Director’s Message – July 2015

In agriculture, the end of one season signifies the beginning of the new. Life is like that too, and, for me, my new season has come. On July 20, the Massachusetts Board of Food and Agriculture voted unanimously to accept the Commissioner’s recommendation and appoint me Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Agricultural Resources. I’m honored to have been chosen by Commissioner Lebeaux and I look forward to working with the entire MDAR team and supporting the mission of the department. Agriculture in Massachusetts is on the rise, and the department is critical in helping to supporting and sustaining that growth.

It’s been a great pleasure to have served as Executive Director with SEMAP since September, and transitioning to my new role is rather bittersweet. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my tenure (both farmers and supporters of Ag) and I’d like to think we collectively have “moved the ball forward” for agriculture in Southeastern Massachusetts. Of course, there remains a great deal to be done, and I’m happy that Todd Sandstrum will be serving as interim Director to continue that forward progress. In addition to his counsel as a member of the Board, Todd has been like another staff member. He has worked on the ground and in the field with Kendra and me to ensure the success of many of our events and programs. As well as any of our Board members, he knows the daily ins and outs of SEMAP. Under Todd and the guidance of our stellar Board of Directors, SEMAP will undoubtedly continue to make forward progress.

The greatest part of SEMAP, greater than any individual person involved or any program, is the spirit. The spirit of local agriculture in Southeastern Massachusetts is strong and just continues to grow stronger, and SEMAP, at its best, helps cultivate and strengthen that spirit, and share it with an ever-widening population.

We’ve accomplished a great deal together, and SEMAP will continue working to satisfy its mission: preserving and expanding access to local food and sustainable farming in southeastern Massachusetts through research and education. I’m excited about the future of SEMAP and equally proud to have been a part of its history.

Thank you to all who have been supportive of me, local agriculture and SEMAP.

Oh, and continue to Buy Local!

-Jason Wentworth

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