GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Great Barrington nonprofit organization has awarded more than $1-million in funding to farmers and food producers in the Berkshires, Columbia, and Dutchess Counties in New York, and Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) offers both grants and low interest loans. The 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 grant fund, the Resilience Fund, they have awarded over thirty grants. This fund started in response to Covid-19 and the pandemic’s exacerbated effects on food producers in the area and 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 sixty-eight 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.
BAV says their 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 is a 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt nonprofit whose mission is dedicated to supporting farm and food business development and viability by offering access to technical assistance and nimble financing including low-interest loans, grants, and other professional resources. BAV brings together collaborative financing and technical assistance for farmers and food makers in the region of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by using donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses.