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How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

The Climate Smart Agriculture Program is the combined application for the Ag Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program, the Ag Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP) and the Ag-Energy Program (ENER)

Laura J. Maul

Gerry Palano

The Details   of How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

About this program   for How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

The Climate Smart Agriculture Program (“CSAP”)  combines MDAR’s water, energy, and climate grants into one application.  The three grant programs combined in this application are the Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (“ACRE”) Grant, the Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program Grant (“AEEP”) and the Ag-Energy Program Grant (“ENER”) . By bringing the three grants under one program, MDAR seeks to simplify the application process.

This round of funding combines the applications for ACRE and AEEP into Part I: Environmental Projects. This section will provide financial incentives to allow agricultural operations to proactively address risks and strengthen their economic and environmental resiliency. This includes agricultural operations implementing projects to safeguard natural resources, as well as projects that work towards mitigating climate change. This section also includes projects that help agricultural operations address vulnerabilities to expected impacts from climate change. These impacts  may result from more frequent and severe storm events, increased precipitation followed by periods of drought, higher overall temperatures, and increased evaporation rates. By providing financial incentives to Massachusetts growers for practices that work towards improving soil health, ensuring the efficient use of water, preventing impacts on water quality, reducing greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, and sequestering carbon, Massachusetts farms will work towards the goal of mitigating climate change and safeguarding natural resources. By providing financial incentives that help operations proactively adapt to a changing climate, Massachusetts farms will increase resiliency while ensuring their continued contribution to the Commonwealth’s food supply.

Applications for ENER, previously under the Agricultural Energy Grant Program, are in Part II: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Projects. Projects include energy efficiency projects and renewable energy projects that help farms become more sustainable and resilient while also working towards the interim goals of the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan (“CECP”) for 2030 and long term goals of the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2050 (2050 CECP) . These  plans  are part of the overall MA Decarbonization Roadmap to ensure GHG reductions of at least 85% by 2050 while also achieving net zero emissions. This means renewable heating & cooling technologies are a priority and there is a preference for no longer funding new or replacement fossil fuel (oil, propane, natural gas) fired equipment.

This CSAP grant consists of 2 parts;

Part I: Environmental Projects under ACRE and AEEP, and

Part II: Agricultural Energy Efficiency & Renewable Projects under ENER.

Applicants can apply to either section, or to both sections of this RFR. As the sections are reviewed separately there is an opportunity to be funded under one or both sections.   

How to apply   How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

This program is not currently accepting applications.


All applicants are advised to allow adequate time for submission of their proposal by considering potential mail or shipping company delays. MDAR is not responsible for delays encountered by applicants or their agents, or mail or package delivery issues associated with submission.

This program is not currently accepting applications. 


Applications submitted via e-mail must be submitted through this e-mail address for consideration. Applications sent to another e-mail address will not be considered. 

All applicants are advised to allow adequate time for submission of their proposal by considering online impediments like internet traffic, internet connection speed, file size, and file volume. MDAR is not responsible for delays encountered by applicants or their agents, or for an applicants local hardware failures, such as computers or related networks, associated with an application compilation or submission. Applications submitted via e-mail will be deemed received by the time indicated by MDAR's Outlook system clock which is considered the official time of record and may be different than the time send by the applicant. 

This program is not currently accepting applications. 

Next steps   for How to apply to the Climate Smart Agriculture Program

  1. Determine your eligibility

    • Applicant must be an agricultural operation as defined by M.G.L. c. 128, § 1A that is principally and substantially engaged in the business of production agriculture;
    • Property must be in active agricultural use and managed as a commercial enterprise by the Applicant for at least the three (3) previous years to the date of the application.
  2. Review the Request for Response (RFR)

    Before applying, please read the Request for Response (RFR). It provides a comprehensive summary of grant evaluation criteria, review timelines, award recipient expectations, eligible uses of grant funds, and examples of projects.

  3. Prepare the information you need to submit an application

    You will need to provide the following as part of your application: 

    • A summary of your agricultural business, details of the project you are proposing and the benefits associated with the proposed project.
    • A description of the proposed project outcomes. 
    • Your work plan and timeline for the project.
    • An itemized project budget, including any matching funds.
    • Additional documentation in the form of quotes, maps, and balance of funding. Energy applications should include a project specific technical assessment, or energy audit for the proposed energy project. 
  4. Submit your application

    During an open application period submit your application with any additional documentation by the posted deadline.  Applications can be submitted by e-mail, in-person, or by mailing. 


  5. MDAR reviews your application

    MDAR will evaluate all applications submitted by the deadline and will makes award decisions based on the eligibility and evaluation criteria specified in the Request for Response (RFR)

  6. Sign a grant agreement with MDAR

    If your operation is selected to receive a grant MDAR will issue you an award letter and contract documents that specify the terms and conditions of your award. You will need to sign a Standard Contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Grant Agreement with MDAR before making any purchases related to the project

  7. Project Reimbursement

    Upon project completion submission of acceptable documentation is required for reimbursement. Documentation in the form cancelled checks, receipts, invoices, etc. for costs associated with approved project must be submitted to MDAR and approved prior to reimbursement.  MDAR may publish information and images from your project on its web site or agency social media as examples for other operations engaging in similar projects.

    Any project costs incurred prior to an executed contract with MDAR are not eligible for reimbursement. 

    Unless your operation demonstrates significant need during the process, your grant funds will be distributed in one lump sum upon conclusion of your project. 

    Projects must be completed by June 30th.

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