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State commercial farm assistance program reaches milestone

January 8, 2022 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — A state program that helps working farms with business planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure grants to support their viability celebrated a milestone this week by partnering with its 100th farm.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Agricultural Preservation Restriction Improvement Program began in 2010.

The program enables commercial farms with land that has already been protected to participate in the improvement program to get help with financial viability, resource conservation, family succession, modernization of infrastructure, and other issues.

“Farmers that participate in AIP report improved operational efficiency, continue to invest in needed infrastructure on their farms, and show a significant increase in gross income in subsequent years,” Commissioner John Lebeaux said in a statement Friday.

Since the program started, it has provided $7 million in total grants and a total of $560,000 in technical assistance services to the 100 Massachusetts farms.