Massachusetts Awards Grants to Support Dairy Farms

WWLP, August 15, 2016, by Mike Masciadrelli

State lawmakers have awarded six grants to help dairy farms become more competitive in the state.

The grants total about $183,000 and will go to several nonprofits. The goal is to boost sales and help local dairy farmers get their products into more local stores. The state says that right now only about 20 percent of milk that’s consumed in Massachusetts comes from local dairy farms.

The local nonprofit group Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, or CISA, is receiving $43,000 to help promote the industry in western Massachusetts. “This money is really going to help us talk about dairy farmers who mostly sell wholesale,” program coordinator Claire Morenon explained, “which is not as visible to consumers as other farms and their outlets.”

Morenon told 22News they plan to use some of the money for farm tours. They will also conduct a study at UMass Amherst to assess the cost of dairy production in the state. Morenon said there are only about 150 dairy farms left in Massachusetts.