Agricultural Energy Grant Program

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: The Ag-Energy Grant Program provides funding to help agricultural operations improve energy efficiency and adopt alternative clean energy technologies. Reimbursement grants up to $30,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Follow the website link below for a complete list of eligible energy efficiency practices and renewable energy practices.

Website: http://www.mass.gov/agr/programs/energy

Eligible Applicants: Agricultural operations, agricultural support organizations, agricultural cooperatives, Massachusetts companies, individuals, public and non-public entities.

Estimated Application Deadline: Rolling

Average Grant Size: $20,000

Average # of Grants: 10

FY 2010 Spending: $223,000

Contact: Gerry Palano 617-626-1706


Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP)

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: AEEP is a competitive, re-imbursement grant program that funds the acquisition of materials only for conservation practices that mitigate or prevent negative impacts to the state's natural resources from agricultural practices. Practices funded include those that prevent direct impacts on water quality, ensure efficient use of water, and address agricultural impacts on air quality. Reimbursement grants up to $30,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis depending on need.

Website: http://www.mass.gov/agr/programs/aeep

Eligible Applicants: Farmers / growers / aquaculturists engaged in production agriculture as identified by Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) engaged in production agriculture for commercial purposes (see RFR for additional requirements).

Estimated Application Deadline: June

Average Grant Size: $15,500

Average # of Grants: 50

FY 2010 Spending: $762,000

Contact: Laura Maul 617-626-1739






Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: The primary purpose of the APR program is to preserve and protect agricultural land, including designated farmland soils, which are a finite natural resource, from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes or used for any activity detrimental to agriculture and to maintain APR land values at a level that can be supported by the land's agricultural uses and potential. The APR Program is a voluntary program which offers a non-development alternative to farmers and other owners of "prime" and "state important" agricultural land who are faced with a decision regarding future use and disposition of their farms. Towards this end, the program offers to pay farmers the difference between the "fair market value" and the "agricultural value" of their farmland in exchange for a permanent deed restriction which precludes any use of the property that will have a negative impact on its agricultural viability.

Website
: www.mass.gov/agr/landuse/APR/index.htm

Eligible Applicants: Landowners with at least five-acres of land in agricultural production for the last two years and with suitable soils.

Estimated Application Deadline: Rolling

Average Grant Size:
$400,000

Average # of Grants:
20

FY 2010 Spending:
$4,700,000

Contact: Michael Gold 617-626-1712




APR Improvement Program

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: To help sustain active commercial farming on lands protected by the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program.

Website: www.mass.gov/agr/landuse/aip

Eligible Applicants: Owners, or co-owner with the owner, of land enrolled in the Agricultural Preservation Program.

Estimated Application Deadline: June

Average Grant Size: $67,000

Average # of Grants: 10

FY 2010 Spending: $675,000

Contact: Craig Richov 617-626-1725


Fair Improvement Program

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: A new grant program to assist fairs in improving their viability through the development and implementation of an Agricultural Fair Improvement Plan.

Eligible Applicants: Applicant must have managed an agricultural fair for at least three-years; non-profit organizations only.

Estimated Application Deadline: January

Average Grant Size: $50,000

Average # of Grants: 3

FY 2010 Spending: $150,000

Contact: Melissa Guerrero 617-626-1730


Farm Viability Enhancement Program

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: The Farm Viability Enhancement Program assists farmers in improving their economic viability and economic integrity through the development and implementation of a Farm Viability Enhancement Plan. The Program is a business planning program that provides technical assistance and advice to farmers who wish to diversify or modernize operations, remain efficient and competitive, and be environmentally sustainable. Funding is available for farmers to implement improvements recommended in their business plan if they are willing to agree to a short term non-development covenant on their farmland.

Website: www.mass.gov/agr/programs/farmviability

Eligible Applicants: Applicant must own, or be a Co-applicant with the owner of, at least 5 acres of land, which must be in active agricultural use and managed as a commercial enterprise by the Applicant for at least the three previous years.

Estimated Application Deadline:
June

Average Grant Size:
$48,000

Average # of Grants: 35

FY 2010 Spending:
$1,700,000

Contact: Craig Richov, 617-626-1725






Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA)

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: A new grant program to assist new and beginning farms with start up and expansion costs; help farmers acquire equipment and other non-land assets required for financially viable farm businesses; support the special needs of beginning farmers by providing technical assistance, mentoring , business planning and capital; bring new ideas, products, skill sets and enthusiasm to the MA food and agriculture industry; and sustain and strengthen new farmer access to existing agricultural industry infrastructure, markets, supply and support services in the region.

Website
: www.mass.gov/agr/programs/mega

Eligible Applicants: Individuals who have been engaged in active agriculture on a farm for the previous 1 to 5 years; have direct farming experience or have worked or apprenticed on a commercial farm; have successfully completed a farm planning and business training exercise; or have completed a business plan for the new or beginning farm operation.

Estimated Application Deadline: June

Contact: Kate Hayes 413-559-0949


Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Agency: Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

Description and Eligible Activities: The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program's purpose is solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

Eligible Applicants: Commodity groups, Buy Local organizations, individual operations and business.

Estimated Application Deadline: May

Average Grant Size: $29,000

Average # of Grants: 13

FY 2010 Spending: $388,000

Contact: Daniel Rhodes, 617-626-1728






This information is provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Grants and Technical Assistance.