Support the Local Farmer Awards



Our goal is to continue to bring together leaders in the community who want to join us invest in our local farms.  Here is a letter from Harold Grinspoon conveying why he began this initiative:
 
For at least a decade, I’ve bought all my summer produce from a farm cooperative or CSA – but it was only within the last couple of years that I became aware of the many needs of local farmers.  Wanting to do something and provide financial support, I decided in 2015 to give $75,000 to fund the Local Farmer Awards.  I couldn’t have predicted the response. In three short years, we have received a total of 332 applications for these awards. In 5 years we have received 626 applications for these awards.  Amazing – but problematic – for this year (2019) we were able to give awards of $2,500 to only 62 or 42% or those farms that applied. Farmers are independent people who are disinclined to seek help, so their response was telling me how great their needs are.

What have these awards accomplished? The farmers have all made infrastructure improvements, whether that meant purchasing a new piece of equipment to improve a harvesting process or repairing a fence to keep their livestock protected.  The farmers have told us that these awards accelerate and ensure completion of these much-needed improvements.  These improvements are good for all of us, leading to more local, healthy food on our tables and strengthening our local farmers’ ability to compete in the marketplace.

This year we have had 148 applications and are able to fund 62. If you do the math you’ve realized that 86 of the applicants could not be addressed. So why am I writing to you? I am asking you, as someone who truly cares about our community, to join the funding team for the Local Farmer Awards. You will be in good company, joining our partner Big Y and our funders Ann and Steve Davis, Friendly's, Farm Credit East, HP Hood LLC, People's Bank, Springfield Sheraton Monarch Place, Baystate Health, and Eastern States Exposition.  

I hope you’ll consider joining us. Please know that 100% of your contribution will have a direct impact on our local farms. And there are a lot of farms -- more than 800 farms in our region which have sales of over $10,000 (the amount required for a Local Farmer Award). If you are interested in joining our team of funders, contact our Farm Award Program Director Cari Carpenter at [email protected] or 413-276-0755.  
     
Please consider expanding your investments in our community to include our farmers whom we all too often take for granted. Thank you.


Special Thanks to Our Partners and Sponsors!

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Big Y Logo
Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation Logo
Ann and Steve Davis
Farm Credit East
Friendly's
Hood
Peoples Bank
Sheraton Springfield
Bay State Health
Florence Bank

Special thanks to Berkshire Grown and CISA