Local Farmer Awards application window opens Jan. 1

  • Paul Lagreze, left, who is the owner of New England Wild Edibles in Colrain, chats with Harold Grinspoon during the third annual Local Farmer Awards on Nov. 29, 2017,  at Smith College.  GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • People socialize while noshing on food from area farms during the third annual Local Farmer Awards, Nov. 29, 2017, at Smith College. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 12/25/2017 11:04:22 PM

AGAWAM — Area farms will have another chance to win a grant for improvements to farm equipment and infrastructure. The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation is accepting applications for its Local Farmer Awards from Jan. 1-31.

The foundation, in partnership with Big Y and other sponsors, launched the awards program in 2015.

“Our goal is to strengthen local farmers’ ability to compete in the marketplace so that our region benefits from the environmental, health and economic advantages of local farming,” the program’s website states.

Awards of up to $2,500 are given to each recipient farmer. For 2017, awards were given to 49 of 116 applicants.

In a statement, the foundation said that advice and assistance from Berkshire Grown and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) has been essential to the program’s success.

“Local family farms are a part of our culture and economy and the reason we call this area home,” Philip Korman, executive director of CISA, said in the statement. “This unique farm awards program makes it possible for family farms to strengthen that connections in our communities.”

For more information, visit www.farmerawards.org.

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