The Plan

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688 Action Items Found

  • Farming 2.4.8 Work with the congressional delegations of New England states to move administration of the federal H2A Temporary Agricultural Workers Program from the Department of Homeland Security to the USDA.
  • Farming 2.4.9 Allow brokers to aggregate farm work on multiple farms so that a number of farms can share the costs of transportation and housing of H2A temporary agricultural workers.
  • Farming 2.4.10 Allow H2A temporary agricultural workers to remain in the U.S. for a full year.
  • Farming 2.4.11 Support federal legislation to forgive student loans to college graduates after ten years of working in farming.
  • Farming 2.4.12 Offer graduates of local vet schools forgiveness on student loans if they work with large animals in Massachusetts for a set period of time.
  • Farming 2.5.1 Form a committee to review all state laws and regulations relative to livestock processing, as well as the Commonwealth’s current livestock slaughter and processing capacity, and make recommendations for improvements. The committee should include state health and agricultural officials, livestock producers, UMass Extension professionals, and representatives of existing livestock processing facilities.
  • Farming 2.5.2 Move livestock processing oversight from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to foster a more agriculturally informed environment for regulation of livestock processing.
  • Farming 2.5.3 Assess the suitability of a state-level meat inspection program and implement, if deemed appropriate.
  • Farming 2.5.4 Conduct a study to determine how on-farm poultry processing regulations compare with those of other states and revise Massachusetts’ regulations to facilitate growth in local poultry production.
  • Farming 2.5.5 Create a sliding fee for livestock processing permits based on the number of animals processed.
  • Farming 2.5.6 Develop a clear, practical manual for on-farm poultry processing, including regulatory information.
  • Farming 3.1.1 Assure that MDAR’s annual budget is at least as much as the agency receives in fees each year.
  • Farming 3.1.2 Increase funding for the Farm Viability Enhancement Program and similar state programs focused on farm business development by fully expending over the next four years the bond authorizations for farm viability provided in the 2008 and 2014 environmental bonds, and increase this item by at least 25% in subsequent authorizations. Use the USDA Rural Development definition of “urban” to determine allocations based on the legislative language.
  • Farming 3.1.3 Continue funding for integrated pest management education and research, with a focus on new invasive species and the need for production of new crop species that better tolerate the effects of climate change.
  • Farming 3.1.4 Restore funding for the Agricultural Innovations Center to foster new and innovative ideas to adding value to the Commonwealth’s agricultural economy, and sharing those ideas throughout the industry.
  • Farming 3.1.5 Fund the Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program to provide financial assistance to farmers for fencing and other structures to protect rivers from agricultural activity.
  • Farming 3.1.6 Implement a tax credit for farmers who donate their surplus crops.
  • Farming 3.1.7 Maintain the Massachusetts Dairy Farmer Tax Credit.
  • Farming 3.1.8 Make available public loans and grants for on-farm and shared physical infrastructure investments.
  • Farming 3.1.9 Increase funding for the Agricultural Food Safety Improvement program to help farmers comply with food safety regulations, as well as gaining and maintaining access to markets.