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Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, Big Y Seek Applicants for Local Farmer Awards

AGAWAM — Starting Jan. 1, farmers in Western Mass. are invited to apply for Local Farmer Awards up to $2,500 toward equipment and infrastructure projects to help them complete in the marketplace.

The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), in partnership with Big Y and with the support of other funders, is entering the fifth year of the awards program, which has helped more than 125 farmers carry out a total of 188 projects. 

“Big Y has been partnering with and supporting local farmers since we began over 80 years ago,” said Big Y president and CEO Charles D’Amour. “Our partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation provides one more way we help the local growers to thrive in our community.”

Some examples of how the awards have been used include a high-efficiency vegetable washer, a walk-in cooler aging room, an egg washer, high tunnel irrigation, electric fencing, and a milkplan bulk tank. Philanthropist and project founder Harold Grinspoon noted that “farmers don’t typically ask for help. They are genuinely appreciative of these awards and use the money in creative ways for projects to help their businesses.” 

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

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

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