SEMAP has a lot of great educational opportunities, whether you’re a farmer, gardener, or a foodie! Some samples of our educational programming are our Twilight Grower Series Events and our Annual Agriculture and Food Conference.
For ten years, SEMAP has been hosting its annual Agriculture and Food Conference. Whether you’re a professional farmer, a backyard gardener, or just curious about locally grown food, this is the event for you! Each year, the lineup includes workshops for the general public as well as info-packed sessions for farmers and gardeners of all experience levels and workshops specific to organic methods. Registration includes a local lunch.
SEMAP offers an innovative funding program for farmers in Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk counties. The goal of the TIE (Technology, Innovation, and Excellence) Grant program is to encourage farmers to trial new equipment, implement new systems, and address the challenges farmers collectively face. Farmers are best situated to come up with creative ideas for the problems they experience. By increasing the ability to create solutions locally we are able to increase local knowledge and capacity and resilience.
SEMAP has collected, supported, and participated in different research and studies over the years. Some of the information we have compiled here is the Southeastern Massachusetts Food System Assessment, the USDA Agricultural Census, and the DOT Survey.
In late 2011 and through 2012 SEMAP piloted the Farm to Institution program, which began the comprehensive development of a wholesale market for local food in our region. The pilot identified and addressed the issues of distribution, liability insurance and payment infrastructure through a partnership with FoodEx, a for-profit start-up. We worked with a group of six farmers and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.