Baker-Polito Administration Announces Matching Grants for New Massachusetts Farms

BOSTON – January 13, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced matching
grants totaling $78,582 for 9 projects that will help beginning farmers grow or
improve their farm operations through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural
Resources’ (DAR) Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture (MEGA) Program.

«New farmers bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the agricultural industry, and the
MEGA program will help ensure a sustainable future for these farms,» said Governor
Charlie Baker. «This program helps new farmers help themselves by providing business
planning assistance and matching grants for infrastructure improvements, ensuring
long-term viability and independence.»

«As demand for locally-grown food increases, these farms are necessary to provide
healthy, local produce for Massachusetts citizens,» said Lieutenant Governor Karyn
Polito. «Through this program and others, our administration continues to support
Massachusetts’ vibrant agriculture industry, which provides fresh, healthy food for
the Commonwealth’s residents.»

These grants will help fund the purchase of equipment and other non-land based
assets necessary for financially viable agricultural businesses. Projects include
equipment to improve production efficiencies and to extend the production season, as
well as infrastructure improvements such as greenhouses and storage facilities.
Selected farmers participated in a business planning process, after which they
became eligible to receive a grant of up to $10,000 that they match dollar for
dollar.

«This grant program not only provides farmers in their critical first to fifth year
with vital capital and technical assistance to help ensure their continued success,»
said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. «The
Commonwealth is committed to supporting new farmers and their valuable contributions
to the state and regional food system.»

«These grants will help fund the purchase of equipment and infrastructure necessary
for viable agricultural businesses,» said DAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. «I
congratulate all of this year’s award winners.»

Selected farms are in the towns of Berlin, Centerville, Concord, East Bridgewater,
Essex, Great Barrington, Hadley, Hubbardston, and Upton.

The following projects have been funded through this year’s grants:

Farm

Town

Project

Award

Aprilla Farm

Essex

Grain equipment

$5,000

Barrett’s Mill Farm

Concord

Greenhouse

$8,257

Fungi Ally

Hadley

Mushroom production equipment

$10,000

Hollyhock Flowers

Centerville

Farm equipment

$5,325

Hosta Hill

Great Barrington

Grain storage

$10,000

Ladybug Farm Produce

Hubbardston

Hay barn improvements

$10,000

Lilac Hedge Farm

Berlin

Farm equipment

$10,000

Mistletoe Acres Tree Farm

East Bridgewater

Nursery equipment

$10,000

Town Line Dairy Farm

Upton

Fencing and equipment

$10,000

«I was so pleased to see Town Line Dairy Farm in Upton on the list of MEGA Grant
recipients for Fiscal Year 2016, as they are such a hardworking, productive resource
for our district,» said State Representative David Muradian (R-Grafton). «It is
vital for the Commonwealth to support local food producers to ensure that there is a
fresh source of fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy available to our citizens.»

«Providing local farmers with the tools and resources necessary to succeed is a
worthwhile undertaking that is especially important in Central Massachusetts given
the size of the agricultural sector,» said State Senator Michael O. Moore
(D-Millbury). «I congratulate the Town Line Dairy Farm in Upton on receiving this
funding. I am confident that this opportunity will assist with enhancing their
operations while also benefitting local consumers.»

The MEGA Program was established in 2011 under the umbrella of the Farm Viability
Program. For more information about the MEGA Program, visit
here.

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