|Berkshire Agricultural Ventures Appoints New Executive Director|
|12:04PM / Friday, May 26, 2023|
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— Berkshire Agriculture Ventures (BAV) announced the appointment of Rebecca Busansky as the new Executive Director, following the tenure of interim Executive Director, Glenn Bergman.
Under Bergman's guidance, BAV experienced remarkable growth, as he built a team of experts to lead BAV's programs, and secured support for the organization's initiatives. Bergman will collaborate with Busansky over the upcoming month to ensure a smooth transition.
Rebecca Busansky was formerly a Program Director at the Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC). Busansky joined the FCCDC in 2015 where her work focused on helping local farms and increasing food access. During her time there, Busansky, and team, launched the PVGrows Investment Fund, an innovative community investment vehicle which provides financing and technical assistance to farm and local food entrepreneurs primarily in western MA. She also managed the Mass Food Trust Program since its inception in 2018, which provides financing to increase the availability of affordable healthy food in underserved communities across the Commonwealth.
"Rebecca's experience could not be more aligned with BAV's mission and offerings," BAV Board President Thomas Gardner said. "She brings a wealth of knowledge on farming and food systems in our region. While Glenn's presence and leadership will be greatly missed, we're thrilled to welcome Rebecca who we believe is an excellent champion to move forward our mission. We are very excited that she is joining us."
Since its founding in 2016 BAV has played a role in supporting Berkshire-Taconic region farms and local food businesses. Overall, the organization has provided $1.6 million in low-interest loans, over $85,000 in microgrants and provided more than $500,000 (approximately 150 hours) in direct technical assistance to more than 90 local farms and agricultural businesses.
Additionally, BAV has experienced growth over the last two years, increasing from four full-time staff members to a team of eight. BAV's growth has been in response to the increased demand for specialized agribusiness services, and to maintain momentum gained from several federal grant awards that have enabled BAV to increase the breadth and impact of several programs - including its lending program and Local Meat Processing Support Program. With Busansky as the new Executive Director BAV is well positioned, and ready, to enter into the next phase of the organization's history.
Busansky is equally as thrilled about joining the organization stating, "I am honored and excited to take on the role of Executive Director at Berkshire Agricultural Ventures. I look forward to working with the talented team here to build on the organization's success and together continue to bring new ideas and innovations to our work."
Busansky holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and has worked in the community economic development field for more than 30 years. Busansky resides in Northampton with her family where she enjoys all that the beautiful outdoors has to offer in western Mass including hiking, biking, kayaking, cross country skiing and cooking from her garden's harvest and nearby farms. Join BAV in welcoming her to the team.