Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center

About Us

The Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center (MAAIC) is a network of service providers that offers agriculture producers business assistance to identify and take advantage of value-added enterprise opportunities. We offer one-on-one business coaching, access to funding, and industry connections, serving as a hub linking producers with the services they need to succeed.

 

Services

We help agricultural producers explore alternatives to their core business, analyze feasibility of a new or growth venture, strengthen business management skills, develop new products, and access financing to develop and grow value-added enterprises. We offer help with:

General Business Planning
Financial Analysis & Decision Making
Product & Process Development
Regulatory Compliance & Food Safety
Marketing & Branding
Financing & Grant Support
Connections & Referrals

Sample Projects

Business plan development for a beginning farmer looking to include a value-added product to diversify income streams

Capacity analysis, production and scenario planning, and operational improvements for a grower looking to add value‐added enterprises to reduce waste and maximize profit

Expansion planning based on financial and infrastructure capacity for a startup dairy producer and cheese maker looking to develop a community creamery

Product prototyping, packaging advising, and regulatory compliance support for a growing farm’s value‐added product line to sell at their retail locations and through CSAs

Cost of goods assessment and a go‐to‐market strategy for an established farm with a unique plant-based consumer packaged good as they seek larger distribution and sales channels

Bridge financing for a USDA grant awarded to a livestock producer to expand their processing capabilities and offer services to other farmers

Business planning and project budgeting support for a producer applying for a grant to grow their value‐added enterprise

Providers & Partners

Franklin County Community Development Corporation and the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center

The Franklin County Community Development Corporation helps small-business owners and entrepreneurs of all types at all stages through business advising, flexible financing, and referrals in Franklin County and beyond. Our farm and food initiatives include the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center and the Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center, where we help food entrepreneurs launch and manufacture new products and agricultural producers add value to their crops. Our PVGrows Investment Fund offers farmers and food businesses financing (and community members an opportunity to invest in our food system), while The Massachusetts Food Trust Program provides access to capital for entrepreneurs wanting to bring local food retail to low-grocery areas. We work with individuals, organizations, and other community stakeholders to promote economic development through entrepreneurship, provide opportunities for sustaining local agriculture, and help build robust food cultures and communities.

The Carrot Project

The Carrot Project offers one-on-one business assistance aimed at helping farmers and food business owners achieve greater financial management expertise and confidence in making business decisions that lead to long-term business success. The Carrot Project works to build a more equitable farm and food system that creates economic, environmental, and social well-being.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture

From starting a new farm to marketing and expanding an existing one, CISA offers a wide range of assistance to farmers and other Local Hero members: workshops, one-on-one consulting, online resources, and more. CISA strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

New Entry, an initiative of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, works locally, regionally, and across the country to strengthen local food systems by supporting new farmers. We serve and collaborate with the people, communities, and organizations in Massachusetts, the Northeast, and beyond! New Entry offers workshops and trainings for beginner farmers in eastern Massachusetts.

Preserve the Valley

Turn your crops into value-added products!

The Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center (WMFPC) offers prototyping, small-batch processing, storage, shipping, and receiving services at the right scale for local food entrepreneurs. Our Preserve the Valley program helps farmers expand their offerings and extend their harvest season through ready-to-go recipes for products that feature locally grown tomatoes, peppers, cukes, root veggies, strawberries, and more! Farmers deliver the key ingredients to Greenfield and our team will process, bottle, label and pack for you, providing the bottle, lid, label and case for a flat fee. Farmers sell finished products at their farm stands, as part of CSAs, and in the wholesale market.  Check out the WMFPC website for more details.

Collaborators

The Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center serves farms and local food producers and is a program of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation.

324 Wells Street, Greenfield MA 01301
Tricia Wancko, Director
413-774-7204 ext. 116

Funding for this project is made possible by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Agriculture Innovation Center Grant. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.