Second Year of Local Farmer Awards Received by 47 Farmers

The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y awarded 47 local farmers.

Recognizing that farming is essential to our community, Local Farmer Award partners, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y awarded 47 local farmers from the Berkshires to the Pioneer Valley $2,500 to make physical infrastructure improvements to their farms.  Along with the generous support of sponsors, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and MGM Springfield, farmers have already put to great use the $2,500 award for projects for farm improvements. This represents a 42% increase in awards from the 2015 inaugural year.

With the collaboration of local agriculture advocacy organizations, Berkshire Grown and CISA (Community Involved in Sustained Agriculture), the applications selected for the Farmer Awards were announced in December. One hundred twenty-eight farmers submitted applications describing their improvement projects. The award recipients are diverse: 32% have been farming for more than 20 years with 23% for five years or less; and over 40% of the farms have sales of over $100,000 while another 30% recorded sales of less than $49,000.

A winner from 2015 and 2016 Julia Coffey of Mycoterra Farm in Westhampton, MA says "we are thrilled to be a Local Farmer Award recipient.  The projects that these awards have helped fund are making our farm more viable."  This year Coffey is purchasing equipment required for outfitting a commercial kitchen that will allow them to begin to manufacture value-added food products with unsold fresh mushrooms.  Jennifer Salinetti, owner of Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA will be installing a permanent vegetable wash station which will directly impact their productivity; Gideon Porth of Atlas Farm in Deerfield, MA will be installing a pump system for a new well to increase the supply of potable water for the farm's packing house and greenhouses which will double their current watering abilities.

Mr. Harold Grinspoon, founder of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation who launched the Local Farmer Awards in 2015 says, "Farmers don't typically ask for help.  They are genuinely appreciative of these awards and use the money in creative ways for projects to help their businesses."  Charlie D'Amour, President & COO of Big Y adds, "Through our partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation we are providing one more way to help local growers thrive in our community."

The goal of the Local Farmer Awards is to strengthen farmers' ability to compete in the marketplace so that our region benefits from the environmental, health and economic advantages of local farming.  A farmer appreciation event is held yearly for all applicants and awardees to honor and recognize our farmers and promote the importance of local farming.

Below is a complete list of the 2016 Recipients of the Local Farmer Awards:

Name of Farm Grantee Location Farm Membership
Caretaker Farm Williamstown, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Chaseholm Farm Creamery Pine Plains, NY Berkshire Grown Member
Climbing Tree Farm New Lebanon, NY Berkshire Grown Member
Equinox Farm Sheffield, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Hosta Hill Housatonic, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Jennings Brook Farm New Ashford, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Justamere Tree Farm Worthington, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Mill River Farm Great Barrington, MA Berkshire Grown Member
MX Morningstar Farm Copake, NY Berkshire Grown Member
New Leaf Farm New Lebanon, NY Berkshire Grown Member
North Plain Farm Great Barrington, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Woven Roots Farm, Inc. Tyringham, MA Berkshire Grown Member
Amherst Nurseries Amherst, MA CISA Member
Atlas Farm Deerfield, MA CISA Member
Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery Ashfield, MA CISA Member
Book & Plow Farm Amherst, MA CISA Member
Boyden Bros. Maple Conway, MA CISA Member
Bridgemont Farm Westhampton, MA CISA Member
Enterprise Farm Whately, MA CISA Member
Freeman Farm Heath, MA CISA Member
Fungi Ally Hadley, MA CISA Member
Good Bunch Farm Conway, MA CISA Member
Grace Hill Farm Cummington, MA CISA Member
Headwater Cider Hawley, MA CISA Member
Hettie Bell Farm Warwick, MA CISA Member
Intervale Farm Westhampton, MA CISA Member
Joe Czajkowski Farm Hadley, MA CISA Member
Just Roots Inc. Greenfield, MA CISA Member
Kosinski Farms Westfield, MA CISA Member
Lyonsville Farm Colrain, MA CISA Member
Mayval Farm Westhampton, MA CISA Member
Moon in the Pond Farm Sheffield, MA CISA Member
Mycoterra Farm Westhampton, MA CISA Member
New Lands Farm Westfield, MA CISA Member
Park Hill Orchard LLC Easthampton, MA CISA Member
Paul's Sugar House Williamsburg, MA CISA Member
Red Barn Honey Company Northampton, MA CISA Member
Riverland Farm Sunderland, MA CISA Member
Seeds of Solidarity Farm Orange, MA CISA Member
Simple Gifts Farm North Amherst, MA CISA Member
Stonegate Farm Conway, MA CISA Member
The Kitchen Garden Sunderland, MA CISA Member
The Little White Goat Dairy Orange, MA CISA Member
Warm Colors Apiary South Deerfield, MA CISA Member
Warner Farm Sunderland, MA CISA Member
Wild Rose Farm Hatfield, MA CISA Member
Wilkes Farm North Hatfield, MA CISA Member

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Local Farmer Awards
Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation 

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