AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A funding program to help support local farmers is celebrating reaching the $1-million mark in awards granted.

The Local Farmer Awards began in 2015 by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) and Big Y Foods, and has provided more than 470 grants to farmers across western Massachusetts over the past eight years. Other supporting donors to the program include Ann & Steve Davis, Charles & Elizabeth D’Amour, PeoplesBank, DeNucci Group at Merrill Lynch, Farm Credit East, HP Hood LLC, Audrey & Chick Taylor, Baystate Health, Country Bank and others.

According to a news release sent to 22News, 74 farmers primarily located in Western Massachusetts received the 2022 awards in May, totaling $165,500. The grants are used by the farms for various projects for growing, harvesting and processing crops as well as infrastructure improvements.

For more information on the Local Farmer Awards and other community initiatives through the HGCF, go to their website.