Local Farmer Awards Applications
Through Jan. 31: 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 growing, harvesting, and processing that will help farms compete in the marketplace. The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, 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 a greenhouse, high-tensile fencing for rotational grazing, a feed wagon, and a maple cream machine. To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and either be a member of Berkshire Grown or Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture or reside in one the four counties of Western Mass. The deadline for applying is Jan. 31. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.farmerawards.org for more information.
Free Legal Help Hotline
Jan. 20: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will hold a Legal Help Hotline on Thursday, Jan. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. Local, experienced attorneys will be available to provide legal advice on various topics, including divorce and family, bankruptcy, business, employment, landlord/tenant, and real estate. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 732-4648 to speak to a volunteer.
YPS, Ad Club Mix & Mingle
Jan. 20: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) and the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts will host an annual Mix & Mingle membership event to support young professionals and encourage them to become more involved and invested in their local communities. The Mix & Mingle membership event will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Paper City Bar & Grill, 241 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke. The Springfield YPS is an organization built to exchange ideas, share common interests, and cultivate its membership to serve as the Pioneer Valley’s leaders of tomorrow. YPS aims to engage the younger demographic in distinct areas such as business and career development, networking, cultural involvement, community involvement, educational opportunities, volunteerism, recreational and social activities, and more. The Ad Club of Western Massachusetts is the premier organization for all marketing and communications professionals in Western Mass. and Northern Connecticut. The club offers its members the ability to advance and enrich the advertising community by acting as a catalyst for idea exchange, professional development, and creative energy. Members can register for the event at www.eventbrite.com/e/mix-mingle-registration-219246591457.
Cannabis Training Programs
Jan. 22-23: The Cannabis Education Center (CEC) at Holyoke Community College announced its schedule of industry training programs for the spring 2022 semester. The CEC will offer four 12-hour, introductory Cannabis Core educational training courses, with the first set to run Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day over Zoom. The Cannabis Core program provides an overview of the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and is geared for people looking for general knowledge as they consider a cannabis career. During four three-hour sessions, students will interact with cannabis experts and guest speakers in reviews of the plant, various cannabis products, the endocannabinoid system, laws and prohibition, growing and plant care, labeling, packaging, testing, employment considerations, and more. The Cannabis Core program is a foundational course and a prerequisite for the following career track courses: patient services associate (classes start Feb. 5), cultivation assistant (Feb. 26), extraction technician (April 2), and culinary assistant (April 19). Additional Cannabis Core programs will run Feb. 19-20, March 19-20, and April 5-6. The cost of the Cannabis Core training is $599, but scholarships are available to those who qualify. To register, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core.
LPV Board-development Program
Jan. 26: Leadership Pioneer Valley will offer programming starting in January focused on leadership and board development for regional nonprofits through its Leaders OnBoard program. On Wednesday, Jan. 26, Leaders OnBoard will kick off its year of board-development events with “Board Basics,” a free, two-hour training led by Eric Phelps from Rainmaker Consulting that covers topics like what it means to sit on a board, roles and responsibilities, and how to be effective as a board member. To register, e-mail Samantha Rudd at [email protected]. The next “Board Basics” will be offered in March. Leaders OnBoard will provide several training sessions and events focused on nonprofit board leadership and development throughout the Pioneer Valley this year, including workshops focused on fundraising, diversity, strategic planning, and board matching. Leaders OnBoard is an ideal way for nonprofits to enhance the knowledge base and skills of their board members, while also offering people who are looking for a way to get involved in their community some training and personal support so they feel confident serving a nonprofit they feel passionate about. A12-month membership is available for Leaders OnBoard, with a sliding fee scale based on the organization’s budget. Membership includes free tickets and unlimited participation in all program workshops and training sessions, including Peer2Peer Conversations and board-matching opportunities. For full benefits and fees, visit leadershippv.org.
Human Service Forum Events
Jan. 28, Feb. 3: The Human Service Forum (HSF), a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Massachusetts public-service leaders, announced two upcoming events to support local nonprofit professionals in building skills and relationships. On Friday, Jan. 28 from 8 to 10:30 a.m., HSF will host its annual Legislative Reception. With more than 20 local lawmakers confirmed to attend, this event is a chance for public-service leaders to connect and build awareness for the key issues and priorities in the community. The event will be held via Zoom. Visit www.humanserviceforum.org/event/2021-hsf-legislative-reception to register. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 3, HSF will offer “Supervisory Skills Certificate Series,” an eight-week online training program for public-service professionals who are new to supervising staff. The series, which will be offered virtually, will cover a wide range of supervisory competencies, from multicultural sensitivity to legal issues, cybersecurity, and more. The training is open to all HSF members as well as the general public. Visit www.humanserviceforum.org/event/winter-2022-virtual-supervisory-skills-certificate-series/2022-02-03 to register or learn more.