Press Release: 2019-04-23
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1 Million in Grants to Help Farmers Address Climate Change
BOSTON — Building on a commitment to safeguard agricultural resources from the impacts of climate change, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $1,000,000 in grants to 40 Massachusetts agricultural operations to install practices that help mitigate their impacts on climate change and adapt to changing climate conditions. The grants were awarded through the Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program, which was created as part of the implementation of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.
“The ACRE grant program plays an important role in our administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector, build resiliency and ensure the long-term success of farms across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to work with Massachusetts farms and food suppliers through the ACRE program to better prepare for the impact of intense weather events.”
“Massachusetts’ farmers are leading the way in working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and making their operations environmentally sustainable,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The ACRE program continues to provide resources to farmers to adapt their operations to be better prepared for future conditions and help the Commonwealth achieve our ambitious climate and emissions reduction goals.”
Created under the Baker-Polito Administration, the ACRE program funds materials and labor for the implementation of practices that work to improve soil health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As impacts to farms are expected to result from more frequent and severe storm events, increased precipitation followed by periods of drought, higher overall temperature and increased evaporation rates, the program also offers incentives for agricultural operations to proactively address risks and strengthen their economic and environmental resiliency as they adapt to the changing climate. Proposals that address both mitigation and adaptation in their proposals are prioritized in funding.
“The funding awarded under the ACRE grant program will help incentivize innovation in the agricultural sector as farmer’s across the Commonwealth work to address vulnerabilities to climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to continue to work with farmers to mitigate the impacts of climate change on agricultural and locally grown products”
“ACRE is a key new program within the Department that is intended to position farmers to manage their operations in a time of increasing climate variability,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We are excited to be adding this program to our suite of funding programs to help address farmer’s needs for the future.”
The following local agricultural operations are receiving grants through the ACRE program:
“We all benefit when our local farms are successful,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “These grants help with sustainability while benefitting the soil and climate. I especially congratulate the farms and farmers in my district including, Ashland, Clover Hill, Many Hands and Signal Rock Farm and appreciate the ongoing support of MDAR.”
“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued efforts to make our farms more resilient and sustainable,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “These investments allow heritage farms that are an important economic and cultural part of our community, like the Tony Andrews Farm in East Falmouth, invest in new technology to make them sustainable and successful in 21st century agriculture.”