In this issue: 

Commissioner's Column
Special Guest Column

Forefront

Business

Upcoming Events

News From USDA

In Every Issue


Commissioner's Column 

Image of Scott Soares

Dear Friends,
Like the harvest season that most are experiencing this year, this October/November Farm & Market report brims with events, news, and milestones that reflect the unabated excitement and growth we’re seeing in local Massachusetts agriculture.

The above is of particular note. Namely in spite of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, our farming community has continued to show the resilience, ingenuity, and roll-up-the-sleeves resolve for which Massachusetts farmers are famous. At MDAR we’ve worked to match that dedication and commitment and have come to find that the cultivation (no pun intended?) of a “can-do” mind-set has become a cultural foundation of our agency. From maximizing and leveraging new public outreach to optimizing federal grant opportunities and forging new partnerships that have provided further expansion of our Commonwealth’s agricultural vitality, I’m proud of everyone at MDAR and our widening circle of friends who are committed to providing the highest levels of service and support towards a continued strong future.

Before touching on a few highlights, I’d like to introduce a new feature of the Farm & Market Report that mirrors the Department’s efforts to broaden partnerships and, we hope, will add to the information value of our publication. Starting in this volume readers will now find a special guest column section featuring an agriculturally relevant topic from contributors who are domain experts in a particular area. In consideration of the ongoing concerns and interests associated with labor and immigration issues, I’m happy to introduce Brenda Smith, J.D., whom I met during my presentation to the Salem Chamber of Commerce and whose expertise is in this field.

As to what other highlights you’ll find in this installation of F&M, some of you may have already heard of our September 28th launch of the Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP). From many perspectives, this is a ground-breaking milestone for Massachusetts and a win-win for growers, producers, harvesters, processors, and importantly consumers. Components of this program have been under development for about two years, thanks in large part to strong partnerships with Massachusetts farmers, fishers and foresters. We have now begun the sign-up stage with several commodity groups. Working in concert with Commonwealth Quality Ambassadors, it is our hope that the “CQP” will provide a voluntary option to producers of agricultural, fisheries and forestry products that highlights production standards and practices that address the reasons we “Buy Local”. Following the sign-up phase and producer response period, consumers will soon be able to find a “Seal of Commonwealth Quality” that will guide them to products following verified standards and practices that address growing consumer motivations for purchasing local products food safety and environmental sustainability.

New efforts underway involve the Department’s work with two major projects that will have statewide and regional impact. The first project is the development of a year-round Boston Public Market. Generated by continued demand for greater access to locally grown agricultural products, this large-scale project involves the Governor’s office, our Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, MassDOT (Department of Transportation), the City of Boston, and MDAR. I’m pleased to announce that today the Department posted a Request for Responses (RFR) that will lead to the design/implementation of the Boston Market.

The second major effort brings us to Northampton and the 3-County Fairgrounds. As a result of a 2008 bond authorization the Department has been able to pursue development of a contract that will enable the first phase of a $42 million project at the Fairgrounds. The Commonwealth’s investment of $4 million over two years will allow much needed site improvements, the construction of a 300 stall complex and lead to a greater than $30 million impact on the Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden regional economy as a result of the increased and enhanced business and event opportunities at the 3-County Fairgrounds. In fact, beyond hosting the very popular and well attended annual 3 County Fair, the Fairgrounds host a number of community, arts, and equestrian events including the American Morgan Horse Association with whom the Fair has a 75-year relationship!

Some additional new MDAR programs on the block are also showing great success. To address the needs of beginning farmers, the Department has initiated the Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program (MEGA). This brand new pilot program offers technical and business planning assistance to support the special needs of new farmers. In recognition of the limited availability of capital for new farm enterprises and the opportunity that capital access coupled with technical assistance and smart business planning can bring, MEGA also makes available financial assistance up to $10,000 for equipment, infrastructure or other capital improvements. Of 29 applicants this year, ten have been selected to participate in the pilot round.

Also, in response to new authority that was provided by the Dairy Farm Preservation Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, we also introduced the APR Improvement Program (AIP). Fashioned after the Department’s popular Farm Viability Enhancement Program, the purpose of AIP is to help sustain active commercial farming on land that has already been protected through the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. AIP provides technical assistance, business planning, and funding to improve farm productivity. Last year ten farms received grant awards totaling $675,000. Soon we will be sending out notifications of this years awardees.

The new MassGrown & Fresher website continues to gain traction as an important marketing tool for farmers and a valuable resource to consumers. Perhaps you’ve also seen our colorful MassGrown & Fresher tent recently? It’s been to the Big E, the Solomon Pond Mall, and is now on a road show to colleges and universities. I’m especially excited about the latter as I think it’s a great opportunity to build relationships with a potential new customer base that appears to be “hungry” for all that the agricultural community has to offer. Please check below the schedule – if you are a farmer in the vicinity of one of these colleges, please stop by to visit your next new customers. And please check to make sure YOUR farm is listed on MassGrown & Fresher!

Best,

Image of Soares Signature

Scott J. Soares, Commissioner
www.twitter.com/AgCommishSoares

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Special Guest Column 

An Audit By ICE - Would You Be Ready?

Image of Brenda J. Smith

The Top Things You Must Know to Successfully Pass and ICE Audit
by Brenda J. Smith, J.D.

As an agriculture employer, you have many things to think about. The last thing you want to be worried about is whether your employees are legal, and whether you will be subject to a government audit of your paperwork.

Over the past 18 months, there has been an increased focus by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) on enforcing immigration laws against employers. This focus represents a shift in immigration policy, and it has huge implications to you as an agriculture employer. Since July of 2009 over 3,500 employers have received Notices of Inspection (NOI) and subsequently have been subject to a government audit of the I-9 and immigration documentation. Last week the agency announced another 500 Notices of Inspections and audits of employers all over the United States, including companies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The I-9 form is the most critical document for employer compliance. Employers who mistakenly view the I-9 form as “just a piece of paper” may be in for a big surprise. Namely, that one piece of paper can cost an employer thousands if not millions of dollars. One error on the form is $1,100; so as an example, something as simple as forgetting to sign could cost your company. If you have a file full of these kinds of simple mistakes, the results could be expensive for your small farm and possibly result in the failure of your business. Between July of 2009 and July of 2010, employers were fined over $38.5 million dollars for administrative errors on I-9 forms. What would your fines total?

The most important question to ask yourself, is “If ICE sent me a NOI today, would I be ready for an audit?” Upon receipt of an NOI from ICE, you must have all files ready within 72 hours. Below are some things to consider as you ponder this question:

  1. Are you using the most current I-9? The updated version of the form has an expiration date of August 31, 2012. Using the incorrect version will cost you $1,100 per form. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf
  2. Is the person completing the form trained in properly completing the I-9?
  3. Is every one of your forms completed properly? The government issues a good faith defense even if you have illegal workers, but your forms must be done correctly.
  4. If you keep photocopies of identification, do you have one for every employee?
  5. Do you have an I-9 form for every active employee, and do you retain the termed I-9’s for three years?
  6. If you use labor from another source such as a farm labor contractor, is the contract clear about who completes the I-9? You are still responsible for the I-9 for any violations unless you have an agreement which states otherwise. The cost for each illegal worker is $3,500, with a maximum fine of $16,000 per worker. This is in additition to the fines for I-9 violations.

Immigrant labor serves as an important resources to farms. The many agriculture clients I have had who have done the due diligence and have completed internal I-9 audits, have been able meet their labor needs successfully. Taking the same actuon will ensure a great opportunity for farmers looking to meet their labor needs.

Brenda J. Smith, J.D. is the Founder and CEO of The Brenda J. Smith Company; a national legal consulting firm specializing in helping clients create and implement successful employment and immigration compliance programs. The firm represents agriculture employers throughout the United States. The company offices are based in Salem, MA. She can be reached at 978-594-8373(o)

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ForeFront


Smile - MDAR Just Took Your Picture! 

Image of Clark Tomato
Image of Boston Local Fest

Salem Farmers’ Market - Bill Clark of Clark Farm in Danvers proudly displays his award winning (and incidentally sold out!) sun gold tomatoes at the Salem Farmer's Market.

Jennifer & Bonita

1st Annual Boston Local Food Festival - Pictured are MDAR staff Jennifer Obadia and Bonita Oehlke.  Jennifer and Bonita, like many MDAR staff lately, have been on the road to promote MassGrown & Fresher at various events including the Big E and Solomon Pond Mall. In the upcoming weeks, staff will also be taking the colorful MassGrown tent on a road show to The Emerald Square Mall, Mt. Wachusett, and various other colleges and universities! Go MassGrown!

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Energy News 

FY 2010 Ag-Energy Grant Program - Status Update

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is in the process of attaining agency approval for a finalized short list of AgEnergy projects. Thanks to the collaboration of many farms, the finalized list is much longer due to the ability of the short-listed farms to reduce grant requests through leveraging additional program assistance and providing a greater match. Grant announcements are anticipated to be soon. As noted in our last F&MR, MDAR was pleased to receive 56 applications valued at more than $1.172 million for the FY 2011 AgEnergy Grant Program. Congratulations again and thank you to all who replied!

Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) - Receives National Energy Award:

The MFEP recently received a prestigious award from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nationally recognized organization promoting energy efficiency. The ACEEE made the announcement on September 15 and announced that the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Massachusetts Farm Energy Program is one of the exceptional state-led energy-efficiency programs in the United States. aceee award photo

A total of only 18 top programs from 14 states were recognized. The award was presented by Commissioner Scott Soares during the September 23rd MA Day festivities at the Big E to Darlene Monds, Jess Cook and Ann Gibson of Berkshire Pioneer RC&D, the organization who administers the MFEP with MDAR & NRCS, and Gerry Palano, Energy Coordinator for MDAR.

In the past 1-1/2 years MFEP assistance has resulted in forty-four energy efficiency and renewable energy projects installed with total costs of $3.7M, with 68% of those costs leveraged from other funding sources, including over $990,000 from federal programs. Twenty-eight of those projects are energy efficiency projects which result in average annual energy efficiency savings of $12,700 per farm. The installation of these projects provided local clean energy industry jobs and improved economic viability for the farms. This is especially important for farm sustainability during this time of economic recession.

Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) - Best Management Practices (BMPs) & Other News

The MA Farm Energy Program (MFEP) has awarded GDS a contract in response to a Response for Proposals (RFP) for helping MFEP develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) on MA Farms in regard to energy, primarily based on audits, assessments and implementation of MFEP projects to date. Significant progress has already been made. First drafts of various sections are being reviewed internally and will continually be throughout October. Final issue anticipated for late fall.

Meanwhile, the other technical assistance provided by MFEP continues on with strong interest from the AG Community. Through MFEP’s “Audits & Incentives Program”, the MFEP will make referrals to existing audit and incentive programs, provide “targeted” energy audits and/or renewable energy assessments, and provide financial incentives for implementation of audit recommendations. Higher priority will be given to farmers with less access to other audits and incentives programs. MFEP audits, assessments, and consultations will be paid at 75% with the applicant responsible for the remaining 25%.

Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D Fall Conference - Oct 28 - 30th

The 2010 New England RC&D Conference will be hosted by Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D Council of western MA. This year's conference "Feeding Ourselves, Fueling Ourselves," has a theme with emphasis on the relationship between energy and food security. The conference will showcase "buy local" efforts; public, private, and nonprofit partnerships; and will highlight energy projects of New England RC&D Councils, particularly those of Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D. The central event of the conference will be a tour of select farms that have implemented noteworthy energy efficiency improvements & renewable energy projects with assistance from the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program. The tour will highlight the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of each farm's project, describe the strategic partnerships that helped make the projects possible, and provide training opportunities for specific technologies. New Englanders pay up to 56 % more per kWh for electricity, 40% more per therm for natural gas, and 23% more per gallon for propane than the US average. Agricultural energy costs directly impact the viability of many New England farms. RC&D projects help sustain farms and working landscapes, protecting the rural character of our region. The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program, a joint project of the MA Dept. of Ag. Resources, USDA-NRCS, Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D, and Patriot RC&D, is one of the programs that will be highlighted at the Conference.

The Carrot Project - Farm Microloan Program - Next Deadline Nov. 4, 2010

The Strolling of the Heifers Microloan Fund and Programs is a partnership of Strolling of the Heifers and The Carrot Project with lending partners Chittenden Bank and MassDevelopment. The mission of the fund is to address the difficulty that some New England farmers have in obtaining credit for projects that improve their operations and increase their income, as well as for emergency needs.

The Program will be accepting prequalified applications through November 5, 2010 for loans of $15,000 or less. Applicants must live Massachusetts and prequalify. There are additional deadlines in January and March of 2011.

For more information, please go to www.thecarrotproject.org/farm_financing or contact Dorothy Suput at 617-666-9637 or at 
dsuput@thecarrotproject.org.

Eligibility

  • Farms with 250 or fewer acres in active production
  • Annual gross revenue of $250,000 or less
  • Primary focus on farms that use sustainable or organic methods (or are moving toward them)
  • Marketing at least a portion of their products to local markets
  • Acceptable purposes for the loans are: capital investments and other expenses that help improve efficiency or quality, or that expand production and sales; repairs necessary to maintain farm operations; short-term operating needs such as inventory, supplies, or labor; and emergency funds to deal with business interruptions due to fire, natural disasters, or other unforeseeable events. Application Packet for Massachusetts

Federal 30% ITC Cash Option Reminder

For those still interested in pursuing the Federal Investment Tax Credit Cash Option, the current deadline for this opportunity is December 31, 2010. Enacted as part of the 2009 ARRA stimulus package, this option provides non-residential commercial projects the opportunity to receive cash at the completion of the project in lieu of receiving a tax credit. Eligible renewable energy projects must have been completed in calendar years 2009 or 2010 OR there are eligibility provisions for those initiating the project by the end of December 31, 2010, including executing a financial contract, executing an installing contractor contract and demonstrating at least 5% project expenditures by this date. This means if you can at least begin implementing an eligible renewable energy project by the end of this year you could still be eligible for the tax credit cash option. For more details on all eligibility requirements and other information please see: www.treas.gov/recovery/1603.shtml.

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"Seal of Commonwealth Quality" Kick-Off Event 

Image of Seal of Commonwealth Quality Kick-Off Event

On Tuesday, September 28, MDAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares along with farm,cqp event fishery and forestry leaders unveiled the “Seal of Commonwealth Quality” at a kick-off event on the Boston Common. The event marked the official introduction of the Commonwealth Quality Program and served to propagate program benefits, as well as announce broad collaboration between MDAR and industry professionals in establishing fundamental program prerequisites.

Following Commissioner Soares’ opening remarks, DCR Commissioner Rick Sullivan observed the role he anticipates Commonwealth Quality will play in establishing a much-needed buy local consumer base for the forestry sector. Representatives from produce, dairy, forestry, aquaculture and lobster commodity groups took turns speaking about their participation in developing the program. Members of special interest groups, state agency employees and political figures were present to learn about the innovative joint initiative.

Commonwealth Quality is designed to promote local agriculture and help consumers identify products that are produced, harvested and responsibly processed in Massachusetts. Central to the initiative, a licensed label will distinguish Massachusetts products that meet comprehensive program requirements, as well as federal, state and local regulations. The highly structured nature of the program and the collaboration behind it represent a significant advancement over traditional state label programs.

Beginning in January 2011, the Seal of Commonwealth Quality will appear on certified Massachusetts produce, dairy, seafood and lumber products at farmer stands, farmers’ markets and retail locations statewide. More information about the Commonwealth Quality Program can be found at www.mass.gov/cqp.

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"Massachusetts Day" at The Big E
Filled with Festivities, and Green Initiatives
 

Image of Think Green on Mass-Day

Massachusetts Day events revolve around the Massachusetts Building on the Avenue of States - an attraction that features replicas of the original capitol buildings of each New England state. Managed year-round by the MDAR, the Massachusetts Building offers fair attendees a Taste of Massachusetts morning reception, Massachusetts-made products, and exhibitor booths showcasing local businesses, artisans and non-profit organizations.Mass Day at the Big E

MDAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares presented agricultural awards and received an award for environmental leadership on “Massachusetts Day” at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) on September 23rd. The day's events highlighted an array of the Commonwealth's commerce, tourism and agricultural interests and a number of awards recognizing vibrant growth in the Commonwealth's agricultural industry and new “green” initiatives at the Massachusetts Building.

“This year’s Massachusetts Day combines many elements of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s goals to promote agriculture and energy efficiency in one venue,” said MDAR Commissioner Scott Soares.

Image of Scott MNLA Award

As part of MDAR’s greening initiative, vendors at the Massachusetts Building are embraced biodegradable products including a solar-powered message board and solar-powered “Big Belly” trash compactors.

MNLA AwardAlso included in the day’s activities was a tree planting ceremony on the grounds of the Massachusetts Building. In recognition of his Environmental Leadership Award from the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), Commissioner Soares planted his favorite tree, a sugar maple. The award, MNLA’s highest honor, recognizes individuals who have consistently provided informed leadership in dealing with complex environmental issues. Recipients are recognized for their wisdom, impartiality and willingness to make difficult decisions that contribute to the quality of life of each citizen in the Commonwealth.

“The sugar maple represents both commercial and recreational interests that mirror agriculture’s synergistic relationship with communities across our Commonwealth,” said Commissioner Soares. “Planting the tree at the Massachusetts Building will allow visitors to appreciate its beauty and serve as a permanent reminder of the reach of agriculture in Massachusetts.”

During the event, Commissioner Soares also announced the winners of this year’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest and the Massachusetts Dairy Industry Promotion’s "3-A-Day" poster contest. In the "3-A-Day" contest, Brooklynn Hayes of Granville took home first place, followed by Kayla Fletcher of New Braintree in second and Kaleigh Simmons of Hatfield in third. First, second and third place winners received savings bonds and all winners received four passes to The Big E, invitations to attend Massachusetts Day and free ice cream.

Calendar contest winning photos and honorable mentions will be printed in the 2011 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar published by Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom in cooperation with DAR and the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Also honored on Massachusetts Day was Russell Davenport, who will be inducted into the Massachusetts Building Hall of Fame. Davenport was a longstanding member of the Massachusetts Board of Food and Agriculture, a dairy farmer and a maple sugar producer, and has been actively involved in promoting agriculture in Massachusetts for many years.

Image of a Mural


Smith Academy students
On display at the Massachusetts building was a mural by students from Smith Academy of Hatfield depicting agricultural scenery that was Commissioned by the Hatfield Agricultural Advisory Committee. The mural honor Hatfield’s agricultural heritage and promotes the availability of local farm products. Under the direction of art teacher Julie Muellejans, students design and paint the 32-foot wide, eight-foot tall murals during the school year.

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Century Farms Celebrated at the Big E, West Springfield 

On Sunday, September 26, 2010 the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation in partnership with the MassachusettsCentury farms photo State Grange celebrated Massachusetts Century Farms at the New England Grange Building. These are farms that have been in the same family for 100 years or more and are still being farmed. The Grange and Farm Bureau are aware of over 100 Century Farms, some of which have been in operation for more than 300 years. Calvin Chase, President of the Massachusetts Grange, Dr. Rich Bonanno, President of Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and Commissioner Scott Soares of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources addressed the audience with congratulatory remarks.

For many, this was an unexpected honor. One recipient of the designation remarked, “I didn’t fill out the application in the beginning because we don't like to look for recognition like this. But I guess that I'm glad we did. It really is an honor, even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it because we take what we do and where we came from for granted.”

Century Farm honorees accepted a metal sign to display at their farm and signed their farm name to a large banner that will be hung at the 138th Annual Session of the Massachusetts Grange, October 28 -31, 2010 at the Milford Double Tree Hotel, Milford, MA. Visit www.massgrange.org for more information or to pre-register for the Annual Session.

The banner will then make an appearance at the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, December 2 & 3, 2010 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel in Springfield, MA where recipients of the Century Farm designation will have another opportunity to sign the banner and receive a booklet of Century Farm histories.

The Grange is the nation’s oldest national agricultural organization. Its 300,000 members nationwide provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable Rural America.

The Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation is a non-profit, 6500 member based organization dedicated to protecting the rights, encouraging the growth and being of service to our members in the best interest of agriculture. Visit us at www.mfbf.net.

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Massgrown & Fresher Update 

MassGrown & Fresher is visiting colleges and universities around Massachusetts in an effort to spread the word about all the opportunities for students to be involved in local agriculture. Whether it is visiting a farmers’ market, apple picking at an area orchard, or choosing MassGrown & Fresher at the supermarket we want students to be well informed and equipped to make good decisions about eating local. And what better way to share all of this information than through the MassGrown & Fresher website! Want to visit us while we are out on tour? We will be on the following campuses:

  • Mount Holyoke College, Farm-to-School Week September 30
  • Boston University, Farmers’ Market October 7
  • UMass Dartmouth, Farmers’ Market October 8
  • Greenfield Community College October 27
  • Bunker Hill Community College, Sustainability Conference October 28

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Massachusetts Leading in Social Network Media 

Image of Planned Spray Map

Did you know that according to NASCIO, Massachusetts is one of 5 states leading in the area of social media technology to connect government and citizens? MDAR has been a part of this effort through Twitter, its contributions to two blogs: The Great Outdoors and Energy Smarts, our Farm & Market Report , and more. We also endeavor to provide online tools that can assist residents during events such as this Augusts’ aerial mosquito spraying in Southeastern Massachusetts.

MDAR now has tools like this one to provide up-to-date, address-specific data in a timely manner. By combing data from onboard computers from the spray planes themselves and employing user friendly Google maps, we are able to provide daily updates to policy makers, the media, program staff and importantly, to the general public.

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Agricultural Fairs Popular Destination Points (Again) This Year 

Massachusetts residents have been taking advantage of a spectacular 2010 summer and fall to visit the over 40 agricultural state fairs across the State. On the road to promote agricultural fairs as well as to experience great local products, farm exhibits, horse shows, arts-and-crafts, 4H children’s activities, and more have been Governor Deval Patrick and Commissioner Scott J. Soares.
Students from the Essex Agricultural School who were part of the 4H steer competition at the Topsfield Fair on October 2nd.

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Massachusetts Agriculture Calendars Now Available 

The 2011 "Celebrating the Seasons of Massachusetts Agriculture" Calendar

Image of the 2011 Calender Cover

The 2011 Ag Calendar photo contest has become a popular annual line-up that is always featured on the2011 Ag calendar cover Department’s Homepage. Each month’s winning photo adds a colorful touch highlighting the rich diversity of our Commonwealth’s agricultural community.

Many of the awardees were honored on Massachusetts Day at the Big E, September 23rd where they were presented with an Award Certificate by Commissioner Scott Soares.

Your purchase of this unique local calendar will show your enthusiasm for Massachusetts agriculture, and will also support the many educational efforts of Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, the designated recipient of the proceeds. This attractive calendar will make a nice hostess or holiday gift for any friend or family member who has an interest in agriculture. Calendars can be purchased for $10 each ($5 wholesale cost at 10 minimum). Send check payable to Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom to PO Box 345, Seekonk, MA 02771. *Farms and businesses are encouraged to purchase at wholesale cost on consignment to have at your retail farms. Contact Debi at debi.hogan@earthlink.net.

Thanks to association sponsors; MA Maple Producers Assoc. (March), MA State Grange(April), MA Flower Growers Assoc.(May), MA Dairy Promotion Board (June), MA Farm Bureau (July), MA Fairs Association (August), MA Fruit Growers Assoc. (Sept.), Cape Cod Cranberry Association (November), and MA Christmas Tree Assoc. (December). Special thanks to Diane Baedeker Petit and Catherine Ulitsky with NRCS who designed the Calendar.

2011 UMass Garden Calendar

University of Massachusetts Extension announces the availability of its ever popular Garden Calendar for 2011, "PLANTS THAT INSPIRE." COST: $12/single copies (includes shipping & handling). Bulk pricing is available on orders of 10 copies or more. One can define "inspire" as "to fill with enlivening or exalting emotion," and to many people, plants do exactly that! Whatever, the reason, it goes without saying, that plants are a part of everyone's life and impact all of us on a daily basis.

This year's UMass Garden Calendar showcases a variety of plants that each inspired their respective photographer/author. It is a collection of images that includes everything from annual flowers and vegetables to perennials and woody plants. Plants do not have to be rare, exotic, or expensive to create an element of delight and inspiration!

As always, each month features:

  • An inspiring garden image
  • Daily gardening tips for Northeast growing conditions
  • Daily sunrise and sunset times
  • Phases of the moon
  • Plenty of room for notes
  • Low gloss paper for easy writing

For images in the calendar, details, and ordering info, go to http://umassgardencalendar.org/

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Business


Three Agricultural Business Planning Courses
Ready For January-March 2011
 

Three formats serve the full spectrum of individuals who make up Massachusetts agriculture:

Explorers - For those who are thinking about profitable farming or expanding a hobby on an income-generating scale. “Exploring the Small Farm Dream” materials from the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI) are augmented by MDAR individual guidance in a group setting for making informed decisions about whether and how to proceed. 4-sessions over 5 weeks on weekday evenings, $125.

Planners – For those a step or two beyond Explorers who have access to land and a stronger sense of what they want and are capable of doing. “Planning for Start-up” provides a gut check before making more significant investments of time and money. This course, developed jointly with NESFI, includes a month of individually guided research and support between sessions 2 and 3. Requires completion of Explorer, another similar course, or self guided study using the Explorer workbook. Applicants must have reached the decision to farm on a revenue generating scale. 4-sessions over 8 weeks on weekend mornings, $125.

Established Farmers – For those already operating an agricultural enterprise with at least two years of production and sales. “Tilling the Soil of Opportunity” from NxLevel offers a chance to assess, regroup, assemble documentation for decision making, consider redirection, plan expansion, or propose ownership transfer. This course draws on extensive peer experience, Instructor knowledge and guest speakers - with the addition of substantial individual technical assistance at course conclusion. 10 sessions over 10 weeks on weekday evenings, $200.

Each course is limited to 12 farms/potential agricultural businesses, with an option to bring a key partner. Full attendance is required to get expected results. Fees are kept low through MDAR support, with the small farmer investment demonstrating serious intent and a commitment to the class community.

Please request additional details and an application for the course that fits you best. Courses fill quickly in the Fall. Email requests to 
rick.chandler@state.ma.us, or consult the MDAR website at the following link: Agricultural Business Training Program.

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Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) for fiscal year (FY) 2011 to support: (1) the development of Community Food Projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining; and (2) Planning Projects to assess the food security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities. NIFA anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2011 will be approximately $5,000,000. No single grant for a Community Food Project shall exceed $125,000 in any single year or more than $300,000 over three (3) years.

Only private, nonprofit entities meeting specific requirements as listed in the Request for Applications are eligible to apply. See the grant application at 
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/funding/rfas/community_food.html for specific eligibility criteria. Applications are due to www.grants.gov by November 17th.

The primary goals of the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program are to:

  • Meet the food needs of low-income individuals;
  • Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities;
  • Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and
  • Meet specific State, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to:
  • Infrastructure improvement and development;
  • Planning for long-term solutions; or
  • The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.

Please note that the Community Food Security Coalition offers free assistance to help applicants develop a strong proposal. For information about assistance to CFP grant applicants please see www.foodsecurity.org

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Join us October 25-27 for the MCCA Local Vendor Fair 

Do you have an elite specialty or ethnic food item unique to the New England area?
Do you represent locally farmed dairy or locally grown produce?
If so, we look forward to meeting you!

Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and Levy Restaurants are hosting a Local Vendor Fair to source new, fresh local products!

Monday, October 25 through Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210. For more information, or to make an appointment, please visit www.massconvention.com.

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$1 Million in IPM Funding Available
Through Two Northeastern Grant Programs
 

The Northeastern IPM Center is requesting applications for funding through two separate grants programs: the Northeast Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program and the IPM Partnership Grants Program. Support for both programs comes from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Eligibility and application requirements are briefly described below. If you have questions about either program, please contact grants manager John Ayers, co-director of the Northeastern IPM Center, Penn State University (phone 814-777-1291; jea@psu.edu.

1) Northeast Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program
Approximately $600,000 will be available in 2011 to support projects that develop pest control tactics, integrate tactics into an IPM system, and extend IPM information to others. This program seeks applications for three project types: Research, Extension, and Joint Research-Extension.

Eligibility: Organizations eligible to receive awards through this Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program are state agricultural experiment stations, land-grant colleges and universities (1862 and 1890), research foundations established by land-grant colleges and universities, colleges and universities receiving funds under the Act of October 10, 1962 (16 U.S.C. 582a et seq.), and accredited schools or colleges of veterinary medicine. If necessary, award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply. Project directors must be based in the northeastern region.

Submission and Deadlines: A letter of intent is due Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 (submit to grants manager John Ayers). Complete proposals are due Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 (applicants must work with their authorized organizational representatives to submit online through Grants.gov). For more information about this grant program, visit http://northeastipm.org/grants-ripm.cfm and www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/regionalintegratedpestmgtnortheastern.cfm.

2) IPM Partnership Grants Program - Reminder: Applications due Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
A total of up to $450,000 will be available in 2011 through the IPM Partnership Grants Program. Anyone in the Northeast may apply. For complete information and application instructions visit http://northeastipm.org/grants-partnership.cfm.

The NEIPMCommunication-L list is owned by the Northeastern IPM Center, which fosters the development and adoption of integrated pest management, a science-based approach to managing pests in ways that generate economic, environmental, and human health benefits. We use the list periodically to distribute news about IPM funding opportunities, research and extension projects, and great IPM information sources. To join or unsubscribe from the list, please send a request via e-mail to NortheastIPM@cornell.edu.

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Municipal Right of Way Process from A-Z 

The "Municipal Right of Way Process from A-Z" will be held at six locations state-wide and will cover several topics in relation to Right of Way issues, as well as offer two sets of concurrent workshops in the afternoon. This workshop will be taught by the MassDOT Right of Way staff and will run from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm on each of the offered days.

More information, as well as a full description and agenda can be found on this brochure (PDF). Or, to register directly as well as view other classes that are currently offered or upcoming, visit the Registration Page of our website HERE.

Upcoming dates/locations:
10/14 - Northampton
11/09 - Taunton
10/18 - Worcester
11/10 - Dedham

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UMass Offers Top Notch Certificate Trainings
for Professional Turf Managers
 

For more information on the UMass Certificate Programs for Turf Managers below, including registration information, visit www.umassturf.org and click on Certificate Programs. UMass Extension's 2010 GREEN SCHOOL, a comprehensive 11-day certificate short course for Green Industry professionals taught by UMass faculty and Extension Specialists, is now accepting registrations.

This popular course, offered every other year, is designed for turf and landscape professionals who wish to gain a basic understanding of horticulture fundamentals and strategies, but who can't fit a full academic course into their schedules. Green School students come away with the knowledge needed to make environmentally appropriate and agronomically sound turf management decisions. Students choose one of the three "specialty tracks" when registering: Turf Management, Landscape Management, or Arboriculture. The Turf Management track is especially appropriate for professionals managing lawn, park, municipal, school and sports turf.

Green School runs November 1 - December 10, 2010, twice a week from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM in Milford, MA. Registration deadline is October 29, or until the classes are full. Space is limited, and the Turf track fills quickly, so apply early to be guaranteed a seat. 12 pesticide recertification contact hours will be offered for all New England states in turf, category 37 (or corresponding category in other NE states), and 6 contact hours will be offered for licensed applicators. For more information specific to Green School visit www.umassturf.org and click on ‘Certificate Programs’, or call UMass Extension at 413-545-0895.

UMass WINTER SCHOOL FOR TURF MANAGERS immerses students in a full-time, seven week program, focused solely on the management of fine turf and taught by UMass faculty and staff. It is a comprehensive certificate program designed to furnish turf managers with the concepts essential to maintaining high quality turf, while instilling a sense of environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility.

Winter School 2011 runs January 3 - February 17, 2011, at the UMass campus in Amherst. Classes are scheduled: Mon 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Tu - Th 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Fri 8:00 AM - noon. This schedule is designed to accommodate weekend commuters who may want to stay in the Amherst area Tu – Th evenings but head home on the weekends. Some area hotels offer special packages just for UMass Winter School students. Pesticide recertification contact hours will be offered for all New England states, and 23 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are offered. Successful completion of Winter School has been approved by the Sports Turf Managers Association for 1.75 Education Points in the Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) Program.

For more information about Winter School go to www.umassturf.org and click on ‘Certificate Programs’, call (413) 545-5202, or email academicprograms@contined.umass.edu.

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New Guide Walks Western Massachusetts Families
Through the Future of Their Land
 

Family land is a Massachusetts legacy, part of a long tradition that defines our state’s character. From maple syrup to winding recreational trails, from crisp air and clean water to unspoiled vistas--maintaining the many benefits of family land is actually the result of hard work and sometimes difficult decisions.

Massachusetts now stands on the cusp of a widespread, intergenerational transfer of land ownership, making the decisions made by families today at kitchen tables across the region some of the most important ever. The result of these decisions will shape the future of local land and the public benefits it provides. Anticipating the issues facing many families, three local organizations have released a new publication called, Your Land, Your Legacy: Deciding the Future of Your land to Meet the Needs of You and Your Family.

Your Land, Your Legacy offers Massachusetts landowners a thoughtful and practical introduction to the process of estate planning to decide the future of their land. It broaches everyday issues such as talking to family members constructively about their needs and wishes, understanding common terminology and the roles of various professionals in the estate planning process, and mapping out a constructive course of action to achieve family goals. The booklet also includes real-life stories from local families who employed different estate planning and land conservation tools to achieve their families’ needs and dreams, and point out the potential pitfalls of not thinking about the future of a family land.

Your Land, Your Legacy was prepared by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, The Trustees of Reservations’ Highland Communities Initiative, and the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership through funding from the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Service Forestry Program.

Download a free copy of Your Land, Your Legacy by visiting www.masswoods.net, or receive one via mail at no charge by calling 1-413-545-4300. Contact: Paul Catanzaro, Forest Resources Specialist, UMass Amherst, (413) 545-4839, cat@umext.umass.edu

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Upcoming Events


USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Training Program 

Sponsored by: UMass Extension and the MA Dept of Agricultural Resources

Recent contamination outbreaks for tomatoes and spinach have raised concerns about the safety of fresh produce. UMass Extension and the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) are pleased to present a USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Training Program for growers and other fresh produce handlers.

At the training, you will learn more about:

  • the costs and impact of diseases and outbreaks caused by food-borne pathogens
  • strategies for controlling potential microbial food safety hazards before planting and throughout all phases of production ? planting, production, harvesting and postharvest handling
  • the USDA Third Party Audit process

You will also:

  • receive a manual filled with GAP resources
  • receive a CD loaded with templates needed to maintain records to verify USDA GAP that can be customized for your farm

At the end of the session, you will receive a certificate of participation including hours and one pesticide credit for participating through UMass Extension.

The key presenter for the training is Dr. Richard Bonanno, Ph.D. Extension Educator with UMass Extension. The cost for this GAP training is $50.00. Send additional employees for $10.00 which includes the presentation, pesticide credit, refreshments, but not the GAP manual. Space is limited. Please make your checks payable to University of Massachusetts. Note that we cannot accept cash payments. Send the check along with the registration information given below to Doreen York, Agriculture & Landscape Program, 210 Bowditch Hall, 201 Natural Resources Rd., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. If you have questions, please contact Doreen at 413-545-2254 or email at dyork@umext.umass.edu.

Two sessions will be available:

Monday, November 22, 2010
Farm Bureau Federation Office
249 Lakeside Drive
Marlboro, MA 01752
12:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Registration deadline: 11/12/10
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Sheraton Springfield/Monarch Place Hotel
One Monarch Place, Springfield, MA 01144
In conjunction: Annual Farm Bureau Mtg.
12:45 PM – 2:30 PM; 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM\
Registration deadline: 11/19/10

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"Second Chance" Aims for World Record on October 17th 

Image of Dog Running

Second Chance Animal Shelter of East Brookfield, MA will be holding a vaccination clinic and attempting to establish Fred the dog a world record for the most vaccinations given in a single day. Rabies and distemper vaccinations will be offered for dogs and cats at a cost of $5 for each:

Where: Klem’s Department Store, Rt. 9, Spencer, MA
When: October 17th, 2010 – 9am-5pm (Rain or Shine)

Second Chance’s goal is to protect pets against rabies. In 2009 approximately 2, 511 pets were potentially exposed to rabies. 1,109 of the potentially exposed pets were not current on their vaccinations. By law and as a matter of public safety, cats and dogs must be up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations. For more information, go to www.secondchanceanimals.org.

About rabies: Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. The virus attacks the central nervous system and can be secreted in saliva. Because rabies affects people as well as animals, vaccination of companion animals is a crucial step in controlling the spread of the disease. For more information about rabies, contact Patricia Cabral at 617-626-1786 or Patricia.Cabral@state.ma.us.

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Advanced Growers' Fall Seminar With Jerry Brunetti -
"Human Health and Soil Health"
 

Barre Congregational Church, 30 Park Street, Barre, MA - This two-part seminar presents a practical and integrated approach for improving human health through improving the health of our soils. Friday evening's talk from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, “The Medicine that Starts in the Soil,” will emphasize what people can do through diet to improve health. Saturday's full day seminar from 8:30am to 5:30pm, “Soil as a Super Organism,” will illustrate hands-on techniques that farmers and gardeners can employ to realize Hippocrates' directive, "Let food be your medicine." The seminar is applicable to producers of vegetables and animal products and health-conscious eaters. Jerry Brunetti -- a frequent speaker at the Acres Conference -- and many other venues, is widely described by his peers as one of the best speakers on biological farm management in the country.

The registration cost for the seminar is $30 for Friday and $100 for Saturday. Any person who registers by October 22 receives a discount of $5 for Friday and $10 for Saturday. Members of any NOFA chapter or MOFGA also receive a discount of $5 for Friday and $10 for Saturday. Pre-registration is required and seminar enrollment is capped at 100 people -- first come, first served. Registration Info and more details at: www.nofamass.org/seminars/fallseminar.php

For more information on the NOFA/Mass Advanced Growers' Fall Seminar, please Contact: Ben Grosscup, NOFA/Mass Extension Events Coordinator ben.grosscup@nofamass.org, or call: (413) 658-5374

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Third Bi-Annual Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference 

Third Bi-Annual Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show to be held in Sturbridge, MA
March 1-3, 2010. Growers from across the Northeast will convene at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center in scenic Sturbridge Massachusetts from March 1-3, 2011. The Harvest New England Association will be hosting a marketing conference for a third time - The Expanding New England Farm Enterprise: Reaping More From What We Sow; A Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference and Trade Show.

Over 800 attendees joined us for the second conference in February 2009. Plans are for an even bigger and better event in 2011.

This unique marketing conference targets New England farmers interested in learning new marketing ideas as well as fine-tuning strategies for business success. Over 25 workshops will be offered covering a wide range of marketing and business planning topics, including using social media, funding, customer relations, value added, agri-tourism and more. Pre-conference workshops include GAP training and a farmers’ market manager’s workshop.
Conference keynote speakers, include retail marketing expert John Stanley - the only speaker to be invited back to North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association’s annual conference for three consecutive years. Mr. Stanley will also lead a pre-conference workshop on March 1. Vermont famer Ben Hewitt and author of the The Town That Food Saved will address conference attendees on March 3.

A full trade show will provide information on the latest products and services.
For the latest conference updates go to www.harvestnewengland.org. A full agenda, registration details and trade show exhibitors will be posted in the coming weeks.

The conference is sponsored by Harvest New England and all six New England State Departments of Agriculture, in cooperation with:

  • Cooperative Development Institute
  • Connecticut Cooperative Extension
  • Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets
  • Rhode Island Center for Agricultural Promotion and Education
  • University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

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Find Organic Landscapers! Learn about Organic Landscaping Methods! 

The NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care Published & Available at www.nofamass.org. Register for the 10th annual NOFA 5-day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care

The Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc. (NOFA/Mass) is pleased to announce the publication of the 2010-2011 NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care. This publication is an incredibly helpful, comprehensive resource for consumers, homeowners, landscapers and anyone looking for local organic land care services, as well as “do-it-yourself” information.

The NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care, in its 6th year, is a full-color newsprint publication that includes helpful articles for homeowners looking for organic landscaping tips and practices as well as a resource listing of more than 600 NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals in 21 states, the majority being from Massachusetts.

These professionals are also listed online at www.organiclandcare.net, via NOFA’s online searchable database called “AOLCP Search.” Homeowners and anyone seeking the services or advice of a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional can find someone local to them by performing a simple search.

Landscapers become accredited by passing an exam at the end of the NOFA 5-day Course in Organic Land Care.

The 10th annual NOFA 5-day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care will take place January 12, 13, 14, 18 and 19, 2011 (snow date: Jan. 20th) at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, MA. The course is intensive and covers all aspects of organic landscaping principles from soil health and site analysis through pest and invasives management. The accreditation exam is given on Day Five.

The 2010-2011 NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care includes articles on planting edibles in the landscape, myths about trees, reasons to plant a meadow instead of a lawn, native plants, enriching your garden, backyard beekeeping and poison ivy. General information including resources about pesticide reduction can also be found at the back of the Guide, by state. NOFA Accredited Professionals who are available to speak at events are also listed at the back of the book in an easily accessible format.

To receive copies of the NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care, or to register for the 10th annual accreditation course, call NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Program Coordinator Kathy Litchfield at (413) 773-3830 or via email: Kathy@nofamass.org. The Guides may also be found at food cooperatives, libraries, Whole Foods Markets, farmers’ cooperatives, garden centers and nurseries, as well as from landscapers, non-profit organizations and other local businesses. A PDF of the course registration brochure is also available at www.organiclandcare.net.

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News From USDA


USDA Designates 4 Counties in MA as Primary Natural Disaster Areas 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in Massachusetts as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by unseasonably late frost and freeze that occurred from April 28 through May 17, 2010. Worcester County is named as a contiguous disaster county.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports, along with additional information submitted by State Executive Director Richard Burke of the Massachusetts Farm Service Agency (FSA). Based on this review, USDA has determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available, and repayment ability. SURE Program applications for 2010 crop losses will be accepted in 2011, when the 2010 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available. Please contact your local FSA office for further information and assistance.

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Grant Opportunity: Enhancing the Competitiveness of Specialty Crop 

United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will conduct a free Red Book University webinar entitled “Grant Opportunity: Enhancing the Competitiveness of Specialty Crop”. The webinar will provide information on how specialty crop stakeholders can apply for grant funds to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The registration form can be found on the front page of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program website at www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp as well as more information on the Specialty Crops Program. For more information about the webinar, contact:

Christopher Purdy, Business Development Specialist, USDA, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs, (202) 720-3209, Christopher.purdy@ams.usda.gov

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In Every Issue

Classified Ads 

  • The Westford Farmers’ Market is seeking potential vendors for a possible winter farmers’ market for this season. The market is tentatively scheduled for Saturdays, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. For more information, contact Gloria Gilbert at 978-392-1424 or gloria.gilbert6@verizon.net.
  • Cheviot sheep, 3 ewe lambs, grass fed, $90 each . Also 1 ram (the sire) available end of Nov. These are perfect sheep for grass fed operations.Oakham, 508-882-3849, maude882@charter.net
  • Are you composting or generating significant volumes of compostable feedstock? We specialize in aerobic composting and heat recovery. Break your dependence on fossil fuels and diversify your farm or composting facility. To learn more, please contact us at: AgriLab Technologies, LLP, POB 8, Pawlet, VT 05761, (809)325-2203, agrilabtech@aol.com
  • Agricultural Evacation - Provide earth moving, drainage, land/pasture reclamation, greenhouse preparation, and rock raking services. Includes but not limited to orchards/equine facilities/cranberry bogs/nurseries. Chris Merrill Excavating, merrilltrucks@comcast.net, 978-897-9977

How to Place a Classified Ad

Classified ads are accepted free-of charge on a first-come basis. Be sure to include a phone number. No display ads will be accepted. Only one ad per business/individual per issue, unless space permits. Ads may run in consecutive issues, space permitting. Ads must be of interest to Massachusetts farmers. The Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) reserves the right to refuse any listing it deems inappropriate for publication. E-mail, fax or mail ads to: Farm & Market Report, MDAR, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114, fax: 617-626-1850, Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us.

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Calendar 

  • October 9: Northeast Highland Cattle Association's Annual Fall Show and Gathering - 9AM, Mallary arena, Big E Fairgrounds, West Springfield. Spectators are welcome. No Admission charged. See a number of breeders and a sampling of their stock all under on roof. For questions contact jbeau1@directv.net or 860-423-4995.
  • October 21: Twilight Meeting: Greenhouses and High Tunnels - Indian Head Farm, Berlin, MA, 232 Pleasant St., Berlin, MA - 4:00 - 6:30 PM Topics: Corn furnace for greenhouse heat using locally grown shelled corn and crops that can be grown in an unheated high tunnel (or unheated greenhouse). Details and Registration.
  • November 3-5: New England Greenhouse Conference - The DCU Center, Worcester. www.negreenhouse.org
  • November 13: "How to Run a Successful CSA" - Many Hands Organic Farm, 411 Sheldon Road, Barre, MA. With 19 years of experience running a CSA, Julie Rawson of Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, MA, will discuss elements of a successful CSA operation. Registration: $40. NOFA membership discount: $5. Early registration (by October 30, 2010) discount: $5. www.nofamass.org/seminars/fallseminar.php
  • December 9: *Save the Date - Farmer - to- Farmer Conference*, The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will be hosting a statewide Farmer-to-Farmer Conference in Sturbridge, MA. The conference is sponsored by the USDA Risk Management Agency.  The conference theme is:  "Connecting  Farmers to Farmers to Promote Soil, Food, and Community Health."  The day will feature panel discussions, peer learning, and delicious food with a wrapup networking reception to encourage continued discussions.  Keep an eye on our conference website or visit our homepage at www.nesfp.org for the latest conference information and updates. If you would like to have an exhibitor's table at the event, please contact Kimberley Fitch to receive exhibitor information, 978-654-6745 or email nesfp@tufts.edu.
  • January 15: NOFA/Mass Annual Winter Conference, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA. Circles of Connection - 9am-5pm Michael Phillips to present keynote speech "Circles of Connection: On the Farm, Embracing Community, and Always in the Heart" and also to present all day seminar "Organic Orcharding" Nancy Phillips to present all day seminar "Herbs for Family Health" Details at www.nofamass.org/conferences/winter/index.php.

*** If you have events you would like listed to our Ag industry calendar webpage, www.mass.gov/agr/events/coming_up, or
Consumer events at: www.mass.gov/agr/events, email Rick LeBlanc at Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us.

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About the Farm & Market Report 

Published bi-monthly by:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, Governor
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, Secretary
Department of Agricultural Resources, Scott J. Soares, Commissioner

Boston Office:
251 Causeway St., Suite 500,
Boston, MA 02114
617-626-1700, Fax: 617-626-1850
Amherst Satellite Office:
101 University Drive, Suite C4
Amherst, MA 01002
413-548-1900, Fax: 413-548-1901

Division Directors

Next issue to be published for December / January. Please send news, calendar and/or classified information by November 29th to Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us, or fax to 617-626-1850. To unsubscribe or change your address, send an e-mail message to Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us or call 617-626-1759.