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Updates on policy, programs, and perspectives from the MA food system.
           

August 15, 2019

Supporting Small Parcel Farming

Lack of access to affordable land is routinely cited by aspiring and established farmers alike as a primary challenge to entry and expansion. Since the 1940’s farmland has been steadily converted to other uses and regrown into New England forest, creating a patchwork of separate small parcels of farmland and former farmland. Many of these parcels are less than five acres, and so cannot benefit from Chapter 61A tax reduction as currently written. At the same time, economic and social forces have generated significantly more small and urban farming operations, many taking place on parcels under five acres, and many struggling with economic viability. Thousands of people, many of them immigrants and low-income, tend parcels that are less than one acre.

June 26, 2019

Climate Change and Agriculture

As a follow up to the Collaborative’s March gathering to discuss how to support farmers in climate change mitigation and remediation, we asked meeting attendees to rank the importance of the 30 land and farming recommendation summaries from the MA Local Food Action Plan related to helping farmers and fishermen cope with climate change. These recommendations ranged from better government support, to increased monitoring of conditions, to expanded sales support for fisheries. 

March 28, 2019

Campaign for HIP Funding Ramps Up for FY20 Budget

The Campaign for HIP Funding has started off the 2019 budget cycle in full force, with tremendous support from legislators, a great lobby day, and the development of some new tools for advocates. The campaign steering committee has developed a $8.5 million ask for HIP in FY20. This will be enough funding to operate the program year-round, allow for moderate continued growth, and allow a few new farms to become vendors in underserved areas.

December 21, 2018

Report from the 2nd Annual Massachusetts Food System Forum

More than 200 advocates and practitioners from all sectors of the food system attended the 2nd annual Massachusetts Food System Forum on December 12 in Leominster. The day was spent highlighting food system stakeholders’ work over the past year, and planning for collaborative action to come.