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NEW: Central Mass Towns Awarded Farming Grants

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

 

The Central Mass towns of Hardwick, Orange, Paxton, Rutland, and Townsend are among the municipalities the Patrick-Murray Administration awarded grants to today in order to help Massachusetts farmers implement renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency on farms. 

"These grants will give our farmers the resources for economic success and drive our clean energy future," said Governor Deval Patrick. "They are a step in delivering on our goal to make Massachusetts a leader in the clean energy revolution that is sweeping the world."

There were 27 grants awarded for a total $325,000 through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (DAR) Agricultural Energy Grant Program

“This grant program is an important component of the Commonwealth’s efforts to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, whose office includes DAR.

“I want to thank this year’s recipients who are partners in our progress toward a clean energy future.”
Grants will fund projects such as photovoltaic systems for vegetable and orchard operations, variable speed vacuum pumps for dairies, reverse osmosis machines for maple syrup operations, and thermal blankets for greenhouses.

“These grants not only help farmers realize immediate energy efficiency benefits but also provide economic stimulus to local businesses providing materials and equipment to farms,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson.

The Agricultural Energy Grant Program is one of several within DAR’s Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance (DACTA). The division’s mission is to provide technical assistance, training, conservation, and funding to promote economically viable and environmentally sound agricultural practices in Massachusetts.

“This program is key in helping farmers adopt cleaner energy practices and reduce energy consumption all across Massachusetts, keeping them sustainable and in step with the Commonwealth’s long-term energy goals,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia.

The program has funded 120 projects statewide since 2009, providing growers and producers more than $1.6 million to address energy issues on their farms. This year, 38 applicants submitted a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects totaling approximately $750,000 in requests.
 
“The impact of grants such as this cannot be understated,” said Sen. Marc Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “The valuable funding will provide farmers a solid economic benefit and will help us all advance toward a long-term true sustainable development future. 
 
“The Patrick Administration continues to be a leader in energy projects. These grants, which literally benefit every corner of the Commonwealth, are a key to helping our farmers and agricultural sector continue to prosper and remain viable,” said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
 

 

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