Farmer Update: December 2020
A Message to our Farmers:
As we prepare to close out an unforgettable year for local agriculture, SEMAP has some tidbits you should know for the coming months. In this email, you'll find information on:

  • Request for Proposals: 2021 Agriculture & Food Conference
  • SEMAP Beginning Farmer Program
  • Massachusetts Dept. of Transitional Assistance's new HIP Map
  • New Farmers Market in Canton
  • Organic Certification Cost Share Program
  • SARA APR Program
  • Young Farmer Grant Program
  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Grant Deadline
  • Updated SEMAP Business Member Benefits

If you missed our Annual Meeting on November 19th, don't fret! Check out our recap on the SEMAP blog. We hope that your winter is off to a smooth start, and that you enjoy the holiday season safely! We can't thank you enough for all of your hard work this year and every year.

Please call if you have questions: (508) 524-2601
With thanks,

Karen Schwalbe
Executive Director
Request for Proposals:
2021 Agriculture and Food Conference
Our virtual 2021 Agriculture & Food conference is this February, and we're looking for presenters! Programming will focus on four tracks: Beginning Farmer, Grower, Business & Marketing, and Foodie & Homesteader.

Have a great idea for a workshop? Know someone who'd host a stellar session? Fill out our short proposal survey—we can't wait to hear from you!
SEMAP Beginning Farmer Program
Calling all beginning farmers! If you've been farming for less than 10 years, SEMAP has special resources available for you. We want to help you succeed in your farm business, so we have a program dedicated to beginning farmers. We offer special workshops tailored to your needs, 1-on-1 technical assistance, and discounts to the annual conference!

To take advantage of the Beginning Farmer program, please take our short survey at the link below. Be sure to provide your email so you can receive important information from us!

Learn more about SEMAP's beginning farmer program here.
Sign Up for New HIP Map
The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance is launching a new interactive map for consumers to find HIP locations in their areas, and those locations' hours of operation. If you haven't already listed your HIP business, do it now! Here are directions on how to add your business to the platform.
The map is not yet released to the public, so please don't share at this time.

For more information, please email Mia Kortebein, HIP Coordinator at the Department of Transitional Assistance:
New Farmers Market in Canton
We are looking for 1-2 farmers to join a new market in Canton starting this spring. Our planning team, which includes an experienced Market Manager, has two great (visible and well trafficked) location options, resident and municipal support, and tons of enthusiasm!

Reach out to Amanda Ryder (, 781-223-0868) with questions or for more information!
Organic Certification Cost Share Program
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has extended the deadline to apply for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) to December 15, 2020. The OCCSP is a cost sharing program that reimburses certified organic farmers and food processors up to 50% ($500 maximum) of the total certification cost. Organic operations certified for crops, wild crops, livestock and handlers may apply.
SARA Program Deadline
The deadline to apply for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources' Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA) program is December 18 at 4:00 p.m. This program helps resolve stewardship issues caused by a prior owner to restore active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the Department’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program.

Funds may cover materials and contracted labor or equipment rental costs to clear or reclaim inactive fields that are out of production at no fault of the current owner. Eligible projects include clearing vegetation, pulling rocks or stumps, or reseeding or applying soil or crop amendments to inactive cropland or pastureland to bring it back into production.
Young Farmer Grant Program
The National Young Farmer's Coalition has launched the Young Farmer Grant Program to provide 50 young/beginning farmers with $5,000 each to support everyday needs from infrastructure projects, operating costs, and professional development, to off-farm expenses like childcare, housing, and student loan debt. The funds could also be used to get that extra boost to start up a new operation.

45 awards will go to businesses already in operation, and 5 will be for projects starting in 2021. Click the link below to apply or register for a Q+A session.
Applications close January 15, 2021!
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Round 2:
Deadline Approaching!
The USDA is accepting applications for an expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through December 11, 2020. CFAP Round 2 will provide producers with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. CFAP 2 follows the first round of CFAP, which had an application period of May 26 through September 11.
Become a SEMAP Member
As we edge toward a new year and fresh start, consider registering as a SEMAP Business Member in 2021. Membership in SEMAP helps us continue to provide promotion and technical assistance to farmers across Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond.

Business members receive a host of benefits, including...
  • Member Spotlight on SEMAP's blog
  • Access to business development resources
  • Discount ads in Local Food Guide
  • Free boosted Facebook posts

Membership is available at several levels. Come join us!
PO Box 80625,
S. Dartmouth, MA 02748 
Executive Director:
(508) 524-2601