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In this issue:

Commissioner's Column - Gregory C. Watson

FOREFRONT

UPCOMING EVENTS / WORKSHOPS USDA

IN EVERY ISSUE


Commissioner's Column

Dear Friends,

Lots going on!

The USDA has issued the highly anticipated 2012 Census of Agriculture. There is no question that the nation’s agricultural sector is in the midst of change. While the 2012 numbers don’t fully reflect the shift in priorities aimed at developing a more robust, resilient and sustainable food system, they nonetheless offer some interesting insights into the industry’s evolving landscape. MDAR’s agriculture economist Catherine DeRonde will provide some highlights later in the report. For now let it suffice to say that Massachusetts continues to serve as a compass of sorts - creating and support policies and programs pointing towards enhanced viability for farmers and increased consumer access to fresh, nutritious farm products.

Boston will host the 2014 annual meeting of The Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA). Ag officials from the Northeast will meet at the Boston Sheraton Hotel from June 1-3 to discuss a broad range of common issues impacting farming from Northern New England to the Mid-Atlantic. Topics include the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA); dairy support; water quality and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) issues.

Early last month MDAR participated in a series of public meetings convened by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to unveil their Massachusetts Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) Control Plan for Oysters. Vp is a bacterium found in brackish saltwater,which, when ingested, causes gastrointestinal illness in humans. MDAR was there to announce our Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Grant Program that will provide funds to assist farmers in upgrading food safety measures. Examples of the kinds of projects Massachusetts oyster farmers will be able to use the funds for include commercial coolers/cold storage; ice machines/ice making equipment; harvest gear upgrades and testing and monitoring equipment. Sean Bowen also organized and led four workshops for growers and grower/dealers to further explain and assist with the 2014 Vp Control Plan.

Finally, be on the lookout for a couple of exciting reports. The first, “New England Food Policy: Building A Sustainable Food System” – a joint effort by American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group – is currently available as a PDF download here. Its focus is identifying and (when appropriate) coordinating policies regionally aimed at reducing market barriers and enhancing regional food security and self-reliance. The second noteworthy and very relevant report, due out later this summer is entitled “A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All; Sustainable Farming and Fishing; Thriving Communities”. It describes a future in which New England produces at least half of the region’s food—and no one goes hungry. The Agriculture agencies of all six New England states have been involved in its development. The vision has been pulled together by a team of authors including Brian Donahue, Molly Anderson and Tom Kelly. Stay tuned for news of its rollout.

Best,

Commissioner Greg's Signature

Gregory C. Watson, Commissioner





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FOREFRONT


The MA Farm Energy Program (MFEP)
MDAR and our new MFEP partner The Center for EcoTechnology, Inc., (CET) are pleased to announce the transition from former partner Berkshire Pioneer Resource Conservation & Development (BPRC&D) is complete and the MFEP is in full swing. Please visit the new website, get familiar with our new contact information and find out about our technical and financial assistance opportunities. 

Please visit (and bookmark!) our new website: www.massfarmenergy.com. Have you been meaning to get an energy audit for your farm? Are there energy efficiency projects you would like to complete? To learn more about how you can improve your farm’s operations, reduce your energy use and save money, please complete the Request Form online or email us at info@massfarmenergy.com or call 413-727-3090. We look forward to hearing from you!

MDAR’s AgEnergy Grant – Now Requesting Applications!

The purpose of the MDAR’s Ag-Energy Grant is to assist agricultural operations in an effort to improve energy efficiency and to facilitate adoption of alternative clean energy technologies in order that they can become more sustainable and the Commonwealth can maximize the environmental and economic benefits from these technologies.

Reimbursement grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2015. The deadline for applications is May 30th, 2014.

Ag-Energy Grant applications are available at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/ag-energy.html.

USDA Funding to Make Energy Efficiency Improvements or to Install Renewable Energy Systems

Up to $12.3 Million in Grants and $57.8 Million in Loan Guarantees Available In Rural Energy for America Program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced that USDA is seeking applications from rural small businesses and agricultural producers for funding to make energy efficiency improvements or to install renewable energy systems.

The funding announced today is being provided through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, REAP was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. For fiscal year (FY) 2014, USDA plans to award up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees. Additional REAP funds provided by the Farm Bill will be made available with a subsequent notice.
USDA is accepting applications for:

  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantee and grant combinations;
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees; and
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants.

Requests for grants may not exceed 25 percent of a project's cost – either for stand-alone grant requests or for grants combined with loan guarantees. Information on how to apply for REAP funding and on the application deadlines (which vary by project type) is available on page 25564 of the May 5, 2014 Federal Register. The application deadline is July 7th, 2014 for grant & July 31th for guaranteed loans. It is estimated that the state grant allocation will be approximately 125-160K per state. If applications exceed our state allocation there may be opportunity for applications to compete in the national reserve pool.

Additionally when farm bill funds become appropriated later in the calendar year (approx. Nov), a 2nd funding cycle will be announced. We expect to obtain significantly more funds (50 million) nationwide. If applications are unfunded during the current cycle, those applications will automatically compete for the next cycle of funds (approx. Nov), therefore we are encouraging applications.

Applications must be submitted prior to start of any construction in order for those expenses incurred to remain eligible.

  • If applying as a small business, you must be in a rural area.
  • If applying as a farmer, you are exempt from the rural area eligibility rule.

Please contact Anne Correia for applications, and questions about eligibility. Anne Correia, Rural Development, USDA, West Wareham, Anne.Correia@ma.usda.gov, 508-295-5151, www.rurdev.usda.gov/ma.

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Open Application Period for AEEP and Energy Grants

MDAR will be accepting applications from agricultural operations who wish to participate in the Department’s grant programs. Interested farm operators are encouraged to review the applications on each program’s webpage. If interested in applying, applications must be submitted by program deadlines with any supporting materials included with the application.

Ag-Energy Grant (Ag-Energy)

The purpose of the MDAR’s Ag-Energy Grant is to assist agricultural operations in an effort to improve energy efficiency and to facilitate adoption of alternative clean energy technologies in order that they can become more sustainable and the Commonwealth can maximize the environmental and economic benefits from these technologies.
Reimbursement grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2015.

Ag-Energy Grant applications are available at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/ag-energy.html.
The deadline for applications is May 30, 2014.
 

Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP)

The purpose of AEEP is to support agricultural operations that are looking to install conservation practices that prevent direct impacts on water quality, ensure efficient use of water, as well as address impacts on air quality. By providing reimbursement directly to agricultural operations that implement eligible projects that prevent, reduce or eliminate environmental impacts, the program achieves its purpose and goals of minimizing environmental impacts from these operations for the benefit of the Commonwealth.

AEEP is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds materials and labor up to $25,000 or 85% of project costs. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2015.

AEEP grant applications are available at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/aeep.html.
The deadline for applications is May 30th, 2014.

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Pest Alert: Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine in Essex County Starts

Following the discovery of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis, "EAB") this past fall in North Andover, MA, Officials from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have announced that a quarantine will be established in Essex County beginning April 1, 2014.

Emerald ash borer is an invasive wood-boring pest that attacks ash trees. It is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash throughout the US. Federal authorities have determined that while eradication of EAB is not feasible, quarantine is an important step in slowing the spread of this pest, allowing communities to prepare in advance and make the best decisions about how to manage ash trees before they are impacted.

The quarantine order means that certain products will be restricted from moving outside the regulated area, including all hardwood firewood (any piece of wood smaller than 48"), all ash nursery stock, and any ash lumber that has not been treated. Proper wood treatments include the removal of bark and half an inch of wood, dry kiln sterilization, fumigation, and heat treatments.

To prevent the inadvertent spread of forest pests like EAB and Asian longhorned beetle, avoid moving untreated firewood long distances, find local and trusted firewood suppliers, or purchase firewood that is certified to have been treated to destroy insects and pathogens.

Massachusetts is one of 22 states to have discovered EAB within its borders. In August 2012, EAB was detected in Dalton, leading to a quarantine of Berkshire County.

For more information about the quarantine, please see the official DCR press release.

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Reimbursement of the Milk Producer’s Security Fund

The Milk Producer’s Security Fund (the Fund) was established in 1984 under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 10 Section 48 to serve as a security net that would allow for Massachusetts’s independent dairy producers, those not a member of a full-service cooperative, to receive payment for their milk in the event of a milk dealer default. Payments of five cents per hundredweight were made by milk dealers on behalf of independent producers to the state treasurer and into the Fund from 1984 to 1997. Since payment suspension, money has remained in the fund and accrued interest, so that a total of approximately $2.1 million exists in the Fund today.

In December 2013, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law Chapter 191 of the Acts of 2013, an Act Relative to the Milk Producer’s Security Fund Reimbursement, thereby allowing for money held in the Fund to be reimbursed back to those dairy producers who paid in. The legislation states that a contributing producer, after application approved by the commissioner, may be eligible to be “reimbursed up to an amount equal to the monies paid by the applicant into the fund minus any funds previously distributed to said applicant plus a pro rata share of the interest earned by the fund”. The Commissioner shall establish criteria for the approval of such applications, and shall not authorize any reimbursement that will result in the Fund’s balance to be less than one million dollars.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is currently working on the reimbursement process and anticipates payment by December 2014. Current or past dairy farmers who may have contributed to the Milk Producer Security Fund and have questions, comments, or information to share related to the Fund are encouraged to contact Catherine de Ronde at (617) 626-1811 or Catherine.de.Ronde@state.ma.us.

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June is Dairy Month

June Dairy month is just around the corner! If you are planning any events on your farm please contact MA Dairy Promotion Board Coordinator, Julia Grimaldi, 617-626-1763 or Julia.Grimaldi@state.ma.us. There are activity books, recipe cards and dairy nutrition materials available for your use. Also if your dairy farm is opened to the public for tours, you can be added to www.massdairy.com/fromourfarms.html.

 

 

 

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Send Us Your Event Listings

Our Agricultural and Culinary Events Calendar is one of our most popular MassGrown & Fresher features. Curious locavores and culinary travelers are eager to find a farm, culinary or community event. Submit your calendar listings here.

Also, make sure your farm information is up to date on the Massgrown map: www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/map. Send edits to Rick LeBlanc, Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us. If you would like to be added to the map, please fill out the two page marketing survey, click here.

 

 


Farmers' Markets Seeking Vendors

Many farmers' markets are seeking vendors for the 2014 season. For a complete list click here. This includes new markets as well. Check back periodically for updates, or for more information contact David Webber at 617-626-1754, David. Webber@state.ma.us.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Farmers’ Market Program Begins

This year’s annual MassDOT Farmers’ Market Program will begin in May 2014 and runs through the Fall. We invite all Massachusetts’ farmers to sell their freshly grown fruits and vegetables as well as their made in Massachusetts food products, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Farmers' Market Program has been very popular for the last ten years on the Masspike and for the fourth year, MassDOT has decided to offer the Farmers' Market at all eighteen (18) service plaza’s on State of Massachusetts’ Highways. Along with the original eleven (11) Masspike service plazas, MassDOT has added seven (7) new service plaza locations. The Farmers' Market Program offers our Massachusetts’ farmers a unique opportunity to sell and market their wonderful locally grown products. Farmers can sell their goods as long as they do not compete with the service area stores and restaurants.

The service areas available for the Farmers’ Market are located in Lee (east/west), Blandford (east/west), Ludlow (east/west), Charlton (east/west), Westboro (west), Framingham (west) and Natick (east), Interstate 95 in Newton, Lexington, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 24 locations (north/south ) in Bridgewater, Route 3 in Plymouth and Route 6 in Barnstable.

If you are interested in participating in this year’s program or have any questions, please contact David Fenton at 413-572-3171 or via e-mail at Dave.Fenton@state.ma.us.


An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Farming

Are you thinking of starting a farm in Massachusetts? Are you currently farming and interested in expanding your operation, accessing new marketing outlets, or making your business more profitable? An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Farming in Massachusetts is a user-friendly guide to farming in the Commonwealth, complete with specific information and resources for farmers. This resource guide is a collection of 35 independent fact sheets that can be used separately as needed or together as a complete set. Topics include land access, farm infrastructure, risk management, business planning, livestock processing, organic certification, and much more.

The complete guide and all individual fact sheets can be downloaded for free on the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project website, www.nesfp.org, and the Beginning Farmer Network of Mass website, www.bfnmass.org. Contact New Entry with any nesfp@tufts.edu or 978-654-6745. http://nesfp.org/massfarmguide.


MAAC Agricultural Commission Small Grant Program Announced

Thanks to a recent $7,500 award from the Mass Society for Promoting Agriculture to the Mass Association of Agricultural Commissions (MAAC), applications are encouraged for year 2014 grants of up to $500 each for specific local Agricultural Commission projects. The grants are intended to help Agricultural Commissions play an active role in their communities, promote local farming, and carry out projects that help further their long-range plans.

To apply for a grant, your Agricultural Commission should complete the information below and submit to MAAC, c/o Pete Westover, westover03@comcast.net, or PO Box 67, Whately, MA 01093 post-marked by Monday, July 31, 2014. Grant awards will be announced by August 31, 2014, and projects should be completed and a one-page summary report submitted to MAAC post-marked by April 30, 2015. Funds will be disbursed directly to the applicant town.

Click here for application.


Partnerships Wanted for Commercial Composting Ventures

Organic Food Waste Ban - As of October 1, 2014, all entities in Massachusetts, except residences, producing more than 1 ton of food material and vegetative material for solid waste disposal per week are required to divert that material from a landfill or incinerator (e.g., direct it to a compost facility).

Partners - SCS Engineers, a national environmental consulting and contracting firm, with expertise in composting operations, permitting, state regulations, and waste management, is looking to partner with MA farms and institutions interested in hosting compost sites for organic material. SCS owns sophisticated compost equipment and can assist partners with design, permitting, operations, monitoring, and sales, related to a compost facility.

Why Commercial Composting? If your farm or organization has available land to provide space for composting, you can utilize your property to bring in additional revenue, maximize space usage, help the businesses and institutions in your community, generate your own organic fertilizer source, and develop a final product for wholesale or retail sale to consumers.

Benefits

  • Obtain ‘Tipping Fees’ from outside entities for organic material delivered to your facility for composting.
  • Maximize property/land usage (for fields or areas not in production)
  • Utilize state of the art technology to process and expedite current on-farm composting efforts
  • Develop internal source of compost/fertilizer (reduce need for purchased external inputs)
  • Help businesses and institutions in MA comply with the ban
  • Create a high-quality end-user product for wholesale or retail distribution

For more information on Farm Composting Partnerships in MA with SCS Engineers, please contact partnership consultant Mindy Harris, 310-663-0054 (mindy@mindyharriscommunications.com), or Will Conrad at 339-933-9332. More information about SCS Engineers can be found at www.scsengineers.com.


MA Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest - Deadline June 1

2014 Agriculture Calendar cover

Do you like free publicity to your farm business? Did you snap a great picture of kids picking strawberries last summer? Or maybe your camera captured a herd of dairy cows on sunny hillside, or the vibrant color of a cranberry harvest in the fall. With a wealth of farm and horticultural products and landscapes to choose from, these are just a few of the possibilities for amateur photographers competing in the 2014 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2014 and winning entries will be published in the 2015 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar. Besides being featured in the printed Calendar, winning images are posted each month on the MDAR's homepage, and sometimes even in our Blog posts. It is a great way to get featured in many local news publications as well.

The calendar each year is produced in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), MA Ag in the Classroom (MAC), and MA Farm to School Project. It also includes sponsored pages by the many great Ag associations in the state. Last year included the MA Maple Producers Assoc. (March), MA Farm Bureau (April and November), MA Flower Growers Assoc. (May), MA Dairy Promotion Board (June), MA State Grange(July), MA Fairs Association (August), MA Fruit Growers Assoc. (Sept.), Cape Cod Cranberry Association (October), and the MA Christmas Tree Assoc. (December). View pictures of last year winners at aginclassroom.org. 

Click here for entry form. Questions, contact Rick LeBlanc, Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us, 617-626-1759.


UPCOMING EVENTS / WORKSHOPS


Massachusetts Envirothon - Focus on Agriculture

Thursday, May 15 - Sholan Farm, Leominster 


Bay State Teens to Focus on Sustainable Local Agriculture

Some 250 Bay State teenagers from more than 30 Massachusetts communities from Boston to the Berkshires will show how much they know about the environment and environmental issues at the 27th annual Massachusetts Envirothon to be held at the Sholan Farms in Leominster. At this outdoor field competition event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. At the fifth station, the Current Issue, they will give a 15 minute presentation on “Sustainable Local Agriculture” to a panel of judges. Details here.

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Artisan/Farmstead Cheesemaker Food Safety Workshop

Friday, June 6 - 8:00 am - 6:00 pm - The Innovation Center for US Dairy - University of Connecticut, W.B. Young Building, Room 100, 1376 Storrs Rd., Storrs, CT.

Artisan Cheeses continue to gain popularity with growing distribution through farmer’s markets, retail, and foodservice establishments. As such, the number of cheese making operations is growing at impressive rates. These smaller, often on-farm, facilities have unique needs and challenges and to meet those needs the non-profit Innovation Center for US Dairy is partnering to offer a series of workshops.

With the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, HACCP-based food safety plans and related pre-requisite programs will become a regulatory requirement. Proactive implementation of a risk reduction program now will better prepare producers for forthcoming regulation. The Artisan/Farmstead Cheesemaker Food Safety Workshop course builds upon core knowledge of dairy hygiene, essential good manufacturing and hygiene practices, sanitation standard operating procedures and other pre-requisite programs to help producers improve their operations and achieve food safety by preventing, monitoring and reducing food safety risks in critical areas of food safety before they become regulatory or affect the consumer. The main focal points of this class include the discussion of bacteriostatic and bactericidal control points in the manufacture of cheese, validating and verifying the efficacy of said preventative controls, environmental pathogen control and monitoring as well as raw ingredient and product pathogen testing.

Who Should Attend:

  • Artisan Cheese manufacturers looking to protect consumers and their businesses through good food safety practices
  • Extension and industry support personnel to better help smaller producers
  • Retail and foodservice cheese buyers looking to understand cheesemaking food safety from these specialty producers

Cost: $49. To register, visit www.dairyevents.com

Sponsored by: New England Dairy Promotion Board

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Christmas Tree Twilight Meetings

Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association is sponsoring two to three twilight meetings in June. All welcome. Great opportunity to see and learn at different farm operations.

  • Saturday, June 14 - Crane Neck Farm, 114 Crane Neck Rd., West Newbury - 4:00 pm - Jim Brackbill, 978-363-1272
  • Wednesday, June 18 - Clara Belle Farm, 14 High St., Shrewsbury - 6:00 pm - Contact: Alan & Cindy Bushey, 508-845-9827
Check Association website for updates: www.christmas-trees.org/

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MNLA / MFGA Summer Conference and Trade Show

Thursday, July 24: MNLA/MFGA Summer Conference and Trade Show, Savage Farms, Deerfield, MA

Sponsored by The Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association (MFGA)

Take advantage of the newest ideas and cutting edge information and education to put you ahead of your competition. Pesticide credits, speed educational sessions and tours are only a few of this years’ exciting program. Keynote Presentation…“The Future in Plant Materials” by Michael Dirr Our featured Keynote speaker is the author of seven books, including Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture and Propagation and Uses, a widely used and best-selling reference text. Read more here.

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More events and workshops listed here: www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/events/


USDA


2012 USDA Census of Agriculture Released

The 2012 Census of Agriculture was released on Friday, May 2nd by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Census of Agriculture, which is released once every five years, provides a detailed report of the agricultural industry at the national, state, and county levels, thereby providing insight into such things as economics, demographics, and production practices.

Highlights from the Massachusetts data include:

  • Despite a national decline, Massachusetts saw an increase in the number of farms and acres of farmland; 7,755 farms and 523,517 acres.
  • The state has 431 farms reporting CSA’s; 6th nationally.
  • Over the last five years, there was nearly a 130 percent increase in income generated from agri-tourism, for a total of $12 million per year. Worcester county ranks 5th out of all U.S. counties for sales from agri-tourism.
  • Massachusetts ranks 5th in the U.S. for direct market sales at $48 million dollars per year. At the county level, Worcester County ranked 6th and Middlesex county ranked 10th for all U.S. counties.
  • 465 Massachusetts farms reported using renewable energy systems on their farm in 2012; solar panels made up the majority.
  • Over the past five years there was a reported 20% increase in hired farm workers.

For more Massachusetts specific statistics, please check back at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/statistics/. The full Census report is available is available here: www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/.

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Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - Cut-off May 16

Next Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) cut-off date is May 16, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced May 16th as the next cut-off date for funding under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). All eligible and complete applications received by that date will be evaluated and ranked for available funding. Massachusetts is slated to receive approximately $3 million in EQIP funding authorized under the new 2014 Farm Bill. Details here.

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Several Cities and Towns in Hampshire and Hampden Counties Recently Deemed Eligible for USDA Rural Development Grants, Loans, and Services

Several cities and towns in Hampshire and Hampden counties have recently been deemed eligible to receive USDA Rural Development grants, loans, and services. Specifically, recent census data has determined that Northampton, Easthampton, Hadley, Amherst, Belchertown, Monson, and Southwick now meet the criteria for Rural Development eligibility.

The B&I Program provides financial backing for rural business or entities including cooperatives, partnerships, Indian tribes, municipalities, counties, trusts, non-profit entities, and corporations. The B&I Program has distributed 17 loan guarantees from 2009 to 2013 in Massachusetts alone. “Our program depends on local lenders such as Clinton Savings Bank. “We are delighted to work with Clinton Savings Bank yet again in delivering our B&I support to the community of Gardner, MA,” said Jennifer Lerch, Program Director, Rural Development.

Commercial loans can serve to not only jumpstart local businesses, but the regional economy as well. Loans and grants facilitating business growth in turn lead to job creation and money flow into surrounding rural shops and businesses thus ensuring the economic pulse of rural communities stays beating well into the future.

Businesses within these towns such as Northampton, the hub of the Pioneer Valley can now apply for a variety of loan and grant programs Rural Development has to offer. In efforts to spur local development, Rural Business Enterprise Grants can be issued to small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. Funding by this grant can be used for a variety of uses such as construction, modernization and technical assistance, as well as other applications.

USDA Rural Development has one state office and three area offices across the state to serve Massachusetts residents living in rural communities. Area offices are located in Hadley, Holden, and West Wareham. The MA/CT/RI state office, 451 West St. # 2, Amherst, 413-253-4300.


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IN EVERY ISSUE

Briefs / Classified / Job Opportunities

  • Orchard Manager (Apples & Peaches), Fulltime - Min. five years experience in tree fruit production. Pomology education preferred or related field. Current pesticide license. Sixty acres of orchards are located in Amherst and Belchertown. Position includes managing day to day operations, coordinating staff, maintaining machinery, pest and disease control, overseeing packing/storage operation, harvesting, winter tree maintenance and new plantings. Pay and benefits based on experience. Call 413-253-9528 for job description and questions.
  • Ever dreamed of becoming a professional brewer.. here’s your chance! This is an entry level position in a career path that if successful will go from Production Assistant -> Assistant Brewer -> Brewer. This type of job does not open up all that often in our industry. To learn more about the position please click here.
  • NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Workshop Coordinator - 200 hours in 2014– beginning May 15 - $13/hour - Candidate should be knowledgeable about farming and relevant issues to organic growers. A qualified candidate is comfortable with person to person outreach, and will have good discernment capability for choosing appropriate and successful presenters. Candidate will also be a proficient writer, who is self-motivated, and can work alone, from a home office.
  • Outreach Coordinator - Do you like working with people? Are you passionate about growing food? Do you believe everyone should have access to fresh, affordable and healthy food? Consider joining Growing Places, a dynamic community-based nonprofit working in North Central MA to improve lives through food gardening, seeks a passionate and skilled individual to join our team! AmeriCorps VISTA is a great place to lend your time and talents to impact the community and to build your skills and resume.Applications are due by May 15.Learn more here, to apply, click here.
  • Fresh Point - Produce wholesaler looking to expand Massachusetts grown produce volumes with growers and their products. Grow with commitment. Contact Rob Hence, 860-244-0407, Robert.Hence@freshpoint.com for more info.
  • Farm for sale in Sutton. Currently a groomed, flat 17 acres. The land is all clear pasture, wonderfully fertile and a good part already fenced with pvc fencing, great 10 stall barn, 3 story, The lovely house with a full in-law apt. is of high quality, pool, hot tub, ac. The name, Pembury House, was once well known as the site of 3 phase events(Pembury House Trials). www.pemburyhousefarm.com - 508-581-8755, pemburyhouse@aol.com.
  • Profitable Nursery for Sale: prime Berkshires location looking for new owners for Golden Hill Nursery in Lee after 35 successful years. In addition to three greenhouses, there are acres of untouched land just ready to be organically farmed or expand the nursery business significantly. Features: Two greenhouses and a cold frame, 28 ft. X 100 ft, 20 ft.X 75 ft., and 14ft. X 100 ft respectively. Current owners will share knowledge of the business including current suppliers to get you started on the right foot. Asking price is $250,000 for the nursery and surrounding land. Please call 413-243-3353.
  • Southcoast Agri Services can provide all your agricultural and recreational field spreading needs. Pelletized and pulverized limestone, soluble and organic fertilizers. Hayfields, equine facilities, pastures, paddocks and tillage fields. Also provide spreading service to municipalities, including parks/fairgrounds, sports fields and airports. Serve Newport and Bristol Counties in RI and Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth Counties in MA along with Cape and Islands. Contact: Jon Parker, owner, 774-263-0017, sasagri63@gmail.com.
  • Agricultural Excavation – Grading Services - Provide earth moving, drainage, land/pasture reclamation, greenhouse preparation, and rock raking services. Includes but not limited to orchards/equine facilities/cranberry bogs/nurseries. Chris Merrill Excavating - merrilltrucks@comcast.net, 978-897-9977.

How to Place a Classified Ad

Classified ads are accepted free-of charge on a first-come basis. Be sure to include a phone number. No display ads will be accepted. Only one ad per business/individual per issue, unless space permits. Ads may run in consecutive issues, space permitting. Ads must be of interest to Massachusetts farmers. The Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) reserves the right to refuse any listing it deems inappropriate for publication. E-mail, fax or mail ads to: Farm & Market Report, MDAR, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114, fax: 617-626-1850, Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us.

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About the Farm & Market Report

Published bi-monthly by:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Richard K. Sullivan, Secretary
Department of Agricultural Resources, Gregory C. Watson, Commissioner

Boston Office:
251 Causeway St., Suite 500,
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-1700, Fax: 617-626-1850
Amherst Satellite Office:
101 University Drive, Suite C4
Amherst, MA 01002
413-548-1900, Fax: 413-548-1901
Division Directors

Next issue to be published for June / July. Please send news, calendar and/or classified information by June 2 to Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us. To unsubscribe or change your address, send an e-mail message to Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us or call 617-626-1759.