Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards Nearly $1 Million for Cranberry Farm Improvements

For immediate release:
10/29/2019
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Nearly $1 Million for Cranberry Farm Improvements

Katie Gronendyke

ROCHESTERThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced $991,837 to 21 cranberry growers for bog renovation projects. The grants, awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ new Massachusetts Cranberry Bog Renovation Enhancement Grant (MCRE) Program, will help renovate existing cranberry bogs, providing higher yields and more efficient methods of cranberry production for participating growers. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the grants at Slocum Gibbs Cranberry Company’s cranberry bog in Rochester.

“The cranberry industry has been a vital part of the environment and economy of Massachusetts for over 200 years, and our administration is committed to working with cranberry growers to ensure the long-term viability of this industry,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new grant program builds on the recommendations of the Cranberry Revitalization Task Force by providing support for cranberry growers to create more efficient bogs and improve their business and environmental sustainability.”

In 2016, Cranberry Revitalization Task Force’s final report included a recommendation to provide funding for cranberry growers to renovate their bogs, allowing for more efficient production and cultivation of the larger, higher-yield fruits. The Environmental Bond Bill signed by Governor Baker in 2018 included funding for these grants.

“By supporting these enhancement projects, our administration continues to support cranberry growers by providing the needed capital for their expansion,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “As the Commonwealth’s cranberry growers face ongoing economic challenges, MCRE grants help drive economic growth and opportunities for these local businesses.”

The grant recipients will receive funds for capital expenditures ranging from specialized equipment needed to level and reconfigure bogs, improving irrigation systems and improving irrigation efficiencies, and higher yield variety vines. The projects will improve growers’ environmental impact, increase bog productivity, and offer more efficient methods of production for growers.

“The investments made by the Baker-Polito Administration for bog improvements will help local agriculture enterprises reduce environmental impacts, boost production, along with greatly increasing their overall sustainability,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides.

“The MCRE Program is a key new program that is intended to support cranberry growers in managing their operations in a time of increased industry challenges,” said Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux.  “We are excited to be adding this program to our suite of funding programs to help address growers’ needs for the future.”

The cranberry industry is the state’s third largest agricultural sector, and boasts 363 cranberry farms on over 13,555 acres.  At nearly $59 million, the agricultural value of the cranberry industry makes up 13% of the state’s total agricultural value, despite the industry representing only 4.5% of the state’s farms and 2.7% of the state’s agricultural acreage.

The following local agricultural operations are receiving grants through the MCRE program’s first grant round:

Awardee

Operation

County

Award

Project

Joseph Michael Keating

Mills River Cranberry Co.

Barnstable

$63,750

Replant hybrid variety vines and improve drainage bed conditions.

Julian Arnold

JH Arnold Cranberry

Plymouth

$35,000

Organic bog renovation to increase productivity while maintaining organic practices & reduce water consumption

Back River Bog Company, LLC

Joseph Agrillo

Barnstable

$51,000

Flow through bog renovation, reconfigure & separate from freshwater stream.

Steven F. Ward

 

Plymouth

$52,500

Rebuild bog to a more desirable/productive variety of cranberry

Tilson Brook Cranberry, LLC

 

Plymouth

$20,000

Renovation and squaring off of bog for improved irrigation efficiencies

Andrew Rinta

 

Plymouth

$25,143

Renovation of bog to improve irrigation and install flume

Ben Peltola

 

Plymouth

$41,250

Construction and renovation of cranberry bog

EJ Pontif Cranberries, Inc

Ware Bog

Plymouth

$73,000

Renovate bog to replace early black vines with Crimson Queens

Southers Marsh Cranberry Bogs

William B. Stearns

Plymouth

$75,000

Renovate older bog to the higher yield variety and conserve water through leveling

Eric Weston

Eric & Elain Weston

Plymouth

$50,000

Renovate and reconfigure portion of older, poor producing bog for better yield and management

Joseph John Dvorski, Jr.

Shakey Acres Cranberry Co

Plymouth

$30,000

Renovate section of bog and plant new hybrid varieties

Weston Cranberry Corp

Gary Weston

Plymouth

$38,200

Bog renovation, achieving high yield, low farm maintenance and conserve water resources

William J. Morrison

 

Plymouth

$46,000

Bog leveling and replanting vines & update irrigation system

Gary S. Randall

Muddy Pond Bogs

Plymouth

$34,000

Renovate bog to replant vines and update irrigation automation

Edgewood Bogs, LLC

Matthew Rhodes

Plymouth

$47,421

Environmentally sustain bog renovation with high yielding, virus indexed, Haines cranberry vines.

AD Makepeace, CO

White Island Bogs

Plymouth

$75,000

Renovate and square off bog to allow for irrigation improvements

WD Bog, Inc.

 

Plymouth

$32,220

Renovate bog removing and replacing vines and improve irrigation

North Weston Cranberries, Inc.

Eric Weston

Plymouth

$22,000

Reconfigure and renovate area of older bog made up of small section & inefficient shape

Great Bear Farms, Inc

James Rezendes

Plymouth

$75,000

Renovate bog removing and replacing vines and improve irrigation

Gilmore Cranberry Co., Inc.

 

Plymouth

$75,000

Level bog, reconfigure irrigation system and replace vines to one variety

Tassinari Inc.

John Tassinari

Barnstable

$30,352

Replace vines to higher yield hybrid variety and seal up banking to conserve water

“These grants will allow for more efficient and effective cultivation of one of the Commonwealth’s most important resources – cranberries,” said State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.  “I applaud the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued support of agriculture and our cranberry growers.”

“Cranberry bogs are a mainstay of our agricultural sector here in the Commonwealth – especially in many of the Southeastern Massachusetts communities I proudly represent,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton).  “I am extremely pleased that 13 operations in my district have been selected to receive a total of over $500,000 through the Massachusetts Cranberry Bog Renovation Enhancement Grant Program.  As the worst effects of climate change continue to emerge, our agricultural sector’s need for infrastructure upgrades will only intensify.  The resources announced today will enable growers to renovate and revitalize operations in order to adapt to these significant changes in our natural environment.”

“These enhancement grants provide needed support allowing local growers to compete with more modern bogs in the Midwest and Canada.” said State Representative Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett, co-chair of the Cranberry Station Board of Oversight). “I commend the Governor and his administration for supporting these local businesses, many of which have been in the same family for generations.” 

“This is a great day for the Commonwealth's cranberry industry and the growers of southeastern Massachusetts are the heart of it,” said State Representative Susan Gifford (R-Wareham). “While serving as a member of the Cranberry Revitalization Task Force, the concern we heard time and time again was the need to renovate bogs in order to stay competitive.  It's wonderful to see these growers benefit from this grant program as a direct result.”

###

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Nearly $1 Million for Cranberry Farm Improvements

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources 

The Department’s mission is to help keep the Massachusetts’ food supply safe and secure, and to work to keep Massachusetts agriculture economically and environmentally sound.
Feedback