In this workshop, participants gained knowledge/understanding of state/federal grant and loan programs. The instructors analyzed Requests for Applications (RFA), eligibility criteria, matching funds and cost-share requirements, and sample proposals to identify the components of a good application. The event included an engaging Q&A session.
About the presenters:
Jennifer Hashley is the Trisha Pérez Kennealy and Michael Kennealy Director for New Entry. Prior to becoming Director in 2006, Jennifer was the New Entry Project Coordinator for five years. Jennifer is a leader in local food systems work focusing on beginning farmer development. Her role at New Entry includes building community partnerships, developing new programs and services, mentoring and supporting project staff, securing sustainable resources for all program operations, writing grants, strategic planning, and overseeing incubator training farm site infrastructure and a multi-year sustainable agriculture training curriculum in specialty crops and livestock production for limited resource farmers.
Christopher Laughton is the Director of Knowledge Exchange and manager of the FarmStart Program at Farm Credit East. His role includes leading customer education programs and performing outreach to agricultural communities throughout the Northeast. Before joining Farm Credit East, Chris worked for his family’s greenhouse/nursery business. He has a BA in horticulture from Cornell University, an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, and a Master of Science in Applied and Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut.
Jeff Cole is a 9th generation farmer in Sutton, MA with over 25 years of farming experience. He has deep roots in agriculture and focuses on creating systemic change through collaboration, education, and building networks of support. Jeff worked as the Mass Farmers Markets Executive Director for 19 years and was a founding Board Member of the Boston Public Market and the National Farmers Market Coalition. Jeff advised the USDA in the creation of the Know Your Farmer Know your Food Program. He serves on the MA Food Policy Council, the Worcester County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, and the MA Food System Collaborative working group on Boards of Health. In addition to being The Carrot Project’s Client Services Specialist, he also works part time as the MA Food System Collaborative’s Agricultural Network Coordinator. More recently, Jeff has opened his farm’s land and infrastructure to beginning, immigrant, and refugee farmers. He has a degree in Economics from Bates College.
• USDA SARE’s Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities—a guide to federal programs in support of sustainable agriculture and food systems
• SARE’s Tips for Submitting a Strong Farmer Grant Proposal—application tips from farmer grantees
• MDAR A to Z Programs—a comprehensive list of MDAR’s programs and services
• Farm Credit East’s Grants and Awards—information on sustainable ag grants
• MDAR’s Navigating Grant Opportunities for Dairy—a decision tree tool to help dairy farmers explore financial assistance options
This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award number 2021-70027-34693, as an effort to connect Massachusetts' Underserved and Beginning Producers to Safety Net and Farm Support Programs.