Unlocking MA Money for Your Farm: MDAR Grants and Financial Assistance Programs


Monday, January 23, 2023


6:00pm – 8:00pm





Unlocking MA Money for Your Farm: This workshop focuses on the many resources available to farmers in Massachusetts, including grants and business planning training. The workshop features information from MDAR on available grants as well as stories from farmers on how they have leveraged state funding to grow their businesses. The end of the workshop includes Q&A from attendees.

Link to: Fact Sheet - MDAR Grants and Financial Assistance Programs

About the MDAR presenters:

Diego Irizarry-Gerould attended University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources. After graduating in 2013, he worked at a number of farms in the Pioneer Valley, before starting his own small, no-till vegetable farm in 2017. In 2022, he sold the farm business and took his current role as a grant coordinator with MDAR, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

Rose Arruda is the Coordinator for the Food Trust, Food Ventures and Urban Agriculture Programs at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Rose works to build community partnerships, promote innovative projects and local initiatives to support food access. Since 2014, she has worked with and funded many urban farming enterprises and entrepreneurs that produce, cultivate, and sell agricultural products. Previous work includes over a decade of community organizing in Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods on issue based and political campaigns. She would be remiss to not note that her first career as a dairy farmer has come in quite handy.

About the farmers sharing experiences:

Nikki Bartley is the founder and owner of Cross Street Flower Farm in Norwell, MA. Her interest infarming began when she moved to Norwell with her husband in 2006 and began to explore the world of homesteading. In 2010 she helped establish Norwell Farms, a nonprofit community farm where she spent 5 years learning how to build a farm from the ground up. She began Cross Street Flower Farm on a plot in her backyard in 2015 and now operates on 7 acres at the historic Jacobs Farm property.

Lisa Evans is co-founder of We Grow Microgreens in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. After 12 years teaching in Boston Public schools, she developed a fascination with Microgreens in 2015. Since then, she has completed Interise’s Streetwise MBA certificate program endorsed by Boston University and New Entry’s certificate business program for new farmers. She and her partner Tim Smith have worked with multiple organizations and the city of Boston to turn a vacant lot into a thriving urban agricultural business.

Additional Resources
MDAR A to Z Programs—a comprehensive list of MDAR’s programs and services
MDAR Grants Story Map—stories about how MA farmers have used MDAR grants
MDAR’s Navigating Grant Opportunities for Dairy—a decision tree tool to help dairy farmers explore financial assistance options
Agricultural Grants and Financial Assistance Programs—a detailed guide to all MDAR programs, including grant application timelines and contact information

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.