For Immediate Release - December 22, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Energy Grants for 32 Farm Projects Across the Commonwealth

BOSTON – Thursday, December 22, 2011 – The Patrick-Murray Administration's Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) today awarded 32 grants totaling $455,000 to enable Massachusetts farmers to install renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency.

“Massachusetts continues to be a leader in energy efficiency and grants like these allow our farmers to save energy and protect the environment,” said Governor Deval Patrick. "We are proud to help our farming families and small businesses benefit from the clean energy revolution."

Awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources' (DAR) Agricultural Energy Grant Program, funding was provided to farms in the towns of Amesbury, Bourne, Boxford, Brewster, Carver, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Granville, Hadley, Hardwick, Haverhill, Hawley, Ipswich, Montague, New Salem, Oakham, Shelburne, Sherborn, Egremont, Stow, Sudbury, Sunderland, Barnstable, Whately, Williamsburg and Worthington. 

“Through the Administration’s Agricultural Energy Grant Program, we continue to work with the farming industry to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “In doing so, these grants also provide opportunities to preserve natural resources and create jobs that support a range of projects and boosts local economies.”

These grants will fund projects such as solar photovoltaic systems for vegetable and orchard operations, variable speed vacuum pumps for dairies, reverse osmosis machines for maple syrup operations, and thermal blankets for greenhouses.

“Helping our farmers adopt new energy efficient methods protects our environment, reduces energy use and cuts long-term energy costs for the agricultural industry,” said Energy and Environmental Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., whose office includes DAR. “I applaud the efforts of today’s recipients who are partners in our progress toward a clean energy future.”

Since 2009, the grant program has funded 89 projects statewide, providing growers and producers more than $1.2 million to address energy issues on their farms. 

"In the past three years the Ag Energy program and the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program have helped Massachusetts farmers reduce energy costs and improve overall efficiency," said DAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares. “These grants also stimulate local economic activity through the purchase of materials and equipment. I would like to offer my congratulations to all of the producers receiving these awards.”

“Adopting cleaner energy sources and cutting energy consumption is happening all across the Commonwealth thanks to the active participation of businesses likes these,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia.

The program is one of several within the DAR’s Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance (DACTA), whose mission is to provide technical assistance, training, conservation, and funding to promote economically viable and sound agricultural practices in Massachusetts.

The grants are being awarded to:

Municipality

Farm Name

Project

Awarded

Amesbury

Cider Hill Farm

(1) Outdoor Wood Boilers

$12,500

Deerfield

Clarkdale Fruit Farm

Cold Storage Upgrade

$25,000

Bourne

Copper Beech Farm, Inc.

Photovoltaic System for FLUPSY

$6,000

Carver

Edgewood Bogs, LLC

25kW Photovoltaic System

$15,000

Brewster

Eldredge Farm

Heating; Thermal Blanket; Shade Screen

$20,000

Whately

Full Bloom Market Garden, LLC

103.6 kW Photovoltaic System

$22,500

Bourne

Handy Cranberry Trust

9.8kW Photovoltaic System

$8,000

Hawley

Hilltown Farmers Biodiesel, LLC

Grain Cleaner for Biodiesel

$7,735

Sudbury

J.P. Bartlett Co.

Shade Screen

$10,000

Worthington

Just-a-mere Tree Farm

4.6kW Photovoltaic System; Steam Hood; Preheater

$10,000

Williamsburg

Lawton Family Sugarhouse

Reverse Osmosis Machine

$7,180

Oakham

Linabella's Gourmet Garlic Farm, LLC

Solar Thermal

$22,500

Barnstable

Little Farm on Cape Cod

13.3kW Photovoltaic System

$15,000

Granville

Maple Corner Farm

Reverse Osmosis Upgrade; Evaporator

$8,000

Ipswich

Marini Farm, LLC

(2) Biomass Corn Boilers

$15,000

New Salem

New Salem Preserves

9.4kW Photovoltaic System

$23,000

Hadley

North Hadley Sugar Shack

Reverse Osmosis; Evaporator

$10,000

Sunderland

Patterson Farm, LLC

10.3 kW Photovoltaic System

$20,000

Williamsburg

Paul's Sugarhouse

Reverse Osmosis

$6,740

Hardwick

Podbelski Farm

Plate Cooler; Variable Speed Drive Vacuum Pump; Heat Reclaim

$10,971

Montague

Red Fire Farm

Geothermal

$22,500

Boxford

Rock Maple Farm

9.2kW Photovoltaic System

$16,000

Deerfield

Savage Farms, Inc.

33.12kW Photovoltaic System

$17,000

Shelburne

Shinglebrook Farm

3.28kW Photovoltaic System

$5,000

Conway

Stonegate Farm

Reverse Osmosis Upgrade; Steamaway & Hood for Evaporator

$14,000

Stow

Stow Greenhouses, LLC

Thermal Blanket

$25,000

Sherborn

Sunshine Farm

60kW Photovoltaic System

$15,000

Egremont

Turner Farms, Inc.

Heat Reclaim; Variable Speed Vacuum Pump

$9,536

Hadley

Valley Malt, LLC

Biomass Boiler

$14,500

Colrain

West Branch Farm

Outdoor Wood Boiler

$6,000

Shelburne

Wheel View Farm

9.87kW Photovoltaic System

$15,338

Haverhill

Willow Spring Vineyards, LLC

Geothermal; 5.6kW Photovoltaic System

$20,000

“I am pleased to see the Patrick Administration and the Department of Agricultural Resources make these funds available,” said Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These grants will help to green up the bottom line for the Agriculture industry in the Commonwealth by improving energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy.”

“Farmers continue to do all they can to keep their farms viable,” said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These grants assist them and benefit all of us who rely on those farms.”

For more information on the Ag-Energy Program, visit www.mass.gov/agr/programs/aegp/index.htm

For information on the Division of Technical Assistance programs, visit www.mass.gov/agr/divisions/ag_technical_assistance.htm

DAR’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services – DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture’s role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR’s website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at http://twitter.com/MDARCommish

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