Application Period Open for MDAR Viability Grant Programs

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is accepting applications from Massachusetts farmers who wish to participate in these Department programs that help with farm viability in Fiscal Year 2022.  Applications are posted as part of the Request for Response on each program website at the links below.  If you would like an application mailed to you, contact the program coordinator listed.  

The due date for applications is Thursday, April 29, 2021. 

Farm Viability Enhancement Program (FVEP) – This business planning and technical assistance program provides business planning and technical assistance to develop or update a business plan for established farms that own and operate unrestricted farmland.  In return for a short-term covenant to keep the land in agricultural use, operators may be eligible for grants to implement capital projects on the farm.  Grant levels are up to $50,000; $100,000; or $150,000 in return for a 5, 10, or 15-year covenant, depending on the size of the farm. Examples of uses of funds through the Farm Viability Program will vary depending on the needs of the farm but may include new or improved livestock barns or farm stores; purchasing farm equipment, delivery vehicles or tractors; constructing food processing or agricultural storage facilities.

 

For a FVEP application or more information, go to: www.mass.gov/service-details/farm-viability-enhancement-program-fvep and click on “AGR FVEP FY22-29” or contact Melissa Adams at Melissa.L.Adams@mass.gov, 413-726-2001.

APR Improvement Program (AIP)for APR farms.  This business planning and technical assistance program helps sustain active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program.  AIP provides business planning assistance to farmers selected to participate in the program and grants may be available on a reimbursement basis to implement identified improvements on the farm to increase productivity and profitability. Grant levels are up to $40,000; $80,000; or $120,000 depending on the size of the farm and acreage under APR, on a cost reimbursement basis with a required 25% match contribution.  AIP funds are used primarily for capital improvements to farm infrastructure, such as new or improved barns for storage or livestock housing, farm stores, processing facilities; or resource improvements for agricultural use, such as orchard renovations and fencing.

For an AIP application or more information go to: www.mass.gov/service-details/apr-improvement-program-aip and click on “AGR-AIP-FY22-13” or contact Michael Parker at Michael.Parker@mass.gov, 413-726-2008.

Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture (MEGA) helps beginning farmers, who have been in business at least one (1) but no more than six (6) years, with business planning, technical assistance, and grant funds of up to $10,000 on a one to one matching cash reimbursement basis for farm improvements. It is the objective of the MEGA Program to assist beginning farmers who aspire to develop their farms into commercially viable operations. Funds may be used for equipment, infrastructure or other capital improvements identified through the business planning process to have a positive impact on the participating farm’s viability. Common uses of MEGA grant funds include greenhouses, barn renovations, tractor implements, chicken coops, farmstands, and refrigerated delivery trucks.

For a MEGA application or more information go to www.mass.gov/service-details/matching-enterprise-grants-for-agriculture-mega and click on “AGR-MEGA FY22-12” or contact Jessica Camp at Jessica.Camp@mass.gov.