The Baker-Polito Administration today announced seven Massachusetts farms with land permanently protected from development through the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR) have been selected to receive up to $375,000 in total grant funding from the APR Improvement Program (AIP). AIP helps sustain active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resource’s (MDAR) APR Program. Additionally, AIP provides technical assistance and business analysis to help improve the productivity and profitability of participating farms with the goal of enhancing the significance of APR farm operations and their contribution to the state’s agricultural industry.
“Massachusetts’ agricultural industry provides important jobs within local communities and produces farm fresh products,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration remains committed to supporting the Commonwealth’s farms, and I congratulate the AIP Grant Program recipients on today’s grants and on their commitment to agriculture and the environment.”
“The Department of Agricultural Resources appreciates the commitment these farm families have made to keep their land in agriculture and to preserve the future viability of agricultural enterprises,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “The Baker-Polito Administrations understands the commitment these farm families have made to keeping their land in agriculture and provides assistance to help their farm businesses stay viable.”
Since it first began in 2009, AIP has provided a total of $4.5 million in grants (averaging $68,462 per farm) and more than $405,000 in technical assistance (averaging $6,231 per farm) to 65 Massachusetts farms that own a combined total of approximately 9,193 acres of permanently protected farmland within the Commonwealth.