SPRINGFIELD, MA – 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 eighth year of the awards program which has helped more than 225 farmers carry out a total of 400 projects.
Some examples of how the awards have been used include a commercial egg washer, irrigation systems, shade cloth for greenhouse, hi-tensile fencing for rotational grazing, feed wagon, and maple cream machine. Philanthropist and project founder Harold Grinspoon observes, “Farmers don’t typically ask for help. They are genuinely appreciative of these awards and use the money in creative ways for projects to help their businesses.”
To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and either be a member of Berkshire Grown or Community Involves in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) or reside in one the four counties of Western Massachusetts.
The deadline for applying is January 31, 2022. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the website for more information: www.farmerawards.org