The purpose of the APR Improvement Program (AIP) is to help sustain active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the Department’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. AIP provides technical assistance and business planning to improve farm productivity and profitability with the goal of enhancing the significance of APR farm operations and their contribution to the state’s agricultural industry. The program provides assistance to enhance the long-term continued use of the agricultural resource, which may include economic viability, environmental sustainability, resource conservation, family succession planning, infrastructure improvement, or other issues.
In Phase I, the AIP offers participant farms technical and business planning assistance that is similar to services provided by the Department’s Farm Viability Enhancement Program. However, the land protection component of FVEP is omitted, as APR farmland is already restricted to agricultural uses only. Participating farms that complete an AIP business plan and commit to implementing farm improvement strategies identified in the Plan that meet Program objectives may be eligible for funding through an AIP grant in Phase II.
The Department of Agricultural Resources expects to announce an open application period for the APR Improvement Program by early April 2014 and applications will be due by late June 2014. RFRs (Request for Responses) and the policy information they contain do change from year to year. If you would like to see a copy of the last APR Improvement Program application - click here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/about/divisions/aip.html. This application is posted for informational purposes only and will not be accepted if submitted.