Upcoming Events

Please consider joining us and bringing a friend to the following events that we have planned in 2019. All young farmers are welcome to attend and may bring their children too! We are kid friendly!   

Feb. 19 at 7 pm – Robert’s Rules of Order Workshop

 Join Robert’s Rule of Order Expert Skip Vadnais for an educational workshop and social gathering at Norfolk County Agricultural High School on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. Skip will review parliamentary procedure with attendees, who will leave with a deeper understanding of the complexities of running a meeting.

Dinner and soda/water will be provided. We hope to see you there! Location: Trustees Room in the MacFarland Building Norfolk County Agriucltural High School 400 Main St Walpole, MA 02081 Time: 7 – 9 p.m.

March 12-15 – MA FFA Convention: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED 

The 89th Massachusetts FFA State Convention will be taking place on March 12-15, 2019 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. At this event, more than 400 Massachusetts FFA members will gather to participate in leadership development workshops, our state service project, and compete in 25 different events.  

The Massachusetts Young Farmers and Ranchers committee has been asked if we have any members who would be interested in judging FFA’s competitive events. On Wednesday night, March 13th, there is a block of time between 5 and 9:30 PM where there are 7 contests running. Each contest requires 3 judges, and runs from 1 to 2 1/2 hours long, depending on the event and levels of participation.

If you are interested and have time on that evening, please email Caroline DeGrappo, MA FFA State Vice President, at cdegrappomaffa@gmail.com and she will provide you with more information.  

We appreciate your willingness to volunteer in advance!

April 24 at 1 pm – Tour of Little Leaf Farm

Join us for a tour of Little Leaf Farm on April 24. This one hour tour will provide an overview of the most technologically-advanced, lettuce growing greenhouse in the world! To learn more, please visit:  http://www.littleleaffarms.com/.    Location: 105 Walker Rd Shirley, MA 01464-2901   Time: 1 – 2:30 p.m.

MFBF Set To Host Webinar On Healthy Soils: Feb. 12 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Your soil is the foundation of your farming operation. This webinar will cover the basic science of how to improve your soil’s health. What is soil health? A healthy soil is better able to function in the face of 34″ of rain from July through November this year! Learn about the key conservation practices that will improve soil health, as well as control weeds, infiltrate water, conserve moisture, retain nutrients and many other functions.  The webinar will explain how financial assistance is available for you to test ideas on your farm, such as no-till, cover crops or different nutrient management strategies. If you are convinced already, skip the test plots and apply for funding to implement the practices on a few or all of your fields. Listen in on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. to learn more.

To access the webinar:
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+16465588656,,197191526# US (New York)
+17207072699,,197191526# US

Dial by your location
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 720 707 2699 US

Meeting ID: 197 191 526
This webinar is sponsored by MFBF’s Promotion and Education committee. Must be a member of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation to participate.

We look forward to having you listen in!

Apply For AFBF’s PAL Program By March 4

The American Farm Bureau Federation is accepting nominations for its Partners in Advocacy Leadership program. The program aims to provide advanced training to the organization’s rising stars, with the goal of developing powerful advocates for agriculture and cultivating leaders who can help Farm Bureau advance its policy goals.

The PAL program focuses on taking young members who have already begun their personal development journey and helping them advance to the next level. The curriculum is designed to be a challenging executive-type program. The core competencies for the program are self-awareness, industry knowledge, message development, message delivery, policy engagement and interpersonal skills.

Each state Farm Bureau may nominate two candidates for the program. Ideal candidates will be interested in advocacy and farm policy, in addition to being open to using social media and the latest technology (i.e., iPads, webinars, video editing, Skype/Facetime) as part of the learning process.

Eligible candidates must be between the ages of 30 and 45 as of July 14. Candidates qualify in one of the following ways:

  • State winner of a YF&R competitive event;
  • Retired from any AFBF national committee;
  • Retired chair of a state FB committee;
  • Graduate of a state leadership or advocacy development program (e.g., Leadership Academy, Institute, LEAD, etc.); or
  • Demonstrated excellence in advocacy or political outreach on the state or national level.

Applications are due by 8:00 a.m. Eastern on March 4. Full details and the online application are available at https://www.fb.org/programs/pal-partners-in-advocacy-leadership/.

Harvest For All Food Drive 

The Harvest for All campaign is a partnership between Farm Bureau and Feeding America which provides food to help those in need. Each year, every state Farm Bureau YF&R committee is challenged to donate more time, money and food to fight hunger.

This year, MFBF’s YF&R is going to host a drive where every young farmers goes to a local farm stand for one day and collects food to be donated to a local food pantry. Just like Stop and Shop does, the young farmers will have a box outside of the farm stand. They will ask customers before entering the farm stand to purchase one additional item to donate to a food shelter. At the end of the day, the young farmer will arrange for the food to be donated to a local, pre-arranged food pantry for donation. We’re excited to do this as it benefits the farm with a little extra money coming in for purchases as well as, most importantly, the local food pantry with fresh food being made available to them. If you know a farm that would like to participate in this program with us, please let us know by emailing our chair, Heidi Cooper at cooper.heidi.jo@gmail.com.

Other Donations
If your farm already donates product to local food pantries, please be sure to fill out this donation form: https://www.farmbureau.co/harvest-for-all-donations/ so we can track your contribution as part of our total.

Farm Bureau University: Board Leadership Lessons on Your Laptop

Farmers and ranchers know better than most that learning isn’t exclusive to classrooms or meeting venues. With that in mind, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s learning and development team created Farm Bureau University, an interactive online experience that allows Farm Bureau members to learn where and when they want.  

Farm Bureau University’s latest offering, Farm Bureau Board Essentials, was designed to help county Farm Bureau board members lead strong, effective organizations that meet members’ needs on all levels. The program provides resources and training for county board members in five essential pathways: Being a Board Member; Governance; Planning; Policy Development & Advocacy; and the Membership Cycle.   For example, through Farm Bureau Board Essentials, a new county board member can get the fundamentals-like budget building basics or how to draft an action-oriented agenda-from the online training so when he or she meets with field staff, fellow Farm Bureau members or a retiring board member, they can get right down to the important issues at hand.   Regardless of the topic, in each pathway, the learner will experience:

  • A two-minute kickoff video
  • A 10-question pre-assessment
  • Two or more 10-minute e-learning primers
  • Two or more 10-minute e-learning skill builders
  • An application toolkit with downloadable resources
  • A 10-question post-assessment
  • Booster activities to refresh learning

Although Board Essentials was created by AFBF, between Board Essentials and Farm Bureau Builder, another FB University program, more than 50 state Farm Bureau staff members have provided valuable feedback to shape the content.   To start your journey on the five essential pathways of Farm Bureau Board Essentials, go to university.fb.org. New users will need to register for a free account using member code “mafb.”

Dates to remember

2019 Harvest New England Conference
Feb. 27 -28, 2019 Sturbridge Host Hotel, Sturbridge, MA
Massachusetts Ag Day At The Statehouse
March 27, 2019State House, Boston, Massachusetts

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