Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative

Tag: Farmland

State farmland plan listening sessions

Please join us at a Listening Session to provide input for the development of the MA Farmland Action Plan. The purpose of the MA Farmland Action plan is to develop state level goals and recommendations for increasing farmland protection, farmland access, food security, and the long-term economic and environmental viability of farms across all regions […]

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Small parcel agriculture

Decades of farmland conversion has resulted in a patchwork of noncontiguous farmland and former farmland parcels that are less than five acres in size. Over this time farming in Massachusetts has changed dramatically, underscoring significant shifts in farming technology and know-how, in opportunities for and interest in direct-to-consumer sales, and in our food system overall. […]

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Farmland access and protection

Access to farmland was one of the key issues brought forward in the Plan. In 2020 farmers, land organizations, municipal agencies, and farm support organizations identified access to and protection of farmland as the most important issue facing both established and beginning farmers. Some 45.5% or 409,000 acres of farmland in MA has been lost […]

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Moving a State Farmland Action Plan Forward

For Massachusetts farmers to feed the Commonwealth, land must be available and affordable.  There are a number of laws, programs, regulations, and an executive order seeking to maintain our agricultural land base, but they do not coordinate, or do not coordinate well with each other, leading to , reduced effectiveness, economic and administrative inefficiency, and […]

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Resilient Lands Initiative Seeks Input

The Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Resilient Land Initiative (RLI) is an effort to solicit input from Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state agencies, landowners, and residents to draft and implement a new Statewide Land Conservation Initiative. The initiative has released a draft summary of the findings and recommendations. The document recognizes the importance […]

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New Solar Regulations will Impact Farmland Preservation and Farm Sustainability

New solar siting regulations support the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan’s recommendations to protect farmland from conversion to solar use, but threaten to reduce sustainability for farms by limiting the amount of land that farmers may use to generate revenue from solar projects. The updates to the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program (225 CMR […]

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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 […]

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Protecting the tools for land protection

Massachusetts’ Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program is one of the oldest state  farmland protection programs in the country. Enacted in 1977, the program targets the most productive soils and purchases perpetual easements that assure the land will be available for farming for generations to come.  Since the program’s inception, provisions have been added that work […]

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Addressing farmland challenges in Massachusetts

by Cris Coffin, Chair, MA Food System Collaborative, and Policy Director, Land For Good The Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan notes that farmland is the foundational infrastructure for the Commonwealth’s agricultural industry, and specifically recognizes the need to address   two challenges: protect our most productive farmland for the future, and find ways to keep […]

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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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Massachusetts Food System Collaborative