photo credit: Angela Cardinali

How We Help

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures supports one of our region’s greatest assets: local farms & food businesses.

BAV provides flexible financing and technical assistance to food and farm businesses in the Berkshire-Taconic region. Our service area includes Berkshire County, MA, Columbia and Dutchess Counties, NY, and Litchfield County, CT.

Our comprehensive financial and one-on-one support programs equip farmers and food businesses with the capital and expertise needed to build long-term, viable businesses and a resilient local food economy. While our primary focus is on for-profit farm and food businesses, we also support non-profits and institutions who share our vision for the Berkshire-Taconic region.

Learn more about these programs below!

Not sure what type of assistance is right for you? Call our office at 413-645-3594 to talk directly with a staff person, or submit an inquiry here and and we’ll be in touch.


Revolving Loan Fund

Offering nimble and flexible 0-2% interest loans to local farms and food businesses, our Revolving Loan Fund provide loan terms designed to provide targeted support and  a flexible alternative to traditional loan offerings. Capital within the Revolving Loan Fund is continuously recycled, creating a viable and reliable stream of support for agricultural entrepreneurs. 

Example projects include: 

  • Bridge loans at 0% interest for upfront costs related to federal (NRCS) and state reimbursement programs (MDAR) where funds are paid upon project completion.
  • Capital improvements that increase business viability, expand capacity, and support Good Agricultural Practices and conservation outcomes.
  • Regional food system infrastructure, such as value-added processing equipment, commercial kitchens, and food hubs. 

Resilience Fund

For-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations in the food and agricultural sector are eligible for assistance through our Resilience Fund. BAV accepts grant applications on a rolling basis for projects within our strategic priority areas:

  • Regenerative agriculture and climate adaptation strategies
  • Season extension 
  • Processing and regional infrastructure 
  • Affordable land access 
  • Food Access projects connected to farm viability
  • Business emergencies 

Grant amounts are determined on a case by case basis and require a sliding scale match that can be a combination of cash or in-kind services. 


Technical and Business Assistance

BAV provides comprehensive technical assistance to farmers and food entrepreneurs through a combination of in-house expertise, referrals to regional partners, and experienced consultants. Projects are typically cost-shared on a 80/20 basis up to a total project cost of $5,000, where the applicant pays up to 20% of the total.

Eligible areas of assistance can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Bookkeeping/recordkeeping
  • Business and financial planning
  • Business expansion and enterprise analysis, including value-added product development
  • Land access challenges and associated legal services
  • Marketing and branding 

For agricultural businesses, we also support the following activities:  

  • Grazing and livestock management plans 
  • Cover crop planting and soil health improvement strategies
  • Agroforestry planning and implementation 
  • Climate Change adaptation planning and strategies

 


Our Process

If you think our services might be a fit for you, call our office at 413-645-3594 or Contact Us. For loans, technical assistance, or grants, our staff will have an initiative conversation to identify your needs and determine eligibility. 

You can also submit an inquiry here and we’ll be in touch. 


Our Region is Growing…Your Support of Our Community is Vital. 

Join us in building a robust and resilient food system in the Berkshires and surrounding region. Your donation provides direct support to local farmers and food producers.

Together we can keep food and agricultural businesses thriving. Your tax-deductible gift makes it possible for BAV to provide much-needed resources to food-focused entrepreneurs who contribute to the region’s economic growth. 

If you’d like to make a donation towards a specific fund please note that on our donation page. Below is our program list (read more about our programs here), if you’re not sure where to dedicate funds considering General Operations – it’ll go to good use we promise!

  • Revolving Loan Fund
  • Resilience Fund 
  • Technical and Business Assistance
  • General Operations

DONATE 

Sow the seeds of change with us. We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for partnering with us on our mission to build and grow a better food system.