Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative

Tag: Agriculture

Farming

Farming in Massachusetts faces many challenges from high land costs, to insufficient education and technical assistance resources, to incongruent regulations, to an inadequate labor supply. The Collaborative works to connect agricultural organizations with food system policy and advocacy efforts designed to create a more secure and sustainable local food system.

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Challenges facing Massachusetts farms: land, education, regulation, and economic and financial sustainability

The second in the MA Food System Collaborative’s discussion series focused on the challenges facing Massachusetts farmers.  Jeff Cole, agricultural network coordinator at the Collaborative, spoke about the issues that surfaced during the listening sessions the organization held over the summer. Many government programs disadvantage BIPOC communities, he said, and many programs and grant opportunities […]

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Climate Change Legislation would Impact Agriculture, Without Adequate Input from Farmers

A number of climate change measures under consideration in the legislature could have significant impact on agriculture and other food businesses. Recently passed by the Senate, An Act Setting Next Generation Climate Policy (S.2477) is a very complex bill that deserves attention from food system stakeholders as it moves through the legislative process.  This bill […]

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Farming Legislation Under Consideration

There are at least 120 bills in the current state legislative session that address farm and fishing issues raised in the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan. The Collaborative has been working with our Agricultural network seeking stakeholder groups’ perspectives on these bills and engaging them in advocacy on bills supported by the Plan. We have […]

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Climate Change, Farming and the GreenWorks Bill

The Collaborative continues to work with our Ag Network and other groups and organizations on climate change and its impact on farmers and fishermen. We were fortunate to be able to participate in the recent workgroup on climate change and resiliency organized to provide input and recommendations to the Rural Policy Advisory Commission’s draft Rural Policy […]

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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 […]

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Protecting farms by reducing the estate tax burden

by Nathan L’Etoile, Collaborative Steering Committee While speaking at Agriculture Day at the Massachusetts State House in April, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation President Ed Davidian raised the idea of reducing the impact of the Massachusetts estate tax on our family farms. The idea apparently resonated with Governor Charlie Barker who interrupted, shouting “that’s a great […]

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Grain operation upgrades through APR Improvement Program

Mike Kosinski is a third-generation farmer and the owner/ operator of North Country Harvest, a 390-acre grain operation in Westfield. Through his participation in the APR Improvement Program (AIP), Michael received technical and business planning assistance as well as a $75,000 AIP grant for infrastructure improvements. Mike used the funds to purchase a new grain […]

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Farmers seek more animal processing closer to home

Eden Pond Farm in Bernardston raises meat chickens, but because of the lack of facilities in Massachusetts, drives their birds to Rhode Island for processing, requiring either a full day away from the farm, or two round trips of 200 miles. North Plain Farm in Great Barrington raises pork and beef, and drives several hours […]

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Local regulations inhibit farm viability

Marlene and Chris Stasinos farm 139 acres of land and operate a popular farm stand in Haverhill. They offer educational tours to local groups and are committed to sustainable farming practices. In 2011, looking for ways to keep their farm in business and meet customers’ growing demand for local meats, they added eight pigs to […]

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Massachusetts Food System Collaborative