Berkshire agriculture group announces funding milestone for local farmers, food producers

Berkshire County
BAV and Roots Rising Grants

Starting on the left, Jamie Samowitz co-director of Roots Rising, Ciana Barnaba, Executive Assistant of Berkshire Agricultural Ventures, and Jessica Vecchia co-director of Roots Rising. Ciana is presenting a $5,000 grant for Roots Rising / Pittsfield Farmers Market, Market Match program. (Berkshire Agricultural Ventures)

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (NEWS10) — Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) announced that in the five years since their founding they have offered more than $1 million in funding to farmers and food producers in the Berkshire County, Mass., Columbia, and Dutchess Counties in New York, and Litchfield County, Connecticut.

This includes 24 direct loans through their Revolving Loan Fund, which offers flexible 0-2% interest loans. Capital within the Revolving Loan Fund is continuously recycled, creating a viable and reliable stream of support for agricultural entrepreneurs.

Through BAV’s Resilience Fund, they have awarded over 30 grants. This fund started in response to COVID-19 and the pandemic’s effects on food producers in the area. Yet, the Resilience Fund now acts as BAV’s main grant fund.

Grants are awarded on a rolling basis for a variety of requests that fit within BAV’s strategic priority areas. Additionally, BAV provided Technical Assistance, their most sought-after service, to over 68 farms. This includes a combination of in-house expertise, referrals to regional partners, and experienced consultants; most often pertaining to long-term financial planning and bookkeeping, as well as grazing and livestock management plans and agroforestry planning and implementation.

To date, BAV’s combined programs and services led to the creation of over 100 jobs, kept 2,500+ acres of farmland under active management, and preserved an additional 500+ acres of farmland. 

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) is a 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt nonprofit based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.   

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