The Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds materials and labor for the implementation of practices that address the agricultural sector’s vulnerability to climate change, improves economic resiliency and advances the general goals identified in the Massachusetts Local Action Food Plan.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (“MDAR”) invites responses from Massachusetts farmers who raise and sell agricultural products who wish to participate in the Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program. ACRE provides reimbursement funds to agricultural operations for the implementation of practices that address the agricultural sector’s vulnerability to climate change, improve economic resiliency and advance general goals identified in the Massachusetts Local Action Food Plan. Innovative proposals are sought for practices that protect the environment, ensure food safety, improve soil health, protect water resources, increase energy efficiency and/or promote renewable energy.
Agricultural operations engaged in production agriculture for commercial purposes as defined in Massachusetts law M.G.L c. 128, Sec. 1A (See further detail on eligible applicants in section 3). Responder must own, or be a Co-Responder with the owner of the agricultural operation, who has a legal interest in the land whether by deed or written agreement and approval to implement the project on the land, which must be in active agricultural use and managed as a commercial enterprise by the Responder for at least the three (3) previous years.
Produce operations applying for post-harvest practice upgrades must have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of $25,000 or more. Sales must be for produce covered under the Produce Safety Rule (PSR).
The ACRE Program is broken into two project categories:
Part I: Adaptation & Mitigation Projects
Projects that help the agricultural sector reduce vulnerability to expected climate change (adaptation), mitigate climate change (mitigation), and improve economic resiliency. This includes projects that improve soil management, improve water use efficiency and availability, and/or promote efforts to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions or to enhance greenhouse gas sequestration including produce post-harvest practice upgrades.
Maximum funding per applicant is 80% of total project costs up to $25,000.
Part II: Agricultural Energy Projects
Projects that improve energy efficiency or facilitate clean energy adoption.
Maximum funding per applicant is $25,000.
Applicants may only apply to one of the project categories.
Open Application Period: The ACRE Program is now open. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, May 31st, 2019.