Greg Watson was sworn in as the Department's 19th Commissioner by Governor Deval Patrick on April 2, 2012. He also served as Commissioner (1990 to 1993) under then Governors Dukakis and Weld. His major accomplishments as Commissioner during his first tenure included the promulgation of innovative groundwater protection regulations designed to prevent contamination of aquifer recharge areas; outreach program to farmers to adopt integrated pest management techniques; working to make Massachusetts the first state to establish a dairy pricing system; and clarification of acceptable agriculture practices under the Wetlands Protection Act.
Commissioner Watson has a long connection to and appreciation of agriculture starting in his childhood where his grandmother tended a vegetable garden and fruit trees and visiting his uncle's working farm in Tennessee. His first hands on experience with agriculture started in 1978 as he worked with urban community groups and rural farmers to develop a network of six neighborhood- based farmers' markets in Greater Boston. He was also a founding member of the Massachusetts Federation of Farmers' Markets.
Commissioner Watson has served in a variety of capacities related to both sustainable agricultural practices and energy efficiency. Before his appointment as Commissioner in 1990, Greg was the executive director of the New Alchemy Institute, an applied research farm with close links to the cranberry, vegetable, and green industry.
Prior to that, Commissioner Watson was appointed Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Affairs and served concurrently as Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Centers of Excellence Corporation. As executive director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Greg made urban agriculture a major focus of the community's revitalization plan that featured community gardens, a farmers' market, and a 10,000 square foot community greenhouse.
Most recently, Commissioner Watson was engaged as the Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Technology within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He was on loan from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – the agency that administers the Commonwealth's Renewable Energy Trust.
Commissioner Watson serves on the boards of the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative, the Buckminster Fuller Institute, and Ocean Arks International. He currently resides in Falmouth Massachusetts.
Gregory C. Watson
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114-2151