BOSTON – July 7, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced grants totaling $50,000 for projects that will help farmers improve the overall utilization of land resources permanently protected from development under the Department of Agricultural Resources’ (DAR) Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR).
“By choosing to protect their land from development, these farmers have committed to supporting a strong agricultural industry that benefits our local and regional economies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This assistance to dedicated farmers illustrates our administration’s ongoing support for the Commonwealth’s vibrant agriculture industry, which provides fresh, healthy food for our state’s residents.”
“Restoring and stewarding farmland to ensure fields remain in active, agricultural use will help these farms continue to be successful for future generations,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to provide this valuable assistance to farmers across the state who are committed to the enhancement of their land for agricultural purposes.”
The grants are being provided through a new DAR grant program, Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA). SARA will fund activities related to restoring and preparing land for active agricultural use, design or engineering plans, project implementation costs associated with resource restoration, legal or professional fees to address land ownership problems or compliance issues, and other activities that assist with enhancing the purposes of APR.
The first round of grants has been awarded to three farms in the towns of Ashfield, Dartmouth, and Greenfield. These grants will fund projects to remove stumps from an abandoned orchard to replant new apple trees, restore hayfields through brush clearing, apply fertilizer and lime, reseeding and reclaim old overgrown pasture land for active production. Read more →