A great meeting is being held this week about locally caught fish, coastal shellfish aquaculture, and land-based aquaculture (an often forgotten form of local agriculture!).
Local Landings will be held on Friday, March 27th from 10:00 to noon at the Fairfield Inn in New Bedford, and is open to all interested participants.
About the Massachusetts Food Policy Council
The goals of the Council are “to support increased consumption of Massachusetts agricultural and food products while preserving water and land resources, to support a strong, robust food system where local and healthy foods are accessible to all residents, and job and business opportunities abound.” A final report is intended to include an actionable plan and state policy recommendations to strengthen our food system.
It’s 5:00 am, and the sun won’t be out for quite some time. Spring may be here, but the chill of the air, like the sensation of an ungloved hand placed on a sheet of ice, is telling you that winter is still lingering. While some high school students in the region are still warm in bed and well-ensconced in dreamland, some intrepid student workers are milking cows. That’s the reality for many of the students who work in the Animal Science Department at Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton. After a difficult winter of constantly beating back the snow to make sure cows had enough room to stroll outside, the staff and students at the Aggie are no doubt acutely aware of those challenges. Thanks to their diligence and hard work, Bristol Aggie’s dairy cows were well-cared for and were more than happy to keep the milk flowing. Read more →
(EASTON) – After a particularly cruel winter, with snowfall totaling over 100 inches in many regions of Massachusetts, local farmers and growers are digging out, assessing the damaging and asking for help. After a spate of barn and greenhouse collapses, both in Southeastern Massachusetts and across the Commonwealth, local organizations supporting agriculture are reaching out to federal, state and municipal officials and other stakeholders for support. On Friday, State Representative Claire Cronin (Easton) visited one of the farms in her district to witness the damage firsthand and get an idea of what could be done. Todd Sandstrum, Chairman of the Easton Agricultural Commission and member of the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP), reached out to Representative Cronin to inform her of greenhouse collapses at Flynn Family Farm and Nursery in Easton, Massachusetts, and both Representative Cronin and Sandstrum immediately scheduled a site tour, bringing together representatives from various organizations, including Select Board member Dottie Fulginiti, Julie Viveiros and Mike Dragunas from the USDA Farm Service Agency , and Rudy Medeiros from the nearby Norfolk County Farm Bureau. Sandstrum, surveying the damage, said, “ the impact is not only in the short-term but, in this case, will possibly impact the farms for five to seven years pending terms of loans and so on. To a farm that has a low profit margin this could put some smaller farms out of business in the next few years.” Read more →
The threat of a late day snowstorm couldn’t damper the spirits of those in attendance at the SEMAP’s 8th Annual Agriculture and Food Conference, with over 200 attendees enjoying a day chock full of interesting programming, speakers and exhibitors at Bristol County Agricultural High School. In partnership with the Bristol County Conservation District (BCCD), SEMAP brought together a diverse assortment of workshops and presenters, ranging from fermentation to hot water seed treatment to business development. Whether an attendee was a farmer or a foodie, there was something for everyone at the conference and, as Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux noted in his address to the attendees, “the diversity present speaks to the great strength of agriculture in Southeastern Massachusetts and the state as a whole.” Bristol Aggie Superintendent Steve Dempsey also welcomed the audience to the school, an ideal location for the conference and the only agricultural high school in the Commonwealth with a working dairy farm. Read more →