120,000 may be available on a reimbursement basis with a 25% match to participants for capital infrastructure improvements identified through the planning process. Projects include resource management, new or improved barns, farmstands or other agricultural buildings, or processing facilities.
www.mass.gov/service-details/apr-improvement-program-aip – Application due: 4:00PM on Thursday, April 29, 2021
For more information contact Michael Parker at (413) 726-2008 or at Michael.Parker@mass.gov
Farm Viability Enhancement Program (FVEP)
FVEP provides business planning and technical assistance program to help established farms identify strategies to increase farm viability such as new or expanded enterprises, increased productivity, marketing, and/or environmental sustainability. Participants selected to participate in the program may be offered grant funds of $50,000 to $150,000 to implement strategies identified during the planning process in return for signing an agricultural covenant on the farm property to keep it in agricultural use for a 5, 10 or 15-year term. Eligible uses of funds are capital projects on the farm such as building or repairing barns, farmstands or other agricultural buildings, modernizing equipment, or improving food processing capacity.
www.mass.gov/service-details/farm-viability-enhancement-program-fvep – Application due: 4:00PM on Thursday, April 29, 2021
For more information contact Melissa Adams at (413) 548-1904 or Melissa.L.Adams@mass.gov.
Matching Enterprise Grants Program (MEGA)
MEGA is a reimbursement grant program that assists farmers who are between 1 and 5 years in business by providing technical and business planning and grant funds for farm improvement strategies. Grant funds of up to $10,000 with a 1:1 match to assist farmers whose goal is to raise agricultural products and who aspire to develop their farms into commercially viable operations. Funds are typically used for equipment, infrastructure, or other capital improvements to implement strategies that are identified during the planning process to help the business grow.
www.mass.gov/service-details/matching-enterprise-grants-for-agriculture-mega – Application due: 4:00PM on Thursday, April 29, 2021
For more information contact Jessica Camp at Jessica.Camp@mass.gov.
Ag Composting Improvement Program (ACIP)
The Ag Composting Improvement Program funds projects and equipment to facilitate composting best management practices, use of compost for agricultural purposes, and enhance overall management of agricultural composting operations. Reimbursement grants up to $75,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis.
www.mass.gov/how-to/agricultural-composting-improvement-grant-program-acip – Application due: 4:00PM on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
For more information contact Sean Bowen at (617) 626-1724 or Sean.Bowen@mass.gov.