Winners Since 1996
For eighteen years, Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) has been awarding mini-grants to Massachusetts educators for agricultural education projects. The Mini-Grant program was launched in 1994, when MAC Board member James Munger outlined a project inspired by his work with the Bristol County Farm Bureau The Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Mini-Grant program is now in its seventeenth year. Since 1994, MAC has awarded more than $200,000 to more than 270 diverse projects that work to foster agricultural awareness across the Commonwealth.
Jim envisioned a program that would "facilitate a greater interaction between farmers and their consumers, bringing school groups to farms, farmers to schools and agriculture to classrooms." Over the past ten years, mini-grants have funded a wide diversity of projects, from the very technical (such as setting up aquaculture and hydroponic systems) to such projects as growing pumpkins. Some provide resources to carry out agriculture education projects, while others develop new ideas and programs that highlight the importance of agriculture.A Mini-Grant Committee was formed to review proposals and make decisions concerning funding outcomes. The Committee developed mini-grant guidelines that are in keeping with the goals of MAC and encourage grants that seek to educate youth about the real issues involved in the agricultural industry in Massachusetts. The maximum grant award is $1,500, however most grants range from $300 to $500. Three funding cycles allow educators the flexibility to develop proposals during summer vacation and school holidays. Grant applications are due April 1st, September 1st and November 1st. A MAC Board member serves as a liaison for each project.