July 2020 News

Direct Investment & Growth in the Local
Food Economy
BAV's priority areas for support include strategies that promote regenerative agriculture to help keep farm systems healthy and resilient in the face of climate change; improve land access and make farmland affordable for farmers; create season extension greenhouses and cold storage; fund on- and off-farm processing facilities; and support other means to strengthen the viability and sustainability of local farmers.
The health and resilience of our food system is more important than ever. In a time of significant change and challenge, we have found an important moment where BAV is making an immediate positive impact on our food system and our community. You will read about some of the highlights of the past year in this report as well as information on our Resilience Fund for Farmers. Click below or the image to the left to read our full Community Impact Report.
Impact of Resilience Fund for Farmers to Date
Since being established in early April, the BAV Resilience Fund for Farmers has awarded several grants to support farmers who are experiencing business challenges as a result of COVID-19.

To date, three projects have been funded which have benefited 51 farms in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

In addition, BAV's first Resilience Fund recipient, Roots Rising's Virtual Farmer's Market packaged and delivered 2,782 orders , generated $99,000 in income for farmers and food producers , and helped put more than $70,000 worth of locally grown food onto the tables of families in need.

More information on our Resilience Fund for Farmers, including how you can help, can be found here .
COVID-19 Farmer Audit
Since the end of April, BAV has been communicating with a wide variety of farmers to get a sense of how their businesses have been affected through the COVID-19 pandemic, and how BAV can be most helpful to them during this crisis and beyond. Dan Carr, BAV's Technical Assistance and Outreach Coordinator, along with Mark Phillips, BAV Consultant, have conducted formal interviews over the phone and in person with farmers from many different farms throughout the region, and have had follow up conversations as their situations change, and we consider ideas to address those challenges.

This work is informing much of BAV's work during this time of uncertainty. For farmers interested in participating in the audit, please contact Dan Carr at dan@berkshireagventures.org.
Corporate Donation Boosts Resilience Fund
BAV is pleased to have received a grant from Pittsfield Cooperative Bank towards the Resilience Fund for Farmers. The grant represents the first corporate support to the Fund.

"We are very grateful for this generous gift from Pittsfield Cooperative Bank to our Resilience Fund for Farmers. The grant will allow us to provide deeper support to our key constituents, the farmers who are providing our neighbors with fresh, healthy, and local food," said Cynthia Pansing, BAV Executive Director.

"The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank is proud to support the work of the Berkshire Agricultural Ventures and the Resilience Fund for Farmers during this extraordinary time. At a time when local food systems and healthy food is important to our communities more than ever before, we thank them for their work." said J. Jay Anderson, President and CEO of the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
Special Thanks to our Supporters
Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Community Foundation of New Jersey, Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, The Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, The Thompson Family Foundation, The Whitehead Foundation, Anonymous (3), and the numerous individuals who have contributed to us over the past three years.
Berkshire Agricultural Ventures | info@berkshireagventures.org | www.berkshireagventures.org