Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to Promote Massachusetts Dairy Industry

BOSTON – August 10, 2016 – The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
(MDAR) and the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board (MDPB) today awarded six grants
totaling $183,420 to nonprofits for projects which seek to advance the image, sales
and demand for Massachusetts dairy products.

«Our administration is committed to supporting the Commonwealth’s hardworking
farmers, and ensuring Massachusetts residents have access to nutritious, locally
produced food,» said Governor Charlie Baker. «These grants will assist initiatives
and programs designed to maintain an economically viable dairy industry in the
Commonwealth, and raise consumer awareness and demand for local dairy products.»

«As demand for locally-grown food increases, promotion and education are necessary
to keep dairy products relevant in the marketplace,» said Lieutenant Governor Karyn
Polito. «The Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board Grant Program helps support our
state’s dairy farmers who contribute to our agricultural and tourism industries and
provide fresh, nutritious food for the Commonwealth’s residents.»

The MDPB, a nine-member board of state officials and dairy farmers formed to promote
Massachusetts dairy products, is chaired by a designee of the MDAR commissioner and
helps promote increased consumption of dairy products through effective use of
promotion, education and research. The MDPB Grant Program, overseen by the board, is
funded by the state’s dairy farmers.

«The approximately 150 family-run dairy farms in Massachusetts are a vital part of
the Massachusetts food system, producing not just nutritious milk but also yogurt,
cheese, butter and famous New England ice cream,» said Energy and Environmental
Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. «This grant program not only supports our
local dairy industry, but also assists efforts to educate consumers on buying local,
which will help keep Massachusetts citizens healthy and boost our economy.»

Examples of Fiscal Year 2017 grant projects include supporting school nutrition and
wellness through a mini-grant program that facilitates school breakfast program, as
well as dairy promotion and education at Eastern States Exposition, along with a
regional buy-local campaign educating consumers about the contributions and
challenges of dairy farming.

«These grant funds will be used to build capacity with our buy-locals, regional
dairy industry promotion organizations, and dairy minded non-profits to keep dairy
products relevant in the market place while also educating consumers of the positive
contributions dairy farming has on agriculture across the Commonwealth,» said MDAR
Commissioner John Lebeaux.

New England Dairy & Food Council

Boston

$60,000.00

MA Association of Dairy Farmers

Conway

$46,840.00

Community Involved In Sustaining Agriculture

S. Deerfield

$43,000.00

Eastern States Exposition

W. Springfield

$23,000.00

MA 4-H Foundation

Framingham

$6,746.00

MA Agriculture in the Classroom

Marlborough

$3,834.00

«Massachusetts dairy farmers provide fresh, nutritious food across the Commonwealth
and are poised to grow into an even more significant contributor to our economy,»
said Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg (D-Amherst). «These grants provide funds
that will be put to excellent use, helping us build on the growing demand for
locally produced food, and will provide a fantastic return on a very smart
investment.»

«Supporting local farmers is good for the economy and environment,» said State
Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield). «I want to thank the Baker-Polito
Administration for continuing to support a critical part of what makes Western
Massachusetts such a special place.»

«I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, Commissioner Lebeaux, the
Department of Agriculture Resources, and the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board for
awarding over $89,000 in grant funding to the Massachusetts Association of Dairy
Farmers in Conway and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture in South
Deerfield,» said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). «By awarding
these grants, it shows the Administration is committed to supporting our state’s
dairy farmers by helping them bolster their ability to advertise, which in turn
helps educate the residents of the Commonwealth about their local dairy options. I
thank them all again for helping support the buy local movement.»