MDAR Announces Open Application Period for Energy, Environmental and Food Safety Grant Programs

MDAR will be accepting applications from agricultural operations who wish to participate in the Department’s energy, environmental and food safety grant programs. Interested agricultural operations are encouraged to review the information and applications on each program’s webpage.  If interested in applying, applications must be submitted with any supporting documentation by the program’s deadline.

Ag-Energy Grant (Ag-Energy) Programs

The purpose of the MDAR’s Ag-Energy Grant Programs is to assist agricultural operations in an effort to improve energy efficiency and to facilitate adoption of alternative clean energy technologies in order that they can become more sustainable and the Commonwealth can maximize the environmental and economic benefits from these technologies.

This year’s AgEnergy Grant Request for Responses (RFR) contains applications for two separate energy programs: our Ag-Energy Traditional Grant, now in its 10th year, encompassing a wide variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects:   and Ag-Energy Special Projects, now in its 2nd year, for six specific project categories for agricultural energy projects that would typically require higher capital cost but potentially yield greater savings and/or positive agricultural impacts.

Reimbursement grants of up to $30,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis for the Ag-Energy Traditional Grant Program, while reimbursement grants up to varying amounts by category will be awarded on a competitive basis for the six specific categories under Ag-Energy Special Projects. The deadline for both program applications is Wednesday, June 7, 2017. All projects must have construction completed by June 30, 2018.

By implementing these projects under our programs, agricultural operation can help demonstrate novel ideas while contributing to the goals of: the MA Food Systems Plan; MA Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Implementation; and the MA Global Warming Solutions Act; and to advance technologies that can be replicated at other agricultural operations in Massachusetts.

Ag-Energy Grant applications are now available at the state website COMMBUYS and www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/ag-energy.html.

Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP)

The purpose of AEEP is to support agricultural operations that are looking to install conservation practices that prevent direct impacts on water quality, ensure efficient use of water, as well as address impacts on air quality. By providing reimbursement directly to agricultural operations that implement eligible projects that prevent, reduce or eliminate environmental impacts, the program achieves its purpose and goals of minimizing environmental impacts from these operations for the benefit of the Commonwealth.

AEEP is a competitive, re-imbursement grant program that funds materials and labor up to $20,000 or 80% of project costs. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2018.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

AEEP grant applications are available at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/aeep.html.

Agricultural Food Safety Improvement Program (AFSIP)

The purpose of AFSIP is to support produce operations that are looking to upgrade food safety practices within their operation.  By enhancing food safety measures these operations are able to maintain or increase their market access while working towards minimizing the risk of microbial contamination and food-borne illnesses. This re-imbursement grant program is currently only open to produce operations.

AFSIP is a competitive, re-imbursement grant program that funds projects up to $25,000 or 75% of total project costs.  All projects must be completed by June 30th, 2018.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
AFSIP grant applications are available at www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/afsip.html.

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