MDAR is accepting applications from Massachusetts farmers who wish to participate in one of these Department programs that help with farm viability in Fiscal Year 2023. The Request for Response containing program details and the application form is posted through a link on each program website below. If you would like an application mailed to you, contact the program coordinator listed. The due date for all these three applications is Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
Virtual Information Session: March 22 @7:00pm For information learn more about these programs visit: https://forms.office.com/pages/response page.aspx?id=Fh2GPrdIDkqYBowE2Bt7KmHtZpKsHSpCu41unryj849UN1pQM0VaOFNGTDQwUVNFWlgyVjJTTFU5VS4u to
Farm Viability Enhancement Program (FVEP) – for established farms. This program provides business planning and technical assistance to develop or update a business plan for established commercial farms that own and operate unrestricted farmland. In return for a short-term covenant to keep the land in agricultural use, operators may be eligible for grants to implement capital projects on the farm that have been identified in the business plan completed through the program. Grant levels range from $75,000 to $150,000, depending on the size of the farm and acreage protected, in return for a 10 or 15-year term covenant. Uses of funds will vary depending on the needs of the farm – examples include new or improved livestock barns or farm stores; purchasing delivery vehicles, tractors or haying equipment; constructing food processing or storage facilities.
For more information and a FVEP application, go to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/farm-viability-enhancement-program-fvep or contact Melissa Adams at Melissa.L.Adams@mass.gov or 413-726-2001
APR Improvement Program (AIP) – for APR farms. This program helps sustain active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. AIP provides business planning and technical assistance to farmers selected to participate in the program and grants may be available on a reimbursement basis to implement identified improvements on the farm to increase productivity and profitability. Grant levels are up to $60,000; $90,000; or $120,000 depending on the size of the farm and acreage under APR, available on a cost reimbursement basis with a required 25% match contribution. AIP funds are used primarily for capital improvements to farm infrastructure, such as new or improved barns for equipment or hay storage or livestock housing, farm stores, processing facilities; or resource improvements for agricultural use, such as orchard renovations or fencing.
For more information and an AIP application, go to: APR Improvement Program (AIP) | Mass.gov or contact Michael Parker at Michael.Parker@mass.gov or 857-895-0023
Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture (MEGA) – for beginning farmers, who have been in business at least one (1) but no more than six (6) years who aspire to develop their farms into commercially viable operations. The program provides business planning and technical assistance, and grants funds of up to $10,000 on a one-to-one matching cash reimbursement basis. Funds may be used for equipment, infrastructure, or other capital improvements identified through the business planning process that will have a positive impact on the participating farm’s viability. Common uses of MEGA grant funds include greenhouses, barn renovations, tractor implements, chicken coops, farm stands, and refrigerated delivery trucks.
For more information and a MEGA application, go to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/apr-improvement-program-aip or contact Jess Camp at Jessica.Camp@mass.gov or 617-823-0871.
Northeast Regional Webinar on Proposed Agricultural Water Rule
March 11, 2022, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
No registration required – first come, first served. Meeting details here.
For more information on the Proposed Rule on Agricultural Water, visit https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-proposed-rule-agricultural-water For Spanish translation click https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/norma-propuesta-de-agua-de-uso-agricola-de-la-ley-de-modernizacion-de-la-inocuidad-de-los-alimentos The proposed rule is available for public comment for 120 days to April 5, 2022. Comments should be submitted to docket FDA-2021-N-0471 on https://www.regulations.gov Enter FDA-2021-N-0471 in the search bar to bring up the proposed rule and click “comment.”