Five Massachusetts farms have been awarded $400,000 in total grant funding for infrastructure improvements through the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. Established in 2009, the APR Improvement Program (AIP) is funded by the federal Farm and Lands Protection Program and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR). The program also provides recipients with technical and business planning assistance to identify the best use of funds to improve farm infrastructure and productivity.
The five farms include:
Burnetts Farm in Adams, receiving $50,000 for barn expansion
Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, receiving $100,000 for dairy infrastructure improvements
Nourse Family Farm in Westborough, receiving $75,000 for farmstand renovation and plantings
The Kitchen Garden in Sutherland, receiving $75,000 for produce packing and storage building
Westport Rivers in Westport, receiving $100,000 for grapevine propagation facility
Governor Charlie Baker praised Massachusetts’ “vibrant agriculture industry, which provides fresh, healthy food for the Commonwealth’s residents. These agricultural investments help create jobs and make Massachusetts’ farms more competitive in the national and global marketplace.”
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that grants “will ensure that land protected for agriculture continues to support commercially viable farm businesses for current and future generations of Massachusetts farmers.”
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton thanked the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting “the valuable economic and dietary contributions of commercial farmers who are committed to keeping their land in agriculture.”
Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux said, “Reinvesting in these farms has enabled these businesses to keep up with the changing dynamics of modern agriculture and demands of today’s consumers.”
Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said, “Investments in our farms help meet the demands of consumers for fresh local food while also supporting our growing agricultural industry and tourism.”
Since 2009, AIP has provided more than $3.5 million in total grants (average $66,509 per farm) and $330,150 in technical assistance (average $6,229 per farm) to Massachusetts APR farms that own a combined total of more than 7,000 acres of protected farmland. Here is more information about AIP.