Greenagers and BAV hope this program lends a hand to local farms, introduces young workers to agricultural enterprises, and creates community pathways for youth employment, farm viability, and food sovereignty. Photo courtesy Greenagers

Business Briefs: Greenagers farm crews for hire; Berkshire Money Management gives to Berkshire United Way; new BFAIR board members

Greenagers is offering 3-person crews for hire to farms in the tri-state Berkshires region. The cost is partially subsidized by a grant from Berkshire Agricultural Ventures and private donors.

Greenagers offering partially subsidized farm crews for hire

SOUTH EGREMONT — Greenagers is now offering a 3-person farm crew for hire to local farms. The total cost to farms is $260/day. (The total unsubsidized cost per day is $517.26.) This project is made possible by a grant from Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) — covering 35 percent of the cost — and private donors. At times, the crew may be joined by an Americorps-Terracorps member at no additional cost. The crew will be covered by Greenagers’ liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Dan Carr of BAV and Will Conklin of Greenagers. Photo courtesy BAV

The crew will work a full 8-hour day on the farm, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch, unless different timing is arranged beforehand. The crew will comprise one farmer (minimum 3 years of experience) and two helpers with farm or conservation work experience. At least two crew members will be able to run motorized tools and machinery.

Greenagers is happy to bring additional hand tools as needed. The crew has approximately 40 days available to work on local farms. The goal is to work on as many farms as possible in the tri-state Berkshires region. Crew dates may be booked at any time until the schedule is full.

It is the hope of Greenagers and BAV that this program lends a hand when needed on local farms, introduces eager young workers to diverse agricultural enterprises and people, and creates community pathways for youth employment, farm viability, and food sovereignty.

—A.K.   

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Berkshire Money Management supports Berkshire United Way’s volunteer month

DALTONBerkshire Money Management (BMM) has again given support to Berkshire United Way (BUW) in its efforts to promote food access, education, emergency funding, and economic prosperity in the Berkshires. BMM has donated $10,000 to BUW to help fund its #HereForGood Volunteer Month.

Photo courtesy Berkshire Money Management

“We have always and consistently supported community endeavors that raise up our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family in as many ways as we can,” said BMM Community Development Director Nichole Dupont. “This past year has been particularly focused on daily service and being of service to our community. Our community needs us, all of us, more than ever before — and not just now, but in the coming year and years ahead. So that’s where BMM is going to be.”

April is National Volunteer Month and, locally, Berkshire United Way will host a series of volunteer activities throughout the county, including outdoor events for kids, Book House stocking, trail cleanup, assembling and delivering meal packs to families, and more.

Snap a picture of yourself “doing good” — planting a tree, helping a neighbor, cleaning up trash — and share it on social media using the hashtag #HereForGood. BUW will send you a gift and enter you into its photo contest. The winner will be announced at BUW’s virtual Live United Community Celebration on April 29.

—A.K.   

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BFAIR announces new board members and annual elections

Dr. Gray Ellrodt. Photo courtesy BFAIR

NORTH ADAMS — BFAIR recently welcomed three members of the Berkshire community to its Board of Directors: Dr. Gray Ellrodt, Attorney Steve Narey, and Laila Boucher.

Dr. Gray Ellrodt, former chief of medicine at Berkshire Medical Center, comes to BFAIR with more than 30 years of experience in the medical field. Gray is a volunteer with the American Heart Association (AHA), a past president of the AHA Berkshire Board, and received its Chairman’s Award in 2009. He is also past president of the Northeast Affiliate Board of Directors, past chair of the Get With The Guidelines (GWTGs) steering committee, and past chair of the Mission: Lifeline AWG. Ellrodt joined BFAIR’s Board of Directors in 2020 and, shortly thereafter, volunteered to co-chair the agency’s Annual Campaign fundraiser.

Attorney Steve Narey. Photo courtesy BFAIR

Attorney Steve Narey of Donovan, O’Connor & Dodig LLP, joined BFAIR’s Board of Directors in 2021. He has experience serving on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) Board, which he became involved with following the birth of his youngest son Cole. Serving as President from 2014–2018, Narey received the MDSC’s 2020 Leadership Award which recognizes an individual who advocates for disability causes and champions expanded opportunities for individuals with Down Syndrome. Narey serves on BFAIR Governance and Advocacy committees.

Laila Boucher. Photo courtesy BFAIR

Laila Boucher joined BFAIR’s Board of Directors in 2021, serving on the Finance and Development committees. Boucher is a Mississippi transplant who moved to Berkshire County in 2007. In 2008, she started her banking career with Adams Community Bank and currently is their vice president of Government Banking.

BFAIR’s annual elections were held on March 15, 2021 and the new slate of Board of Directors is as follows. Officers: Peter Mirante, Chairperson; Kim Baker, Vice Chair; Patti Messina, Clerk;

Dana Mullen, Treasurer. Directors: Laila Boucher, Dr. Gray Ellrodt, Alex Figueroa, Alex Kastrinakis, Martha Montgomery, Steve Narey, Esq., and Carter White. Alex Kastrinakis was recognized for having served two terms as Board Chair.

—A.K.