NORTHAMPTON — Senator Eric P. Lesser congratulated farmers and celebrated their impact on Western Massachusetts in remarks at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s annual Local Farmer Awards on Wednesday.
“Our local farms are a vital component of our regional economy and culture. Since the Great Recession, state agriculture funding has seen large cuts, making the Grinspoon Foundation’s farmer awards a valuable resource for technical assistance to farms. Investing in our farms makes them more competitive, improving our local economy and enabling them to continue providing our communities with fresh, healthy produce and other goods,” said Senator Lesser.
Launched in 2015 in partnership with Big Y and sponsors HP Hood LLC, Baystate Health, Farm Credit East, MGM Springfield, Springfield Sheraton Monarch Place and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Local Farmer Awards fund physical infrastructure improvements to farms.
Since 2015 when this program began in Western Massachusetts, over $300,000 has been invested in 129 local farms to assist with much-needed improvements.
In 2017, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y awarded 49 local farmers $2,500 each.
2017 recipients include Dave’s Natural Garden in Granby, Ferrindino Farms in Hampden, Phoenix Fruit Farm in Belchertown and The Apple Place in East Longmeadow.