BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has announced that its Agricultural Preservation Restriction Improvement Program (AIP) has achieved a major milestone by partnering with its 100th farm within the Commonwealth. AIP began in 2010, with participating farms receiving business planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure grants to support their farm’s viability.
“Farmers that participate in AIP report improved operational efficiency, continue to invest in needed infrastructure on their farms, and show a significant increase in gross income in subsequent years,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “These results are consistent with the purpose of AIP, which is to help improve the productivity and profitability of participating farms, and to enhance the significance of APR farm operations and their contribution to the state’s agricultural industry.”
The APR Improvement Program enables commercial farms with land that has already been protected through MDAR’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program to participate in the improvement program with the goal to assist farmers with issues of financial viability, resource conservation, family succession, modernization of infrastructure, and other issues that may enhance the long term continued use of the agricultural resource.
Since the program first began, AIP has provided $7 million in total grants and a total of $560,000 in technical assistance services to the 100 Massachusetts farms. For more information about AIP, please visit the MDAR program website. AIP is one of several programs within DAR’s Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance (DACTA), whose mission is to advance the conservation and utilization of agricultural resources through preservation, environmental stewardship, technology, technical assistance and education in order to enhance the viability of agricultural enterprises and safeguard natural resources.
–Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources