Farmers feel the impact of climate change acutely, with excessive rain, extended droughts, temperature extremes, and other impacts all placing significant pressure on growers’ ability to plan, produce, and remain sustainable. It also impacts the food security of all Massachusetts residents.
This resource is a searchable data set of many federal, state and private programs and information that support, or may support, farmers as they explore and implement solutions to climate change and enhanced food security. You can explore the information using a number of filters including: type of climate risk, program name, type of program, and agency/business implementing programs.
This effort is being supported by The Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture. This resulting data is a work in progress. It can be searched and filtered and downloaded for use.
The Collaborative will regularly monitor and update the information as we find and are provided new information and new programs. Your support will be invaluable. Please send input and additional information to Jeff Cole, MFSC’s Ag Network Coordinator.
For each of the listings we have made an effort to define the nature and extent of climate change support from information provided by the agencies and organizations running the programs. But we have also taken a broad approach, recognizing that needs related to climate change are often related to other issues to which programs target resources. The information available through this page is provided to help you begin your search. In every case you should talk with program officers/staff to directly assess its applicability to your project or idea before beginning an application or response.
Useful tools for farmers
Why is the MA Food System Collaborative investing itself in this work?
The need to support farmers as they contend with the impacts of climate change was raised in the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan in 2015. Subsequently, the state’s Rural Policy Plan and Resilient Land Initiative also addressed the impact of climate change and the dependence on goods and services that natural systems provide of the economy of Massachusetts and the health and welfare of its residents. The Collaborative’s 2020 report, Massachusetts’ Local Food System: Perspectives on Resilience and Recovery, also identifies climate change as one of the core concerns to address as the Commonwealth recovers from the COVID crisis.
Success in dealing with climate change is dependent on proper research, extensive technical assistance, effective investments of capital and labor, land management and other operating systems changes, and collaboration with local and regional communities. The bottom line is that profit margins from farming in Massachusetts simply do not provide all of the necessary resources to make these investments, because on average a farmer in Massachusetts loses 4 cents for every dollar spent on production.
The following is background and additional information to help you plan your response to climate change.
National and other background information