Every year in March, agriculture gets its rightfully deserved recognition at the State House in Boston. Massachusetts Agricultural Day, or more commonly referred to as Ag Day, is an opportunity for our local growers – farmers, fishermen, aquaculturists, Aggie students, Buy Local cooperatives, 4-H, FFA and agricultural enthusiasts to have their voices heard by our State Representatives and Senators.
This year an estimated 200 farmers and more than 35 agricultural organizations attended.
Eastern Massachusetts C.R.A.F.T. is an independent Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training in eastern Massachusetts.
Their purpose is to promote:
– Training of farmers, farm workers and apprentices in the craft of small-scale sustainable agriculture with emphasis on food production. Through the collaboration of many farms, they provide a broader learning experience than can be received on one farm alone.
– Exchange of ideas among farm people. Our goal is to increase the skill base in sustainable agriculture.
– A community of farmers, farm workers, and others who are interested in local agriculture. They support peer-based education to help farmers connect with others who share similar goals.
One of the first signs of spring on the legislative calendar is “Ag Day” at the State House. Massachusetts Farms will take center stage on Tuesday, March 27th to celebrate “Ag Day” where farmers come together to focus our legislators’ attention on agriculture. It’s a day to celebrate the hard work by farmers and the diverse products they produce in Massachusetts. Farmers, producers, agricultural associations and commodity groups join together to recognize these contributions of agriculture. There will be an opportunity to sample local products at “A Taste of Massachusetts” and learn more about our local agriculture. Farmers can also meet with their legislators to reinforce the importance of agriculture to the Commonwealth and promote favorable legislation. As the number of smaller farms increase and urban agriculture grows, we need to make legislative changes to reflect the Commonwealth’s increasing farming population.
With a whiff of spring in the air and plants again filling greenhouses, it’s also time for SEMAP’s Ag & Food Conference. A full day of workshops – 30 different ones to choose from – and an exciting keynote by Irene Li of Mei Mei in Boston talking about local sourcing for her incredibly popular restaurant. Held at the Bristol County Agricultural High School, we have the amenities for some really exciting workshops – think indigo dying, basic beekeeping, winter greenhouse growing and cut flower production. We hope you will join us this Sunday, February 25th at Bristol County Agricultural High School.
The late winter is turning out to be busy, not only for farmers but agriculture overall. There are a series of “Listening Sessions” for the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program.