HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A tour Tuesday in Holyoke of new agriculture infrastructure that will benefit Northeast farmers.

22News was there for a look at the new Ground Up Grains Valley Malt facility on North Bridge Street. This is the facility’s second location in western Massachusetts, with the first being in Hadley. Renovating the building started in October 2020 and is now complete.

A representative told 22News the infrastructure will ground up local flour from New York and New England and provides malt for local breweries. 22News also found out how this will provide a market for new crops to be grown by farmers for distribution and profitability.

“When you have a flour mill or a malt house that can buy those grains like barley, wheat, and rye, it means that is encouraging farmers to grow a crop that is going to help improve soil health,” said Andrea Stanley, Co-owner of Ground Up Grains/Valley Malt Facility. Stanley adds that more wealth is being created when the food system is local.

Three 2023 local hero recipients were also recognized for their agricultural efforts Tuesday night at the Gateway City Arts. Every year the Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) looks for important qualifications, businesses that have taken some risk, that have been here for a while, are central to the local food system, and continue to engage more of the community. CISA awarded Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, and Springfield Fresh Mobile Market this year.

“They’re going against the odds every day when they grow food, process food, harvest it, and distribute it all to our community. We live in a special place we call home, and maybe two or three other places in the nation, can have the claim that we have about this local food system,” expressed Philip Korman, Executive Director of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture.