MDAR’s mission to support, regulate, and promote the Commonwealth’s agricultural future is enhanced by the various boards and commissions upon which the Department draws expertise and guidance. Current and statutorily authorized boards include the Agricultural Lands Preservation Committee (ALPC), Dairy Promotion Board, Farm Technology Review Commission (FTRC), Food and Agriculture Board, Pesticide Board, and State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board.

While the names of all board/commission members as well as contact information for the various MDAR staff liaisons are provided, please note that all Department Boards and Commissions may also be reached directly for official correspondence by US Post at:

(Name of the Board/Commission being reached)
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
251 Causeway St., Suite 500
Boston, MA  02114

Agricultural Lands Preservation Committee (ALPC)

M.G.L. Chapter 20 § 24
Chairman:          John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR

The ALPC’s function is to evaluate and accept or reject applications for Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) projects based upon the criteria outlined in the General Laws. There are four farmer members appointed by the Governor; one member from the Board of Agriculture; two non-voting members; a designee of the Undersecretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, a designee of the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs; and the Commissioner of Agricultural Resources who serves as the chair.  

   State Agency Members:
John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR
   Robert O’Conner, designee of Secretary Matthew Beaton, EOEEA
   Phil DeMartino, designee of Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay, EOHE
   Judy Leab, Chairperson, Board of Agriculture
   Patricia Vittum, Interim Director, Center for Agriculture, UMass

   Public Members (Appointed by the Governor):
Stephen Verrill –farmer
   Warren Shaw, Jr. –farmer
   Frederick Dabney, Jr. – farmer
   George Beebe – farmer

   Non-Voting Members:
   Daniel Wright, designee of Christine Clarke, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service


Board of Agriculture

M.G.L. Chapter 20, § 1
Chairperson:  Laura Abrams.

The Board of Agriculture represents the interests of agriculture to the Department and provides input on policy development and budgetary decisions. It consists of thirteen members, nine of whom shall be farmers.

Public Members (Appointed by the Governor):

Laura Abrams - Middlesex County - farmer
Alison Carr - Plymouth County - farmer
Donald Chase - Hampden County - agricultural manager
Fred Dabney - Bristol County - farmer
Michelle Harvey - Worcester County - farmer
Judy Leab – Berkshire County - farmer
Laura Sapienza-Grabski - Essex County - consultant
M. Michael Smolak - Essex County - farmer
Lydia Sisson - Middlesex County - non-profit director
Noli Taylor - Dukes County - non-profit director
Fredrick “Skip” Vadnais, Jr. – Bristol County – farmer
Lucinda Williams – Hampshire County - farmer
Crystal Card – Middlesex County - farmer

Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board

M.G.L. Chapter 20 § 30 
Chairman:          The Commissioner of Agricultural Resources’ designee Mary Jordan, 617-626-1750
                         Director of the Division of Agricultural Markets

The Dairy Promotion Board develops programs and policies with the objective of increasing the consumption of Massachusetts dairy products through promotion, research, and educational activities. The nine member board is made up of representatives of the Department of Agricultural Resources, Executive Office of Administration and Finance, the dairy farming industry, and the milk processing industry.

State Agency Members:
Mary Jordan - designee Commissioner, MDAR
Brian McKeon- designee Secretary Kristen Lepore, A&F

Staff Liaison: Julia Grimaldi, MDPB Coordinator, 617-626-1763

Public Members (Appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources):
Melissa Willis, dairy farmer, Agri-Mark,
Krisanne Koebke, dairy farmer, MA Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Inc.
Darryl Williams, dairy farmer, MA Association of Dairy Farmers
David Hanson, dairy farmer, Agri-Mark
Kathleen Herrick, dairy farmer, MA Association of Dairy Farmers
Warren Shaw, dairy farmer, New England Producer Handler Association
Lynne Bohan, Massachusetts Food Association

Farm Technology Review Commission (FTRC)

Chapter 310 § 11 of the Acts of 2008
Chairman:           The Commissioner of Agricultural Resources’ designee Gerard Kennedy,                               
                              Director of the Division of Agricultural Technical Assistance, MDAR
Staff Liaison:      Gerard Kennedy, 617-626-1773

The role of the FTRC is to study and recommend options for updating farming technology.  This is a broad mandate, which includes but is not limited to: ways to promote energy conservation; collaborative purchasing; purchasing and selling of energy; and energy saving technology. In addition, the Commission will also recommend alternative options for agricultural sustainability and growth, and analyze regulations and statutes to ensure that they are not impediments to the adoption of such farming technology. The Commission consists of representatives of the Department of Agricultural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Department of Revenue, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative the Massachusetts Cooperative of Milk Producers Federation, the Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers, and a Dairy Farmer Licensed as a Producer Dealer.

Massachusetts Food Policy Council (FPC)

M.G.L. Chapter 20 § section 6C
Chairman:           John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR
Staff Liaison:       Bonita Oehlke, 617-626-1753

Chapter 277 of the Acts of 2010 amends Massachusetts General Law Chapter 20 by inserting Section 6C, creating a 17-member Food Policy Council (“FPC”). The purpose of the council is to develop recommendations to advance the following food system goals for the commonwealth including (A) increased production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods; (B) the development and promotion of programs that deliver healthy Massachusetts-grown foods to Massachusetts residents, through programs such as: (i) targeted state subsidies; (ii) increased state purchasing of local products for school and summer meals and other child and adult care programs; (iii) double coupon initiatives; (iv) direct market subsidies to communities with identified needs; (v) increased institutional purchases of Massachusetts-grown foods and other programs to make access to healthy Massachusetts products affordable, and (vi) increased access to healthy Massachusetts-grown foods in communities with disproportionate burdens of obesity and chronic diseases; (C) the protection of the land and water resources required for sustained local food production; and (D) the training, retention and recruitment of farmers and providing for the continued economic viability of local food production, processing and distribution in the commonwealth.

State Agency Members:

John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR
Jay Ash, Secretary, Designee: Helena Fruscio, MEOHED
Dr. Monica Bharel, Commissioner,  Designee: Lea Susan Ojamaa, MPH
Martin Suuberg, Commissioner, MDEP, Designee: Danah Tench
Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner, Designee: Robert Leshin, MESE
Jeff McCue, Commissioner, Designee: Frank Martinez Nocito,  MDTA

Legislative members:

Senator Anne Gobi
Representative Hannah Kane
Senator Ryan Fattman
Representative Steve Kulik

Industry Members (appointed by the Governor):

Vivien Morris, MS, RD, MPH, LDN, Community based nutrition and public health expert
Jeff Cole, Executive Director, MA farmers markets, direct to consumer marketing
Eric Stocker, Food processor and distributor
Samuel S. Wong, PhD, REHS/RS, Local health department representative
John Lee, Allandale Farm, Farmer
Amanda Kinchla, M.S., Food Safety Extension Specialist, UMASS Amherst
John Waite, Food processor and handler

Advisory Committee Members

Shemariah Blum-Evitts,  Lutheran Social Services’ New Lands Farm Program
Cris Coffin, American Farmland Trust
James Harrison, The Food Project
Nancy Cohen,  UMass
Christa Drew, MA Food Policy Alliance
Joe Schoenfeld, UMASS
Phil Korman of Community,  Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
Brad Mitchell,  Farm Bureau
Ellen Parker,  Project Bread
Helen Rasmussen PhD, Tufts

Massachusetts Pesticide Board

M.G.L. Chapter. 132B § 3
Chairman:           The Commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources, John Lebeaux

Staff Liaison:       Taryn LaScola, Director of Crop and Pest Services, 617-626-1776

The Board's responsibilities entail advising the Commissioner of Agricultural Resources with respect to the implementation and administration of Massachusetts general laws pertaining to pesticides. The Board also hears appeals of those aggrieved by the actions or decisions of the Department or the Subcommittee of the Pesticide Board.  The thirteen member board consists of representatives of the Department of Agricultural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Food and Drugs, Department of  Fish and Game, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Public Health, as well as farming, commercial pesticide applicators,  pesticide toxicology, the environmental community, the medical community, and citizens at large.

   State Agency Members:
  John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR
   Kathy Romero, Designee for Commissioner Martin Suuberg, MDEP
   Marc Nascarella, Ph.D. Designee for Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, M.D., MDPH
   Michael Moore, MDPH, Food Protection Program
   Ken Simmons, Designee for Commissioner George Peterson, Jr., MDFG
   Ken Gooch, Designee for Commissioner Leo Roy, MDCR

   Public Members (Appointed by the Governor):
   Richard Berman, Commercial Pesticide Applicator
   Laurell Farinon, Conservation Agent
   Dr. Jack Looney, Public Member
   Dr. Brian Magee, Toxicologist
   Steven F. Ward, Farmer
   Richard C. Brittain, Public Member
   Dr. Steven Bradley Bird, Physician

State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board (SRMCB)

M.G.L. Chapter 252 § 2
Chairman:     The Commissioner of Agricultural Resources’ designee Alisha Bouchard,
Staff Liaison: Juan Carlos Gutierrez, SRMCB, 617-626-1723

The SRMCB oversees mosquito control in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and establishes administrative and technical policy, guidelines, and best management practices to insure that mosquito control programs are effective and safe.  The SRMCB also appoints all Commissioners of the various regional mosquito control projects.  The three member board is comprised of representatives of the Departments of Agricultural Resources, Conservation and Recreation, and Environmental Protection.

State Agency Members:
Alisha Bouchard, designee Commissioner John Lebeaux, DAR
Gary Gonyea, designee Commissioner Martin Suuberg, DEP
Jim Straub, designee Commissioner Leo Roy, DCR

Small Farm Demonstration and Training Center Review Board (State Review Board)

Chairman: John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR

Responsibilities of the SRB: Established under the terms of Chapter 664 of the Acts of 1986 to review and approve Lessee activities under the terms of a lease to the New England Small Farm Institute on 475 acres of state owned land in Belchertown to develop a “Small Farm Demonstration and Training Center”

Current State Review Board Membership (Voting – all positions may be represented by a designee): Commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources (Chair/Convener); Commissioner Department of Capital Asset Management; Director/Dean, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture; Director, UMass Amherst Extension/Center for Agriculture; Dean, UMass Amherst College of Natural Resources; Chair, Belchertown Conservation Commission; Chair, Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC); Director, Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance

Public Market Commission

Executive Order 535
Chairman: John Lebeaux, Commissioner, MDAR
Staff Liaison: David Webber, 617-626-1754

The role of The Public Market Commission is to: Define the mission and vision of a public market in downtown Boston; Confer with participants and parties from the public and private sector involved with the planning, financing, design, and construction of said public market; Work with relevant public and private sector parties to write guidelines for an eventual market operator; Work with the appropriate state agencies to advertise for, and select, a market operator; Define the terms of a lease between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the operator, subject to approval of MassDOT; and Receive and review quarterly updates from the operator on the financial health of the market, its adherence to the mission and other issues as necessary.

Open Meeting Notice for October 25, 2017  pdf format of Open Meeting Notice for October 25, 2017

   Commission Members:
John Lebeaux, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
   Michael J. Heffernan, Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance
   Daniel Sieger, designee of the Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
   Kirk Jackson, designee of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation
   Joseph Boncore, State Senator
   State Representative - Vacant
   Nancy Caruso, City of Boston Appointee
   Lauren Shurtleff, designee of the Executive Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority
   Jesse Brackenbury, Executive Director, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy