The Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA) assists Massachusetts’ farmers who have been in business for at least one, but no more than five years, acquire equipment and other non-land assets or make infrastructure improvements that contribute to the financial viability of their farm businesses. Matching funds of up to $10,000 are available to implement agreed upon farm improvement strategies after individual business review and analysis provided by the Department. Business assistance is an additional program benefit and the value of this service is provided in addition to the grant award.
It is the objective of the MEGA Program to assist farmers who aspire to develop their farms into commercially viable operations. Priority will be given to new farms that can use program investment to increase farm production, marketing, and income. It is not the objective of the MEGA Program to support “hobby” or rural lifestyle enterprises where only minor consideration is given to the success of the agricultural business.
The maximum grant award provided through this Program is $10,000, available on a one-to-one matching, cost reimbursement basis. Selected participants sign a contract with the Department for agreed upon project expenditures to be made during the contract period. Expenditures made prior to the contract start date will not be eligible for reimbursement. All expenditures must be made by June 30, the end of the state fiscal year after farmers are accepted into the program.
Fiscal Year 2016 Summary:
During Fiscal Year 2016, which ended June 30th, 2016, nine (9) beginning farms from across the state participated in MEGA. The program provided $33,718 of technical and business assistance or an average of $3,746 per farm. The nine farms received grants totaling $71,627 or an average of $7,959 per farm and participating farmers contributed approximately $148,190 in additional funds towards farm projects. Farm improvement projects included a greenhouse, grain equipment, a tractor and implements, a potting machine, a storage barn, barn repair, fencing, chicken coops, lab equipment for mushroom production and refrigeration.
Results since Program began in 2010:
- 58 farms have participated in 6 rounds of the program.
- Grants provided to farms total $489,220, an average $8,435 per farm.
- Value of business analysis and technical assistance provided totals $232,564, an average of $4,010 per farm.
- Participating farms produce a variety of products including vegetables, tree fruit, small fruit, grains, honey, shellfish, pastured poultry, beef and pork, raw milk, mushrooms, flowers, Christmas trees, and value-added products including cheese, sauerkraut, and tempeh.
Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Applications:
The Department of Agricultural Resources expects to announce an open application period for MEGA by early April 2017 and applications will be due by June 2017. RFRs (Request for Responses) and the policy information they contain do change from year to year. If you would like to see a copy of the last MEGA application - click on: MEGA Application FY17 This application is posted for informational purposes only and will not be accepted if submitted.
For frequently asked questions, click here: MEGA FAQs FY2017
Grants and Funding Programs
- Agricultural Energy Grant Program (Ag-Energy)
- Agricultural Energy Special Project Grant Program (ENER-SP)
- 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)
- Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA)
- Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) Retrofit Program
- Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA)
- Urban Agriculture Program