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Application Deadline Approaching for Local Farmer Awards

AGAWAM — The deadline to apply for a 2020 Local Farmer Award is fast-approaching, with a deadline of Friday, Jan. 31.

“We are excited to be offering these awards for the sixth year and look forward to helping more farms with projects that help them gain efficiencies and expand their businesses,” said program Director Cari Carpenter.

To date, the Local Farmer Awards have funded 250 infrastructure-improvement awards of up to $2,500 for projects like automating pruning equipment on a fruit farm, helping to upgrade a greens-sanitizing system, and netting to protect blueberries from birds. The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Big Y and with the support of other funders, plans to support more than 50 projects this year.

To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and be a member of either Berkshire Grown or Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), or reside in one the four counties of Western Mass. Berkshire Grown and CISA share their passion for local farms by providing ongoing guidance and helping to promote the Local Farmer Awards. 

“One of the most helpful sources of funding for both beginning farms and multi-generational farms is the Local Farmer Awards from the Grinspoon Foundation,” said Phil Korman, executive director of CISA. “We have seen literally almost 200 Local Hero farms get helpful funds for infrastructure-improvement projects in the last five years. And it is easy to apply.”

Interested applicants should visit www.farmerawards.org for more information.

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