Growing the
Future of Food
In Our Community
May 2021

Dear Friend,
 
What is it that ties you to the Berkshires, the thing that calls you back or has made you stay? For me, without hesitation, food. Local food, to be more specific. Anywhere I drive, whether through Berkshire County or into neighboring Litchfield or Dutchess County, I’m never far from the sweetest strawberries, tender meats, delicious yogurt, amazing cheeses, or refreshing locally brewed beer.
 
But it’s easy to be grateful for the final product. What’s not easy is making, tending, growing, loving the “product”, every day, rain or shine, from seed to green or calf to cow. It requires unyielding dedication.
 
I say local food ties me to the Berkshires, but in reality, it’s what is behind the product. The inspiring dedication of individuals who are our region's local farmers and food producers.

Today, your farmers need you. Help us, help our farmers.

Mount Everett, South Egremont, MA. Photo courtesy of Board Member, Don Perdue
Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) mission is to support the development and viability of local farms and food producers. We do this by offering technical and business assistance and provide flexible financing options including low-interest loans and grants, and other resources. 

In 2020 alone, BAV assisted more than double the number of farmers we have supported since our founding in 2016. This trend is not slowing down. Our small yet diligent, 4 person team, continues to receive high volumes of requests. Farms and food producers continue to face challenges, in part triggered by the realities of climate change and the ever-shifting national economic landscape.

BAV needs your help if we are to continue our mission.
You can help us, help our farmers.

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures is looking to raise 
$50,000 for our Resilience Fund.

BAV’s Resilience Fund is our grants program. Grants given out through this Fund are awarded for a number of different purposes, from agroforestry initiatives to job training support to Market Match funding. For-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations in the food and agricultural sector who submit proposals that fit within our strategic priority areas are all eligible for assistance. 

Because we accept applications on a rolling basis, the Resilience Fund allows BAV to remain flexible, assess critical needs and act quickly in response. Yet the impact of our funding and assistance remains the same, direct and intersectional.

As recent grant recipient Will Conklin, Director of Greenagers, phrased it… 
“BAV works on creating better efficiencies and helping farmers on the business side, as well as educating the community. Without both of those sides coming together, economically it is just not going to work. And within all that, if the farmers are successful and BAV is helping the farmers become successful that is creating more jobs and growing the local food economy.”

-  Will Conklin, Greenagers Director
& Sky View Farm Owner
All financial support provided through our Resilience Fund (or ANY of our funds) is going directly to the farmers and food producers. If you follow us on social media, you’ve seen it for yourself! Little feels as rewarding, as looking a farmer in the eyes and handing over the check that will truly improve their business and well-being.

BAV continues to receive a high volume of grant requests and I cannot bear the thought of having to turn anyone away in need of assistance.
So I’ll ask you again, what ties you to the Berkshires, to this special place? I can guarantee at least one of your Berkshire-made memories is connected to food...

Have you thanked your farmer?
Donate online through our website at berkshireagventures.org or by check today. Investors who want to support our work in other ways can please contact me directly at glenn@berkshireagventures.org.
Thank you,
Glenn Bergman
Interim Executive Director
Berkshire Agricultural Ventures | info@berkshireagventures.org | www.berkshireagventures.org