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80 Action Items Found
Train Agriculture and Conservation Commissions on actions farmers may take under current law to manage on and off-farm beaver activity to avoid property damage. If needed, consider changes to state law to allow farmers recourse in the event of off-farm beaver activity that is damaging a farm’s crops or farmland.
Increase technical assistance to farmers around crop and livestock-specific climate change adaptation strategies. Include climate change adaptation strategies as eligible practices under USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Provide more public education on urban food production techniques in community gardens and home gardens, such as growing vegetables, composting, keeping bees, chickens, and other animals.
Provide more public education on best management practices for urban gardening in locations with known or suspected soil contamination. Provide funding for soil testing.
Expand farm succession planning services for farmers. Consider models such as UMass’ Your Forest, Your Legacy program, Land for Good and various programs the U.S. Forest Service is doing with forestland owners.
Advocate for dedicated funding conduct soil testing, and import or remediate soil on prioritized land in Gateway Cities and other cities. Consider using the MEPA process to secure clean soil from development projects that could replace contaminated soils in urban locations.
Provide education and technical assistance to builders, developers, and municipal building authorities on green roof installation and maintenance, edible landscaping, and other alternative methods for growing food in an urban environment, including living walls, vertical greenhouses, hydroponics, and aquaponics.
Expand and improve technical assistance to farmers and farmland owners to assist with conservation planning and accessing state and federal conservation programs. Advocate for increased state and federal funding for this purpose.
Develop a market for solids and liquids produced during the anaerobic digestion process.
Support infrastructure development for handling and preparing food waste for anaerobic digestion, including packaged foods and industrial waste water.
Create a network of food scrap transfer stations to provide more efficient delivery of food waste to anaerobic digestion facilities.
Expand the variety of composting site locations, capabilities (including technologies to separate packaging as well as livestock carcasses), and scales able to handle the range of compost materials.
Provide technical assistance to increase the prevalence of community scale composting operations, creating high-quality and affordable compost, particularly near farms.
Support the development of equipment and processes to separate packaging from food waste.
Train food scrap generators to avoid contamination of food waste.
Develop compost sites that reduce nuisance conditions, while still producing a viable soil amendment product from the process.
Create a state procurement preference for Massachusetts-produced compost. State contracts and other large purchasers should specify the type and quality of compost for varying uses (e.g., athletic fields, holding slopes).
Provide technical assistance to small-scale composters to help prepare and package compost so it is ready for distribution and retail sale.
Provide more education and technical assistance to homeowners and landscapers for proper methods of composting and proper disposal of yard waste through local boards of health, energy committees or other municipal groups.
Assist farmers in the conversion of on-farm and local food wastes to be converted into animal feed where appropriate.