Fletcher Farm, Southampton MA, Fans for Dairy Cows

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Farm funding milestone reached; Local man elected to NPGA; Jacob’s Pillow selects new caterer; Grant awarded to BEAT; EforAll awards prizes; Goodwill given grant; Cannabis company launches collaboration

Jacob’s Pillow announced an agreement to enhance the food, beverage and hospitality offerings for patrons.

Funders Reach 8-Year Million Dollar Milestone in Awards to Local Farms

Many Forks Farm, LLC, Clarksburg MA, Making the Cut Greens Harvester

AGAWAM, Mass. — The Local Farmer Awards, a funding initiative launched in 2015, reached the million-dollar milestone in May 2022. Over the past eight years, more than 470 grants have been made to farmers in Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires. The funding initiative was begun by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y Foods.

Last month, 74 farmers primarily located in Western Massachusetts received the 2022 awards – checks of up to $2,500 for infrastructure improvements.  (See attached for a sortable list of farm winners, projects, and location).  Totaling $165,500, these grants help sustain robust projects related to growing, harvesting, and processing.

Program director Cari Carpenter notes that the publicity generated by the Local Farmer Awards draws much needed attention to the productivity of all farms in the region, whether or not they have been award recipients

— S.B.

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Michael Hopsicker, courtesy of Ray Murray, INC.

Mike Hopsicker elected Treasurer of National Propane Gas Association

LEE, Mass. — Mike Hopsicker was elected as Treasurer of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) Ray Murray, Inc. announces. Mike Hopsicker has been a Board Member of NPGA or involved in NPGA committees since 1996. Mike has been President & CEO of RMI since 2005 and is currently the sole owner. He has over 25 years of experience in the propane, and other related energy industries.

— S.B.

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Jacob’s Pillow Selects Boston Gourmet Management Company as Hospitality Partner

BECKET, Mass. — Jacob’s Pillow announced an agreement with Sodexo Live! and joint venture partner Gourmet Caterers of Boston to enhance the food, beverage and hospitality offerings for patrons. Boston Gourmet Management Company will incorporate local Berkshire influences into new menus in existing onsite eateries.

Jacob’s Pillow Dining – photo by Hayim Heron

Jacob’s Pillow is a 220-acre National Historic Landmark and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival, nestled in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. Jacob’s Pillow notable Dance Festival runs June 22 – August 28 and brings in thousands of guests from the U.S. and around the world to bask in the history of dance. For more information about Jacob’s Pillow, visit www.jacobspillow.org.

— S.B.

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Grant awarded to BEAT for kids education about insects

Image courtesy of Greg Thompson/USFWS

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Crane Family Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awarded $2,200 to Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). The grant was awarded to support connecting kids with nature through programs in parks in the Westside of Pittsfield.

The grant will allow the BEAT to purchase materials and plan programs centered around educating kids about pollination, biodiversity, and the importance of insects to the global ecosystem.

— S.B.

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EforAll Berkshire County Announces Prize Winners for Spring 2022 Cohort

EforAll Berkshire County Logo

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County awarded nearly $10,000 in prizes to the Spring 2022 Business Accelerator Cohort.

Jenny Gitlitz (Dalton) of Berkshire Family Advocates received the Paula Buxbaum Award– established in honor of a member of the Fall 2021 cohort who died in a car crash in October 2021. This award in Paula’s memory is granted to an individual making a career pivot and incorporating a social mission into their business. Rachel Hailey (North Adams) for DEI Outdoors was awarded $1,000. Deirdre Horan (Great Barrington) of Dri Ocean Products was awarded $2,300. Jackye Stoddard (Hudson, NY) for Hierba Buena Foods was awarded $2,500. Elizabeth Heller (Pittsfield) for The Kids Super Journal was awarded $3,500.

The virtual event, beginning with remarks from Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, was also simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television. The recording is available to view here: https://youtu.be/yTeFMsVcB-4

EforAll’s next Accelerator class will begin in September 2022 and applications are due at www.eforall.org before August 25th.

— S.B.

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Goodwill Awarded Grant from Feigenbaum Foundation for Capital Improvements

Image courtesy of Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Feigenbaum Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. The grant will be put toward the cost of a much-needed roof replacement at Goodwill’s headquarters, warehouse, and training center at 158 Tyler St. The cost of the roof replacement has been estimated to be $400,000.

According to David Twiggs, Goodwill’s president and CEO, the warehouse roof is leaking in a number of places and has been an ongoing challenge that has significantly limited the amount of usable space in the building. The large building on Tyler Street houses Goodwill’s administrative offices and its 25-member warehouse production team, who process donations to be sold in Goodwill’s retail stores in the Berkshires. The building contains classrooms and areas for Goodwill’s workforce development programs and on-site job training programs in employability skills and custodial and customer service.

— S.B.

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Cannabis Company The Pass Announces Collaboration with Howl’s Tinctures

The Pass Logo

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The Pass, a recreational cannabis company specializing in farm-to-label care, announces their collaboration with Howl’s Tinctures. This partnership marks the launch of their exclusive limited edition summer tincture, available at The Pass and select dispensaries throughout Massachusetts.

This collaboration blossomed through both brands’ commitment to nature and their communities, all while providing a high quality product in a sustainable manner. This limited edition tincture was created with the intention of celebrating the spirit of summer and the spirit of Flo, The Pass’ cannabis flower grown at their outdoor farm.

For more information visit www.thepass.co.

— S.B.