The purpose of the APR Improvement Program (AIP) is to help sustain active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the Department’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. AIP provides technical assistance and business analysis to help improve the productivity and profitability of participating farms with the goal of enhancing the significance of APR farm operations and their contribution to the state’s agricultural industry.
Eligible farms selected to the program must participate in a technical assistance and business analysis process to develop an APR Improvement Plan. Participants that agree to implement farm improvement strategies identified in the Plan that meet Program objectives may be eligible to receive a grant, subject to the availability of funding. Grant funds will be made on a reimbursement basis and must be spent by June 30, 2017 on farm infrastructure, as defined in the current Request for Response for the Program. Costs incurred prior to executing a contract with the Department cannot be reimbursed and will not qualify as Program expenditures.
The application period for the APR Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2018 is now open. The current Request for Response with program description and application is available by clicking here APR Improvement Program FY18 .
If you would prefer to have a hard copy mailed to you, contact Melissa.L.Adams@state.ma.us or 413-548-1904
Completed applications must be received at the MDAR Amherst address below by 4:00pm on May 15, 2017 to be considered in the review process:
APR Improvement Program
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR)
101 University Drive, Suite C4
Amherst, MA 01002
AIP Fiscal Year 2016 Summary
In Fiscal Year 2016, five (5) farms participated in AIP with a combined 1,122 total acres of land owned that was protected under APR. AIP provided all 5 farms with technical and business assistance as well as a grant award. An average of about $4,564 per farm was provided in technical assistance and $400,000 in total grant funding, which ranged from $50,000 to $100,000 grant amounts per farm. Grants are being spent on farm improvement projects which include: farm equipment storage, washing and packing facility, a vineyard grafting facility, a dairy barn with robotic milking equipment, farmstand upgrades, and berry plantings.
Results since Program began in 2009:
- 65 farms have received grant awards totaling $4,450,000 (average $68,462 per farm)
- 9,193 total acres of APR land owned or leased by participating farmers.
- $405,026 in technical assistance provided (average of $6,231 per farm).
- Participating farms from across the state include dairy farms, livestock operations, vegetable farms, orchards, cranberry farms, vineyards & a grain producer.
Grants and Funding Programs
- Agricultural Energy Grant Program (Ag-Energy)
- Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP)
- Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP)
- APR Improvement Program (AIP)
- Farm Energy Discount Program
- Farm Viability Enhancement Program (FVEP)
- Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP)
- Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP)
- Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA)
- Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) Retrofit Program
- Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA)
- Urban Agriculture Program