Application Now Open for Local Farmer Awards

AGAWAM — Farmers in Western Mass. are invited to apply for Local Farmer Awards of up to $2,500. These awards are for capital and infrastructure improvement projects related to planting, growing, harvesting, and processing that will help farms compete in the marketplace.

The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), in partnership with Big Y and the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, along with the support of other funders, is entering the 10th year of the awards program, which has helped more than 260 farmers carry out a total of 572 projects. The Three County Fair is a new addition to the group of funders this year.

The awards have helped farmers make necessary improvements, such as upgrading electric fencing, purchasing no-till equipment, expanding irrigation, installing frost-free water systems, purchasing feed troughs, and applying shade cloths for greenhouses.

“We’re honored and pleased to be able to support our local farmers and their families with these practical and impactful grants,” said Charlie D’Amour, CEO of Big Y. “Seeing how these awards are creatively and intelligently applied not only highlights the resiliency of our local farm community, but underscores the needs and support we can provide.”

To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 and be located in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, or Berkshire County. For a full list of eligibility requirements and application information, visit www.farmerawards.org. The deadline for applying is Jan. 31.