Grant-writing workshops to kick off this weekend

  • Fourth-generation farmer Sam Yazwinski is accompanied by Beech as he piles up silage at the Yazwinski Farm in Old Deerfield. The family grows 190 acres of corn to feed their 150 dairy and beef cows all winter. Recorder file photo/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Session One of a series of grant-writing workshops for farmers, hosted by Rural Commonwealth, will begin this weekend, March 10 and 11, in Shelburne Falls, Chesterfield and in Chester.

Altogether, three training sessions will be offered for three consecutive weekends this month, in response to requests that came out of the organization’s Agricultural Summit last month at Mohawk Trail Regional School.

The first agricultural grant-writing workshop covers two grants: the Farm Viability Enhancement Program and the Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program.

The goal of the Farm Viability grant is to improve farmers’ economic viability through improved management, direct marketing, value-added products and agri-tourism. The deadline for applying is April 10, and the grant amounts range from $25,000 to $125,000.

To prepare for this workshop, applicants will need copies of tax forms, mortgage information, farm and non-farm income and knowledge of tillable and non-tillable acreage. See ruralcommonwealth.org for information needed to fill out application.

The Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program offers money to support conservation practices and mitigate any negative environmental impacts of farming on water quality or air quality. The deadline for applying is April 25, and grants are available for up to $25,000 per applicant, with 15 percent matching funds required. No special preparation is required for this application.

These workshops take place at the following time and locations:

Saturday, 9 to 11 a.m. at The Village Enterprise Center, 26 Main St., Chester.

Saturday, 1 to 3 p.m. at Hilltown CDC, 387 Main Road, Chesterfield.

Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m., Shelburne Senior Center, 7 Main St., Shelburne Falls.

The same material will be covered at all three locations. Reservations are requested by calling Co-Director Beth Bandy at 413-824-2593 or by email at: beth.bandy@ruralcommonwealth.org

More grant writing programs will be offered March 17, 18, 24 and 25.