February

  • February 23

    Making the Most Out of Pasture and Hayfields- Mass. Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, Westborough, MA - 9:30 am - 3:30 pm- co-sponsored by UMass Extension and NE SARE. Program includes: Hayfield Improvement, Extending Grazing Opportunity through Summer Annuals, Double Cropping, and Pasture Improvement. – Attendees will enjoy interactive presentations, panel discussions, lunch and refreshments with presenters from UMass, UVM, UNH, and UMaine faculty and Extension educators. 5 CEU’s are being offered; 2 Nutrient Management and 3 Crop Production. More details and registration information. Details here. Contact Kelly Kraemer 413-545-5221 with an questions or registrations.

  • February 26

    10th Annual SEMAP Ag & Food Conference - 9am – 3:30pm, Bristol County Agricultural High School, 135 Center St., Dighton. Whether you’re a professional farmer, a backyard gardener, or just curious about locally grown food, this is the event for you! Each year, the lineup includes workshops for the general public as well as info-packed sessions for farmers and gardeners of all experience levels.  Registration includes a locally-sourced lunch and at the Resource Fair you’ll learn about local organizations and businesses that provide services and products to help you grow, whether you’ve got a hundred acres or a couple of window boxes. More here.

  • February 28

    ​Incentive ​Programs ​and ​Risk ​Management ​class ​of ​UMass ​Vegetable ​Winter ​School - Brigham Hill Community Farm, 37 Wheeler Rd., Grafton. Sessions include: Fundamentals of Risk; MDAR Programs (Craig Richov, Director, Farm Viability Programs); Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Grants; Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Programs; FSA Loan Programs; FSA Farm Programs; MDAR Energy Programs; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis. Details here.

  • February 28

    Strategic Marketing for a Stronger Farm Business - 5:30-8:30 PM, Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA. Is your marketing strategy “we sell whatever we have to anyone that will buy it”?  Learn how a focused strategy and specific efforts can reduce your marketing labor needs and make every step count.  If you want to sharpen and focus your marketing skills or just don’t know where to begin developing a marketing plan, we can help. Presented by Matt LeRoux, Ag Marketing Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension. Part of Berkshire Grown workshop series. Details here.

March

  • March 1

    Local Specialty Crop Trade Show & Local Food Trade Show - The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) is offering its 6th Local Food Trade Shows. Designed to facilitate connections and stimulate business relationships between producers and wholesale buyers of local food, with a focus on specialty crop food products in Massachusetts. This event is ideal for restaurants, retailers and institutional buyers interested in trading with local food suppliers and who desire to buy more locally produced products from growers, fishermen, and value added producers from MA and NE.  The Local Specialty Crop Trade Show - exhibitors will include New England based farmers, produce distributors and local specialty crop producers (products made with 50% or more specialty crops also qualify). Booths are free for specialty crop farmers and producers: register here. Local Food Trade Show - This trade show is open to all non-specialty crop food producers including meat and dairy farms, fisheries, baked goods and other added value producers; register here. The Trade Shows will include workshops offering best practice topics around some of the most pressing barriers to specialty crop sales in Massachusetts. More here. 

  • March 1

    Updates for EPA Worker Protection Standard - for Greenhouse Growers - 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Cavicchio’s Greenhouse, 110 Codjer Lane, Sudbury. Laurie Rocco, s (MDAR) will walk growers through the revisions of the revised EPA's 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulation. The WPS are designed to reduce pesticide poisoning and injuries among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. All horticultural employers who use pesticides (including organic pesticides) and who have one or more employees must comply with all of the provisions of the WPS. Owners of agricultural establishments and members of their immediate family are exempt from some WPS requirements. However, they must observe the appropriate REIs and must use the proper personal protective equipment listed on the pesticide label. The majority of the rule revisions were effective on January 2, 2017. 2 Pesticide credits available. Details here.

  • March 4

    5th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference - 7:45 am - 5:00 pm - Northeastern University Curry Student Center, 346 Huntington Ave, Boston. Conference is designed to advance the opportunities and address the barriers involved in cultivating a resilient and thriving urban farming sector. The 5th annual Conference is comprised of interactive panels, demonstration workshops, expert discussions on diverse and relevant topics with distinguished conversation leaders and practitioners. The event always sells out! Early Bird Special, $50, ends December 30, 2016. Register here. For panel/workshop information, contact Rose Arruda at MDAR: Rose.Arruda@state.ma.us.

  • March 7 - 9

    2017 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show: Turn Up the Volume on Your Farm Marketing! Sturbridge Host Hotel,  Sturbridge, MA. Featuring Craig Ostbo from Koopman Ostbo Communication Marketing in Portland, OR AGENDA: See all that the conference has to offer at the 2017 Conference. TRADE SHOW: Conference registration includes a national industry trade show.  Those interested in exhibiting should register by December 2, 2016 and save $100! Advertise: Interested in advertising in the conference program?  Take a look at the super reasonable ad rates. Over 800 people, from New England and beyond, attend this three day conference. Sponsor: As the only regional ag marketing conference, your sponsorship will provide name recognition throughout New England. From supporting an individual breakout session, to sponsoring lunch or the entire trade show, there are numerous ways to support this well attended conference. Stay: The Sturbridge Host Hotel is offering a discount overnight rate for conference attendees! www.harvestnewengland.org/events/

  • March 7

    FSMA: What You Need to Know - 5:30-8:30 PM, Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA. Have questions about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule and what it means for your farm? This workshop will provide an overview of the requirements of FSMA, including exemptions and the compliance timeline for small and medium-sized farms. We’ll also discuss general good practices for produce safety and why recognizing contamination risks and making food safety improvements on your farm is good business even if you are exempt from the law. Presented by Lisa McKeag, UMass Extension Vegetable Production and Food Safety Specialist. Part of Berkshire Grown workshop series. Details here.

  • March 11

    Growing Minds through Agriculture - Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School, Palmer, MA. Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom invites you to attend our "Growing Minds through Agriculture" winter conference. Attendees may receive ten PDP's by attending workshops about Energizing the Curriculum using the School Garden and Agriculture. Workshops on soil, plant identification, garden math, learning styles in the garden, reading and agriculture, and more will be offered. Details here.

  • March 14

    Northeast Harvest Agricultural Conference - 9 am - 2:30 pm, Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fairgrounds. Sessions include: Worker Protection Standards; Our New Look – Northeast Harvest Website; Healthy Incentives Program (HIP); Market Your Farmers’ Market; Review of the 2016 Growing Season – Pest & Weather Issues in Fruits & Vegetables; Supporting Pollinators in the Farm Landscape; Wrap Up with James O’Brien, Northeast Harvest Executive Director. More here.

  • March 16

    Unpacking the Farm Labor Puzzle: An Intro to Labor Management - 5:30-8:30 PM, Lenox Community Center, 65 Walker St, Lenox MA. One of the biggest challenges in reaching your farm goals is likely related to employees—finding, training, and retaining them. Without employees your growth is limited. Choose the wrong employees and your dreams turn to nightmares. Managing the transition from farmer to boss requires skill, practice and patience. In this workshop we’ll look at best practices in recruiting, training, and retaining farm employees, and strategies for making better decisions. Presented by Mary Peabody, Community Economic Development Specialist, UVM Extension. Part of Berkshire Grown workshop series. Details here.

  • March 29
    Farm Share Fair 2017 - The Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville. Boston area’s direct-to-consumer marketing event for food producers across Massachusetts.  Consumers want to meet their farmers and have the opportunity to compare options. Vendors - get to know your target market one-on-one, and have the opportunity to sell your CSA, Farm Share or Home Delivery programs.  On-site sampling, and food or product sales welcome! This annual event draws over 500 participants.Sign up now – vendor space is limited! Sponsorship visibility opportunities available. www.farmsharefair.com. Click here to sign up. Questions? mindy@mindyharriscommunications.com.