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PRESS RELEASE- Downing Announces $13,685 in Marketing Grants to Local Agricultural Organizations
May 06, 2008

Pittsfield- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) is pleased to announce that four agricultural organizations in his Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin Senate District have been awarded a total of $13,685 in marketing grants administered through the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (DAR).


“These local organizations work hard to promote our local farming industry,” said Downing. “I am pleased to see their programming receive funding to boost their marketing efforts.”


The grant program, now in its ninth year, is part of the Department’s campaign to increase consumer awareness of local agriculture and expand the market for Massachusetts products.  In total, this year the Department has awarded $298,000 in grants to 36 agricultural organizations across the Commonwealth.


Grants are awarded on a competitive basis requiring that proposals meet at least one of the following criteria: promotes Massachusetts agriculture; educates consumers about Massachusetts agriculture or products; increases the economic potential of the Commonwealth’s farming industry; or offers technical marketing assistance to one or more agricultural entities.  DAR gave special consideration to proposals that would develop new or alternative agricultural products or pursuits, increase opportunities for direct sales, and enhance opportunities for farmer and public participation in Massachusetts agricultural fairs. The grant program requires a dollar match, in-kind services match or a combination of the two. 


Local grants listed below:

Berkshire Area Farmers Market: Lanesborough- $3,000

Grant money will be applied to marketing and local advertisement to promote the market.


Community Health Programs: Great Barrington- $6,500

Funding will be used to expand the Medley Farmers Market, create new selling venues for farmers, and create connections between farmers and lower income residents.


Berkshire Grown: Great Barrington- $2,000

Funding will be used to help secure a demonstration chef for the Great Barrington Farmers Market and to promote the Farmers Market through regular website maintenance.


Ashfield Agricultural Commission: Ashfield- $2,185

Funding will assist the development of a multi-use exhibit to promote local agriculture for use at fairs and other local events.




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