Specialty Crop Block Grants Support Massachusetts Agricultural Organizations

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Image Courtesy of Third Sector New England

This month, fifteen organizations across Massachusetts were awarded nearly $350,000 in Specialty Crop Block grants to develop and promote various products, including fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced the awards, which are funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).

Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton said the Massachusetts agricultural industry “remains a vital component to local, regional, and state economies, and contained within its core is the harvesting and producing of specialty crops that are bought and sold around the world…Farmers, non-profit organizations, and other entities will be assisted in their pursuit to develop or build upon existing programs as they further promote specialty crops harvested within the Commonwealth.”

Specialty crops and products represent an important segment of the state’s agricultural industry, since they include cranberries, honey, maple, and herbs. This year’s grants, authorized by the United States Farm Bill, range from $10,000 to $64,000.

MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux said, “We are so thankful for this partnership with the USDA to provide these grants to our Massachusetts farmers and commodity associations to continue to promote locally grown food. I am so pleased that 15 applicants were awarded funds to continue to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts.”

Find details on the 15 companies and their awards here.

  • Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association – Carver
  • Ground Work Lawrence – Lawrence
  • Lettuce Be Local – Sterling
  • Mass Agriculture in the Classroom – Marlborough
  • Mass Farm to School Project – Amherst
  • Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers’ Association – Ludlow
  • Massachusetts Flower Growers Association – Bedford
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association – Barre
  • Nuestra Raices, Inc. – Holyoke
  • Regional Environmental Council – Worcester
  • Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts – Cambridge
  • Third Sector New England/New Entry Sustainable Farming – Lowell
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Amherst
  • MDAR Technical Resource – Boston
  • MDAR GAP/GHP– Boston

Learn more about agritourism in the Commonwealth. For information on vacationing here, visit the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.