Massachusetts agriculture had a strong showing on Beacon Hill today with more than 200 farmers and agricultural students attending the annual Agricultural Day at the State House. The event, during which locally-grown food and farm products are showcased, and farmers hold meeting with their local legislators, is a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) and more than 35 agricultural organizations.   During the speaking program held at the event, Governor Charlie Baker declared March 27 as 2019 Agriculture Day in the Commonwealth. Building off this proclamation, MFBF President Mark Amato spoke to attendees about the state of the Massachusetts agriculture industry and bills that the groups who manage Ag Day believe could assist farmers.   During the event, MFBF farmer members advocated for these legislative priorities:

  • SB 538 – an act encouraging the use of renewable energy on agricultural land;
  • HB 868 – an act establishing a commission on livestock shelter requirements;
  • SB 527 – an act to modernize certain provisions of the agricultural preservation restriction program; and
  • SB 1268/HB 1856 – An act relative to Agricultural Commission input on board of health regulations.

The speaking program was wrapped up with MFBF presenting awards to long-time friends of Massachusetts agriculture. Honorees included:

  • MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux;
  • Representative Sarah Peake;
  • UMass Professor Dr. Dan Lass; and
  • Retired UMass Educator Kathy Carroll.

After the speaking program, locally-grown food and farm products were distributed to attendees during a Taste of Massachusetts reception. All food was prepared and served by Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School students under the guidance of Chef Margot Wilson. Farms that donated to this reception, included:  

  • Atlas Farm, South Deerfield
  • Apex Orchards, Shelburne Falls
  • Azuluna, North Grafton
  • Barstow’s Longview Farm, Hadley
  • Blue Heron Farm, Charlemont
  • Buzz 10 Honey, Medway
  • C A Dowse & Sons, Inc., Sherborn
  • Cabot Creamery
  • Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, Carver
  • Carlson Orchards, Harvard
  • Chamutka Farm, Whately
  • Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Deerfield
  • The Country Hen, Hubbardston
  • Coutts Specialty Foods Inc., Shirley
  • Diemand Farm, Millers Falls
  • Ellison Farm, Ludlow
  • Five Way Foods, Dorchester
  • Four Star Farms, Inc., Northfield
  • Foxbard Farm, Shelburne Falls
  • Foxboro Cheese Co., Foxborough
  • Franklin County Community Development Corporation, Greenfield
  • Grant Family Farm, Essex
  • Great Hill Dairy, Marion
  • Greenwood Hill Farm, Hubbardston
  • Hilltown Pork Inc., Granville
  • Honey Pot Farm, Stow
  • Joe Czajkowski Farm, Hadley
  • Jordan Dairy Farm, Rutland
  • Kitchen Garden Farm, Sunderland
  • Lilac Hedge Farm, Jefferson
  • Lightning Ridge Farm, Sherborn
  • Maple Corner Farm, Blandford
  • Maple Hill Farm, Hardwick
  • Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Scituate
  • Mayval Farm, Westhampton
  • Merrimack Valley Apiary, Billerica
  • Mountain Orchard Farm, Granville
  • New England Apiaries & Billy C’s Raw Honey, Westfield
  • Northeast Harvest, Topsfield
  • OutPost Farm, Holliston
  • Pine Hill Orchard, Colrain
  • Plainville Farm, Hadley
  • Robinson Farm, Hardwick
  • Simple Gifts Farm, Amherst
  • Smith’s Country Cheese, Winchendon
  • Stony Farm, Holden
  • Teddy Smiarowski Farm, Hatfield
  • Twin Brook Farm, Weston
  • Verrill Farm, Concord
  • Wheel-View Farm, Shelburne Falls
  • Wintermoon Farm, Hadley

For a complete list of the issues MFBF members focused on during their visit to Beacon Hill, please click here. Photos from the event are available on MFBF’s Facebook page, found here: https://www.facebook.com/MAFarmBureau/.