Foundation fund

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Agricultural finance milestone reached; Local man elected to NPGA; Jacob’s Pillow selects a new caterer; Grant awarded to BEAT; EforAll awards prizes; goodwill granted; Cannabis company launches collaboration

Fletcher Farm, Southampton MA, dairy cow fans

Backers Reach 8-Year Milestone of $1 Million in Rewards to Local Farms

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

AGAWAM, Mass. – The Local Farmer Awards, a fundraising initiative launched in 2015, reached the $1 million milestone in May 2022. Over the past eight years, more than 470 grants have been awarded to farmers in Western Massachusetts and of the Berkshires. The fundraising initiative was launched by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y Foods.

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

Program director Cari Carpenter notes that the publicity generated by the Local Farmer Awards draws attention to the productivity of all farms in the region, whether or not they were winners.


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Michael Hopsicker, courtesy of Ray Murray, INC.

Mike Hopsicker elected Treasurer of the National Propane Gas Association

LEE, Mass. — Mike Hopsicker has been elected Treasurer of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) announces Ray Murray, Inc. Mike Hopsicker has been a member of the NPGA Board of Directors or involved in NPGA committees since 1996. Mike is President and Chief management 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.


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

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

Jacob’s Pillow Dining – photo by Hayim Heron

Jacob’s Pillow is a 220-acre National Historic Landmark and home to America’s oldest international dance festival, nestled in the hills of Berkshire in western Massachusetts. The famous Jacob’s Pillow dance festival runs from June 22 to August 28 and attracts thousands of guests from the United States and around the world to immerse themselves in the history of dance. For more information on Jacob’s Pillow, visit


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Grant awarded to BEAT to educate children about insects

Image courtesy of Greg Thompson/USFWS

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Crane Family Fund has awarded $2,200 to the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). The grant was awarded to support children’s connection to nature through programs at Pittsfield’s Westside parks.

The grant will allow BEAT to purchase materials and plan programs focused on educating children about pollination, biodiversity, and the importance of insects to the global ecosystem.


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EforAll Berkshire County Announces Award Winners for Spring 2022 Cohort

Berkshire County EforAll Logo

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County has awarded nearly $10,000 in prizes to the Spring 2022 Entrepreneurship 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 accident in October 2021. This award is in memory of Paula is awarded to a person making a career pivot and integrating a social mission into their company. Rachel Hailey (North Adams) for DEI Outdoors received $1,000. Deirdre Horan (Great Barrington) of Dri Ocean Products received $2,300. Jackye Stoddard (Hudson, NY) for Hierba Buena Foods received $2,500. Elizabeth Heller (Pittsfield) for The Kids Super Journal received $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 here:

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


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Goodwill Receives Feigenbaum Foundation Capital Improvement Grant

Image courtesy of Goodwill Industries of 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 directed towards the cost of a much-needed roof replacement at Goodwill’s corporate office, warehouse and training center at 158 ​​Tyler St. The cost of the roof replacement has been estimated at $400,000.

According to David Twiggs, President and CEO of Goodwill, the warehouse roof is leaking in several places and is an ongoing challenge that has significantly limited the amount of usable space in the building. The large Tyler Street building houses Goodwill’s administrative offices and its 25-member warehouse production team, which process donations for sale at 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 child care and customer service.


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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 its collaboration with Howl’s Tinctures. This partnership marks the launch of their exclusive, limited-edition summer tincture, available at The Pass and select Massachusetts dispensaries.

This collaboration has flourished through both brands’ commitment to nature and their communities, while delivering a high-quality product in a sustainable way. This limited edition tincture was created to celebrate the spirit of summer and the spirit of Flo, The Pass’s cannabis flower grown at their outdoor farm.

For more information, visit