Application Information



We are pleased to launch the sixth year of the Local Farmer Awards! The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation in partnership with BIG Y and our sponsors Ann and Steve Davis, FARM CREDIT EAST, FRIENDLY’S, HP HOOD LLC, PEOPLE’S BANK, SPRINGFIELD SHERATON MONARCH PLACE, BAYSTATE HEALTH, and EASTERN STATES EXPOSITION we plan to distribute to local farmers awards totaling over $130,000

Award Amount: $2,500

If your farm has an infrastructure project that will help you compete in the marketplace, tell us on your application how an award of up to $2,500 for the specific project could help.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must have gross sales of at least $10,000
  • Must be a member of Berkshire Grown or CISA -- OR
  • If not a member of Berkshire Grown or CISA, farm must be located in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire County of Massachusetts
  • Farm must grow, harvest, and market your own agricultural products as more than 50% of your economic activity
  • Funds must be used for farm equipment and/or physical improvements
  • Project must start and finish in calendar year 2020

2020 Schedule

  • Application Opens – January 1, 2020
  • Application Closes – January 31, 2020
  • Final Decisions – Late March
  • Awards Issued – End of April or within 2 weeks of anticipated project start date
  • Recipients submit a short online project report – October 2020

Additional Information:

  • This is a competitive application for a limited number of awards (For example, we received 148 applications in 2019 and gave 62 awards.)
  • Applications review process is “blind,” meaning reviewers do not know the names of the farmers or farms whose applications are being evaluated. Reviewers do have farming knowledge and experience. They care.
  • If you applied and did not win an award, we encourage you to try again. If you applied and did receive an award in the past, we also encourage you to apply again.

Required on your application:

  • General information about your farm such as location, gross sales, and products you sell and sales outlets
  • Specific details about your proposed project, timeline, and the impact it would have on your business

Examples of winning projects:

In 2019, Award Amounts (based on the farmer requests) ranged from $750-$2,500

 

Expands Business

  • High-tunnel Irrigation
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Row cover and supports to protect crops from deer
  • Winter water and electricity
  • Walk-in cooler
  • Egg Washer

Improve Farm Efficiency   

  • Electric Fencing
  • Insect exclusion netting
  • Trailer high crop sprayer
  • Vacuum Seeder
  • High Tunnel Updates
  • Jang Seeders
  • Herbal processing equipment upgrade
  • Bulk Grain Silo
2019 winners and project titles

 

Examples of what the award cannot be used for:

  • Hiring staff
  • Marketing
  • Purchasing livestock
  • Solely cosmetic improvements

Tips for a strong application:

  • State why the proposed project is critical or valuable to your farm's future (for example: how it will help increase production and/or sales, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.)
  • If possible, provide quantitative information on how the project will provide a return on investment.
  • Explain why an award of up to $2500 will make a difference even if the project has a very large price tag.
  • Describe the issue or obstacle you are facing and how this project will help.
  • Be descriptive – tell a story.  Use words like “For example…”
  • Keep your project proposal as central to the core agriculture process as possible.
  • Recent winning applications have the following characteristics:
    • The proposed project was well thought through and researched
    • Concise and descriptive
    • Conveyed by showing direct impact of the project. This is often best done with numbers, but a few have been able to describe impact without numbers.
  • Showed facts related to the project
  • Persuasive about why the award was so important to their farm; told a story
  • Correct in terms of spelling and grammar (Ask someone else to proofread.)
  • This worksheet may help you work on a draft of your project descriptions 
   

The Local Farmer Awards is brought to you by:

 
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

 

Apply January 1st-31st

Application Submission FAQs

Congratuations to our award recipients! See past years:

Click below for maps of our Local Farmer Award Recipients
2018 & 2019 Winners
2015-2017 Winners

Read about us in the Winter 2017 Edition of the Edible Pioneer Valley
 

Farmer Stories

2019
Wellspring Harvest and Springfield's Salad Days​

2018
Anna Meyer, hart Farm

Sarah & Ryan Voiland, Red Fire Farm

Nate Frigard, Crimson & Clover Farm

Topher Sabot, Cricket Creek Farm

Contact

For more information please contact Cari Carpenter: [email protected] or 413-276-0831.