During the month of March, County Farm Bureaus from across the Commonwealth host breakfasts during which farmer members can speak directly to legislators. Typically held on a Friday, farmer leaders can discuss their issues and advocate for the bills that will support their businesses over coffee and a fresh breakfast.
“This year we are focusing our efforts on a bill that would establish an agriculture value for inherited farmland,” said Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation President Mark Amato, who manages a farm in Concord. “This bill is critical to our young farmers and it could allow them to inherit their families’ farms without having to sell off pieces of the land to pay the estate tax, sometimes referred to as the death tax.”
Additionally, MFBF is supportive of legislation to help the cranberry and dairy industries during this time of low prices, which sometimes exceed the cost of production. Tax credits may help sustain these industries during this critical period. Finally, the organization also supportive of legislation to reform the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program.
These legislative breakfasts lead up to an event called Agricultural Day at the Statehouse, which this year is set to be help on March 27. This event is marked with a speaking program and a closed reception, during which legislators can talk one-on-one with farmers. The food for the reception is all locally-sourced and is prepared by Assabet Technical High School.
“Farmers are the strongest advocates for themselves,” Amato said. “Ag Day provides a positive forum for farmers and legislators to come together and discuss how legislators can help farmer with the challenges they are facing.”
For more information on Ag Day, including setting up interviews, please contact MFBF’s Director of Marketing and Membership at 508-481-4766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view MFBF’s legislative preview, please visit http://www.farmbureau.co/legis