The Healy-Driscoll administration, in partnership with United Way of Central Massachusetts (UWCM), has announced the philantropic Massachusetts Farm Resiliency Fund. This fund is in response to the rain and subsequent flooding events in July (resulting in a USDA Secretarial Disaster Designation). The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has estimated at least 75 farms have been damaged, with about 2,000 acres in crop losses projected, loss estimations are at a minimum of $15 million. This number will likely climb as more damage is assessed and the longer-term impacts set in. There is heavy support from the Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and private foundations, including the Eastern States Exposition, Community Foundation of Western MA and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA). As of August 22, 2023, $2 million of the $5 million goal has been raised. If you are interested in donating to the Mass Farm Resiliency Fund or bringing awareness to the Mass Farm Resiliency Fund on social media, here is the link.
Please be aware that the Massachusetts Farm Resiliency Fund has opened for applications, you should register for this first round of funding if you have related damages. Farms that have a gross income of greater than $10K and that have been impacted by the July flooding and rains are eligible to apply. No other qualifiers are required in the application. Be prepared to describe losses, economic damages, list resources used to offset damages, and provide a W-9.
“Grants will be provided in equal amount to all farms who indicate an impact of at least the amount of per-farm relief to be distributed and who attest to a need for this relief. Farmers with a lesser degree of impact will receive an amount equal to their indicated loss.”
Application link: https://unitedwaycm.org/ma-ff-app/
Deadline: August 25, 2023
Estimated disbursement: Septemer 1, 2023
Please be aware that this is a philantropic fund seperate from the state-financed relief fund designated to help farmers who experienced damage from disasters such as the May freeze and the Feburary deep freeze.
Prepared by Matthew Bley, Fruit Extension Educator II, UMass Extension