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Grinspoon Foundation, Big Y Announce Local Farmer Awards

AGAWAM — In partnership with Big Y, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) announced the third year of the Local Farmer Awards, a program to support local farmers with projects that will help them compete in the marketplace. The awards are for equipment and physical farm improvements.

“Big Y has been partnering with and supporting local farmers since we began over 80 years ago,” President and Chief Operating Officer Charles D’Amour said. “Through our partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation, we are providing one more way to help the local growers to thrive in our community.”

In an effort to have the widest impact, individual award recipients will be given up to $2,500 per award for a total of over $110,000 in awards. Realizing the importance of local farms in our region, Grinspoon launched these awards in 2015. The 2016 awards were distributed to 47 of the 128 applicants.

The two regional Buy Local farm advocates, Berkshire Grown and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), will continue to provide insight and assistance. Philip Korman, executive director of CISA, noted that “we are so pleased to continue to work with everyone involved in this unique farm awards program to support the vital role family farms play in our communities.”

Added Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown, “we’re thrilled about the continuation of these financial awards for farmers in Western Massachusetts to strengthen their farm businesses. This helps build the local food economy in our region.”

The deadline for applying is Tuesday, Jan. 31. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.farmerawards.org for more information.

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