In this issue: 

Commissioner's Column - Scott J. Soares
Special Guest Column - Mark Lilienthal

Forefront

BusinessUpcoming EventsNews from USDA

In Every Issue


Commissioner's Column

Dear Friends,

As most of you are undoubtedly aware, between two and seven tornados ripped through western and central Massachusetts on June 1st and I find myself taking not an unfamiliar road of starting off this column with humble respect for the powerful impact Mother Nature has on all of our lives.  My sympathies go out to those who were directly impacted by this fierce storm.  For farmers who suffered damage, you should contact your local USDA FSA office to report damage if you have not already done so. I would also like to urge farmers to always have in place a sound emergency response plan to help minimize the impact of an emergency on you and your property.  For those who are recovering from the storm aftermath (farmer or not), Mass.Gov also provides a very helpful storm recovery website page.

Due to the June jolt, we cancelled the scheduled June 2nd Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP) kickoff event announcing the next exciting milestone of this program – namely the first certified farms in the CQP program!  The event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 15th at Verrill Farm in Concord. It will also be an opportunity to learn details about food safety and sustainability standards that have been adapted for the program.  It goes without saying that as Europe seeks  to contain a recent deadly new strain of e-coli,  the import of our state and agricultural industry taking a leading role in developing standards that identify high-quality agricultural and seafood products that are produced, harvested, and processed responsibly cannot be emphasized enough.  Another CQP event is planned June 22nd at Heyes Forestry Products to announce first forestry program participants and to provide program information (details in newsletter).

I’d also like to take this opportunity to make a few announcements relative to MDAR as well as to bring your attention to a few important items related to our agricultural community. 

On the MDAR front we have recently adjoined our agricultural technical assistance division with all of our land use programs. I am very excited about this development as we continue to make gains in preserving high-quality working landscapes (over 66,000 acres and counting) that will remain so in perpetuity for future generations.  Under the leadership of Gerard Kennedy, the Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance (DACTA) will provide services to conserve agricultural lands and improve agricultural stewardship and use of natural resources; promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy; and ensure economic competitiveness and profitability.

Also related to MDAR, our 2010 Annual Report is now available online for your perusal. This report serves as a valuable measure of our agency’s activities throughout the 2010 calendar year and I believe provides an insightful snapshot of the state of the Commonwealth’s agricultural landscape. It should be noted that our annual report serves to meet a variety of statutorily required reports as well as updates from the dozens of programs that are administered by MDAR.  It is also important to note that this publication is produced in-house by dedicated and talented MDAR staff and I thank all who took time from their many other duties to generate it.

As you may have heard, June is Dairy Month. In addition to many events being held throughout the state, we’ll be reading the Governor’s proclamation at the 4-H Dairy Camp at the 3-County Fairgrounds in Northampton on June 11th in recognition of the positive impact dairy farming has on our Commonwealth. I’m delighted that the 4-H Youth Development Program will be part of the celebration. Since 1908, 4-H has shown a strong commitment to teaching young people hands-on skills around the care of dairy and other farm animals.  

Related to dairy, recent reports from the Farm Credit East on the dairy industry indicate strong milk prices which will hopefully prevail and more importantly outpace increasingly high costs of production that many dairy farms are facing.  On costs of production, as a result of recent changes that were announced by the USDA regarding their reporting of costs of production, in the coming months MDAR will be revisiting our dairy tax credit regulations that currently utilize the USDA estimates.  In addition to our efforts around dairy in Massachusetts, we have been participating in a regional “milk shed”, and to that end it’s certainly great to see strong support for our local dairy farms through initiatives like Keeplocalfarms.org.

In mentioning regional efforts, readers may also be interested to know that our work continues toward the development of a “Farm and Food Security Initiative”.  Initiated through the New England Governor’s Conference Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Conservation, the Chief Agriculture Officers from New England have continued to pursue collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening our regions’ agricultural interests.  Most recently at a meeting for the 6 New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, our focus has turned to the framing of priorities that we will pursue through the upcoming development of the 2012 Farm Bill.  We will certainly be expanding upon the development of this extremely important legislation in future editions of F&M but in the meantime (and in the interest of not making this column any longer than necessary!) suffice to say that we have developed great cooperation with our neighboring states and will articulate our Farm Bill interests as a regional block in an effort to garner greater support for the many programs that we have in common.

We are also currently ramping up for an inaugural Food Policy Council (FPC) meeting with advisory committee members. Enacted in August 2010 (M.G.L. c. 20, Section 6C), the purpose of the Council, in a nutshell, is to increase production, sales, access to and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods.  Also within its mission is to protect the land and water resources needed for sustained local food production. Many of MDAR’s programs and services already dovetail to these objectives and we are excited to be a part of the furtherance of these goals with other vested parties. 

As we head into mid-June, general reports from the field indicate good germination and that the weekend of June 11 is shaping up to be a good “pick your own” one for early varieties of strawberries including Annapolis, Galletta, AC Wendy, and Early Glo. And don’t forget your local nurseries which offer wonderful varieties of flowers and vegetables for green thumb enthusiasts! Our MassGrown & Fresher website can help you locate farms, nurseries, ag fairs, agri-tourism destinations and more. Just click on the MassGrown map. And for growers, our Agriculture Industry/Events calendar is a great resource for upcoming events and workshops. 

There is much to read in our June/July Farm & Market Report edition including a guest column from Mark Lilienthal who is spearheading our efforts to bring a year-round public market in downtown Boston to fruition.  Last but certainly not least, agriculture’s contributions to and participation in our Commonwealth’s Green Energy Future continue to gain steam!  As you’ll read in this edition of F&M, our State’s first Dairy Anaerobic Digester flipped the switch during an event where an exuberant Governor Patrick gave remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for this great accomplishment. Go Cow Power and Happy Reading!

Best,

Scott J. Soares, Commissioner


https://twitter.com/mdarcommish 


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Special Guest Column

by Mark Lilienthal, Public Market Project Manager

As you may have heard, plans to develop a year-round, indoor public market in downtown Boston are accelerating rapidly. The Commonwealth hired a professional market consultant, the Project for Public Spaces, to help us build an implementation plan to get the market from concept to opening day. As we complete our internal review of that report, it seems a good time to update you on what to expect over the coming months.

So, what does a new public market mean for farmers?

First of all, it is an unprecedented opportunity to be part of one of the most exciting projects for agriculture in Massachusetts. Of the many goals of a public market in Boston -- becoming an anchor of the city’s food landscape, educating the community about the importance of healthy, fresh, local food -- none is more exciting than the chance to showcase the incredible variety and quality of Massachusetts agricultural products. Finally, Massachusetts agriculture, seafood and aquaculture, dairy and specialty foods, and flowers will be on display in a single, central location in the middle of the Commonwealth’s capital city.

To be clear, we have a long road ahead before opening day. In addition to completing a financing plan, a management structure needs to be established, design and construction need to be finalized, a thorough evaluation of parking and traffic needs to be done, and the project needs to clear several rounds of permitting at the federal, state, and local government levels.

And, of course, the eventual operator of the market will need to develop guidelines and procedures for soliciting and selecting vendors in the market. Given the nature of farming, it is our intention to begin this process as quickly as possible to give farmers, fishermen/ -women, cheese makers, maple syrup producers, and all of your colleagues in the food industry adequate time to prepare to sell your goods in a year-round market in the Commonwealth’s biggest city. The best place to keep track of our progress will be our website, mass.gov/publicmarket, where you can see photos of the market space, ask questions or offer ideas about how to proceed, and get answers to frequently asked questions. We welcome and need your input and feedback.

Ultimately, the key to success for this market is the quality of the products on display. Massachusetts and the region boast an astonishing array of products and a tradition of growing that dates back to our earliest days. For prospective vendors, this mean that the sooner you engage in this process, the better equipped the market will be for success. As Governor Patrick said at Agriculture Day in April, the public market “is meant to be a place where the marvelous production of our Massachusetts farms can be put on display…and to make it a more natural thing for people to connect again with their sources of food.” We look forward to working with you to make that vision a reality.

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FOREFRONT


Reminder - Grant Deadlines are Fast Approaching

The application deadlines are fast approaching for five funding programs that provide assistance to farms to support agricultural stewardship of natural resources, promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy on farms, and ensure economic competitiveness and profitability.

Farm Viability Enhancement Program
This business planning and technical assistance program provides management advice and grants from $25,000 to $75,000 to implement farm growth and sustainability strategies. Farm operators also receive consultation to discuss farm production, management, marketing, and business planning. Program information and applications can be found by clicking here or by calling the Farm Viability Program at 617-626-1723. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, June 23, 2011.

APR Improvement Program
The APR Improvement Program was designed to help sustain active commercial farming on land protected by the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. The program assists with issues of economic viability, environmental sustainability, resource conservation, ownership control, modernization of infrastructure and other issues that may enhance the long term continued use of agricultural land.

The APR program preserves and protects agricultural land from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes or used for any activity detrimental to agriculture. The APR program has permanently protected almost 800 farms and a total land area of over 66,000 acres.

Applicants must own, or co-apply with the owner of, APR land that they have been actively farming for at least the last three years. The current Request for Response (RFR) with application is available by calling the APR Improvement Program at 413-268-8269. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, June 23, 2011.

Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture

The purpose of the Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture (MEGA) Program is to help with business expansion on new and beginning farms. MEGA will provide technical assistance and business planning help, and provide funds to aspiring commercial farmers. Priority will be given to farm enterprises that have operated commercially for one to five years and have a potential to expand productivity or commercial significance with the infusion of additional technical support and capital. MEGA applications and program information are available by calling 413-559-0949. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, June 23, 2011.

Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program
The Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program’s (AEEP) purpose is to support the mitigation and/or prevention of negative impacts to the state’s natural resources that may result from agricultural practices by providing reimbursement directly to agricultural operations that implement eligible projects that prevent, reduce or eliminate environmental impacts for the benefit of the public.

AEEP funds the acquisition of materials only, not labor costs or equipment rental. Grants support practices that prevent direct impacts on water and air quality. Projects primarily focused on renewable energy or energy conservation should apply to the Massachusetts Ag-Energy Grant Program - see below. Information regarding the AEEP grant applications is available on MDAR’s website. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, June 30, 2011.

Ag-Energy Grant

Ag-Energy grants assist agricultural operations in an effort to improve energy efficiency and to facilitate adoption of alternative clean energy technologies. MDAR is offering grants for both the AEEP and Ag-Energy Program during the same timeframe. Projects focusing on water conservation and improving air and water quality should apply to AEEP, while energy efficiency and renewable energy projects should apply for the Ag-Energy grant. Applicants cannot apply to and receive funding from both AEEP and Ag-Energy for the same project. Program information and application can be found by clicking here. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, June 30, 2011.

For more information, contact Gerard Kennedy at 617-626-1773 or Gerard.Kennedy@state.ma.us.

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Smile - MDAR Just Took Your Picture!

MDAR Commissioner Soares on a farm tour during the NEASDA Conference at Jay Peak, Vermont.

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MDAR Employees Receive 2011 Citation for Outstanding Performance

Congratulations go to the outstanding work recognized by Governor Deval Patrick by four of MDAR’s employees.

Steve Antunes-Kenyon
has worked in the Department’s
Pesticide Program in various capacities for the past 15 years as an Environmental Analyst. He has worked to review chemical properties of pesticides, conduct risk assessments, revise pesticide regulations, and manage grant programs. Under the Direction of Lee Corte-Real, Steve currently works as Pesticide Operations Coordinator, where he is responsible for supervising both the State pesticide product registration program and the State examination and pesticide applicator licensing/certification program - which together, generate some $3 million in receipts for the Commonwealth. Under Department leadership and in conjunction with the Massachusetts Pesticide Board and Pesticide Board Subcommittee, Steve applies his experiences to meet the needs of the Department’s constituents while carrying out the Department’s mandate under State Pesticide Laws and Regulations.

Dr. Jennifer Forman-Orth, Ph.D. Jennifer started in February of 2008 as the state’s survey coordinator for the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program, a joint effort with the USDA. Through the CAPS Program, she performs surveys for high-priority invasive pests, weeds, and plant diseases, and does educational outreach about her work. Before working for MDAR, Jennifer was a post-doctoral research associate at UMass Boston, where she worked on a project to help biologists develop digital versions of field guides to plants and animals. Jennifer also has great graphic art skills and has been instrumental in assisting with outreach materials including posters, brochures, the MDAR website, and the annual report.

Gerry Palano has been with MDAR since 2007 as Alternative Energy Specialist. His technical skills, and regulatory knowledge, are greatly in demand from the agricultural community. His strong convictions about the importance of local agricultural production and enthusiasm for renewable energy have led to his active participation in many meetings at the local level to lend Department support to the implementation of agricultural renewable energy projects. In addition he has worked effectively with many other agencies and has proven essential to a number of internal and external resources including: the Farm Technology Review Commission; the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) via the Commonwealth Energy Resource Team (CERT), the Advanced Biofuels Task Force, the Biomass Strategic Initiative, Climate Action Initiative, the Anaerobic Digester Team and other informal inter-agency efforts. His professional approach, coupled with a great sense of humor, has helped to ensure that the Department maintains a high profile within the farming community as a clear supporter of local agriculture.

Hotze Wijnja, Ph.D. Hotze joined MDAR in 2008 as the Environmental Chemist in the Pesticide Program. He serves as the technical specialist for the agency in assessing the environmental fate and transport of pesticides and their potential to impact human health and the environment. In addition, he interacts and coordinates with other state and federal agencies on pesticide regulatory issues. His expertise has allowed him to make significant contributions to the pesticide program, including the review process of new herbicides for use in rights-of-way and aquatic sites. He is also active at the regional level as coordinator of the New England committee for water quality and pesticides, and at the national level as a member of a pesticides and environmental quality working committee. His background is in agriculture and soil & environmental chemistry. In addition to his position at the MDAR, he teaches chemistry courses at Suffolk University. Hotze also loves to bake and on occasion delights staff with delicious home-baked edibles.

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Friday the thirteenth brought forth one of the few sunny days in May much to the excitement of 300 graduating students from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture where Commissioner Scott Soares gave the commencement address.

Stockbridge students are made up of approximately 70% Massachusetts residents. The school offers a broad range of agriculturally related majors from which to choose including arboriculture and community forestry, equine industries, fruit and vegetable crops, horticulture, landscape contracting, and turfgrass management.

This year's 2011 class is a talented group of individuals who have won national competitions, beautified their communities while developing their skills, taken actions to benefit the local environment, and developed and launched their own businesses.

As part of Commissioner Soares' commencement speech, the Commissioner focused on some of the many opportunities he sees for students thanks to growing interest in sustainable agriculture. Some of the highlights:
  • The growing gains in preserving agricultural lands will take field surveyors, legal expertise, technical assistance, and long-term stewardship in the future. To date the state has permanently protected over 66,000 acres of farmland (that's more than 12% of the state's total arable land).
  • With Massachusetts ranked 2nd nationally in direct sales from farm products to consumers, this will take entrepreneurial spirits who know how to diversify, differentiate, and market products effectively.
  • The horticulture industry, including landscaping, contributes and estimated $2.6B to the Massachusetts economy. To stay on the cutting edge will require innovation in design, and continued adoption of landscaping practices that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
  • The agri-tourism sector is growing and offers a myriad of business opportunities from hay rides to wine & cheese trails.
  • Massachusetts has more than 2,500 horse stables throughout the state that are in need of quality caretakers, riding instructors, and veterinarians.

Congratulations to the Stockbridge School's Class of 2011 and good luck!

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Energy News

MA Celebrates First Agricultural Anaerobic Digester

On May 31, 2011, scores of people gathered at Jordan’s Dairy Farm in Rutland, MA to celebrate Massachusetts’ first agricultural anaerobic digester (AD) installation. The ribbon cutting ceremony, hosted by AGreen Energy LLC (AGE) - the project developer and their team, included Governor Deval Patrick, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan, EEA Undersecretary for Policy David Cash, MDAR Commissioner Scott Soares, DEP Commissioner Ken Kimmel, USDA Officials Christine Clark, Jay Healy and Richard Burke, and a host of local officials, legislators, supporters and friends.

The AD is an innovative approach toward integrating farm manure management with recycling of off-site organics in order to create electricity. The anaerobic digester will generate methane based biogas from manure and municipal food waste that in turn will fuel an engine generator set to produce electricity to help power the farm and export to the grid.

The project is being developed by AGreen Energy, LLC (AGE) which is headed up by managing partner, Bill Jorgenson. The shareholders include five local MA dairy farms; Jordan’s in Rutland, Barway in Deerfield, Barstow’s Longview in Hadley, Hager Brothers in Colrain and Rockwood Farm in Granville; Quasar, the equipment and technology provider; and New England Organics, a Casella company. Jordan’s Farm in Rutland MA is one of the five dairy farms involved and is the site of the first of five projects to be completed.

This project represents a first of its kind in many ways: it will be the first agricultural AD in the state; it will be the first AD permitted by DEP using off-site organic materials for this mixed feedstock operation: it will be the first scale-appropriate AD for the smaller herd size family farms characteristic in our region; and it will be the first known AD venture using a multi-farm and private business cooperative business model, particularly as it pertains to on-going operations and preventive maintenance.

Congratulations to AGE and Jordan Dairy Farm! We all look forward to more of these innovative organic diversion and renewable energy applications on farms throughout the Commonwealth.
MDAR FY2012 - AgEnergy Grant Announced!

Applications are due June 30, 2011. Similar to last year the program will prioritize funding assistance for selected energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) projects. Now in its 4th year, AgEnergy last year contributed $450,000 in awards to 42 EE & RE projects. www.mass.gov/agr/programs/aegp/index.htm.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Annual Grant & Loan Guarantee Announced

USDA Rural Development has announced the opening of the 2011 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Some major changes are as follows:

  1. The rural area restriction for ag-producer applicants has been removed. Small business applicants must still be in rural areas.
  2. The purchase & installation of flexible fuel pumps for gas stations are an eligible REAP purpose.
  3. Application deadline for all REAP applications is June 15th. You may submit anytime however.
  4. The citizenship requirement has been removed although the business must still be in the US.
  5. The demonstrated financial need requirement has been removed.
  6. EE projects grant requests will be reduced by a prorated replacement capacity factor.  

Most smaller applications will compete at the state level. Once all of our state allocation of funding is utilized, the remaining applications will compete at the national level. Click here for the formal announcement in the Federal Register.

MA Effort to Promote Organic Recycling, Composting & Anaerobic Digesters - Update

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) headed efforts of diverting significant amounts of our organic wastes toward recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion applications continue ahead on schedule. The past three months have brought together a variety of stakeholders from all sectors at sub-group and central meetings to solicit and discuss challenges and barriers toward furthering these efforts and ultimately to incorporate consequential suggestions into a set of draft revised DEP regulations toward accomplishing these diversion goals.

The draft 2010-2020 Massachusetts Solid Waste Master Plan sets goals of reducing the quantity of waste disposed of by 30 percent (2 million tons) by 2020, and by 80 percent (5.2 million tons) by 2050.  The Master Plan also sets a sub-goal for 2020 of diverting an additional 350,000 tons of organic material from disposal by that year, over the 650,000 tons that were diverted in 2009. Meeting this goal will require significant increases in in-state capacity at anaerobic digestion, composting, and recycling facilities. 

These aggressive targets are consistent with the recently released Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. Achieving the goals of both of these plans will produce important environmental benefits.  An expansion of in-state recycling/processing capacity will also create jobs and economic development opportunities.  Expanding in-state capacity to process diverted organic material will have important co-benefits for Massachusetts farms and will help anaerobic digesters at Massachusetts wastewater treatment plants operate more efficiently and economically.  

For more information please see:

Task Force Contact: Sarah Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention, 617-574-6862

MFEP – Showcase Energy Project – Seeds of Solidarity PV Refrigeration

Seeds of Solidarity Farm in Orange MA, a completely off-the-grid farming operation in north central MA, just recently completed the installation of their photovoltaic (PV) powered refrigeration system onto their new farm stand. This system will keep the farm’s plentiful produce such as salad greens fresh for purchasing, courtesy of the sun!  Seeds of Solidarity received an incentive grant from the The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP), a joint project of Berkshire-Pioneer Resource Conservation & Development Area and the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources, and worked with Bob Higgins of Atlantic Alternative Power in Gill MA to design and install the system. This system complements the other energy conserving and RE features at Seeds of Solidarity, where the farm, irrigation and home are also powered by solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. No-till farming methods result in intensive and abundant market gardens, and hoophouses extend the growing season and protect against climate extremes.  The public was invited to tour Seeds of Solidarity and see the new "really cool farmstand" on June 4th. A tour of the site with founders and farmers Ricky Baruc and Deb Habib began at 10am, followed by a workshop in the afternoon on no-till gardening methods, featuring the use of cardboard to enhance soil fertility. Seeds of Solidarity also has a non-profit educational wing with 'Grow Food Everywhere' programs for youth, schools, and communities, and is currently implementing wellness gardens in their North Quabbin region  for a community health center, a food pantry, and low income families. 

Wind Turbine Approvals Updates - Plymouth and Wareham Cranberry Bog Projects

As noted in the last Farm & Market Report, two separate wind turbine projects involving cranberry bogs owners were seeking building permits from local officials.

We are pleased to announce Future Generation Wind LLC, an effort of Keith and Monica Mann to implement 4 wind turbines of 2 MW each on their cranberry bog upland property in Plymouth, MA was approved for their 4th turbine on April 6th. With their three turbines previously approved, Future Generation now has complete local ZBA approval to construct the project.

Meanwhile, the Bog Wind Power Cooperative project (“Bogwind”), submitted a revised application to the Wareham ZBA at their May 11th hearing. The revisions from their September 2010 application included reducing the project in turbine size from 2.5 MW to 1.6 MW, in turbine number from 6 to 2, as well as in height. Bogwind also plans to build the project utilizing the latest proposed Cape Cod Commission wind by-laws. The next hearing for the project is scheduled for June 8th.

The MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the MA Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and MDAR have been actively participating in these hearings in support of these projects.

Federal 30% ITC Cash Option Reminder

For those still interested in pursuing the Federal Investment Tax Credit Cash Option for selected renewable energy technologies, the original deadline of December 31, 2010 for “Beginning Construction” for this opportunity was extended until December 31, 2011 by the lame duck session congress at the end of last year. 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 now need to have been completed in calendar years 2009, 2010  or 2011 OR meet the are eligibility provisions for those initiating the project by the end of December 31, 2011, 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.

Those in the agricultural community who favor such a tax incentive can contact their local U.S. congressional representatives and senators to request this extremely beneficial cash tax equity option be extended beyond this year’s end as part of the new agenda of our new Congress in Washington, D.C.

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MassGrown & Fresher Features Dairy & Strawberries
See What's NEW!

Governor Patrick, MDAR Commissioner Scott Soares and the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board proclaim that “June is Massachusetts Dairy Month" in Massachusetts. June Dairy Month is a national tradition that originated in 1937, developed to celebrate dairy products. In June and indeed all year long we want to raise our milk glasses and toast Massachusetts dairy farmers who make it possible for us all to enjoy fresh, local dairy products every day!

Cow-a-bunga! Dairy farms “moo-ving” towards green energy


Upcoming Plans: CALLING ALL Pick Your Own (PYO) Farms!

If you offer PYO strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc. in Massachusetts, and would like to be part of our MassGrown & Fresher Agri-Google Map, joining our online interactive farm map is fast and free and a great way to reach out to new audiences. Looking for MassGrown marketing materials for your farm? Please contact Rick LeBlanc at 617-626-1759, Richard.LeBlanc@state.ma.us for more details.

Farmers (retailers and wholesalers): As part of our on-going marketing efforts, we highlight Massachusetts farms and agricultural businesses through various publications, special events, B2B opportunities, and most importantly, on our website, www.Mass.gov/Massgrown. Helping you find profitable markets for your products is an important part of our mission. As a Massachusetts producer, you are entitled to the many different listings on the MassGrown website and brochures. If you would like to be included, or update your information, please complete our Farm Marketing Survey.

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Two Upcoming "Commonwealth Quality" Kick-Offs

June 15 - Verrill Farm to host event that will announce the first 20 local farms that will carry Commonwealth Quality certified products.

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott J. Soares will join Verrill Farm of Concord and other growers to announce the first Commonwealth Quality certified farms and provide details about food safety and sustainability standards adapted for the state’s Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP).

The program, launched in September 2010, was created as a means to help consumers identify high-quality agricultural and seafood products that are produced, harvested, and processed responsibly within Massachusetts. Since the launch, 50 farms have applied and several industry organizations have pledged support for the program.

At this event, farm owners will present how these specialized standards came to be, how they are being put into practice, and how they benefit consumers. Demonstrations will be used to highlight key practices, and photo opportunities exist.

Come learn about what’s being done to encourage responsible farming in Massachusetts and meet the industry professionals who are leading this effort.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
9:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA

June 22 - First Forestry Commonwealth Quality participants to be announced along with tour that will highlight CQP program requirements at Heyes Forest Products in Orange.


Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott J. Soares will join Heyes Forest Products of Orange, MA and other local wood products manufacturers for a Commonwealth Quality kick-off event on June 22. At this event, state officials and CQP forestry ambassadors will provide information about how program requirements encourage Massachusetts forestland protection, responsible land management, and the sustainable production of local forest products. First program participants, and environmental and land trust group endorsements also will be announced.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
9:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Heyes Forest Products, 34 Daniel Shays Highway, Orange, MA

Light refreshments will be served at both events. Please RSVP by contacting Michael Botelho, 617-626-1721, Michael.Botelho@state.ma.us.

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2011 Massachusetts Fairs Brochure - Now Available!

COME ONE! COME ALL! The official start of summer this month marks the opening of the Massachusetts fair season in the Commonwealth. Whether you are visiting your local agricultural destinations or simply looking for a good time to enjoy memories with community, family and friends, do not forget to mark your calendars for this years' Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs! With over 40 fairs in the Commonwealth, Massachusetts farmers are bringing their best and brightest to their local fairs to promote and showcase what Massachusetts agriculture is all about.

This year's brochure includes a QR Code for smartphones.

If you would like a copy of the newly designed 2011 Fairs Brochure or more information on Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs, click here or please contact Ellen Hart at 617-626-1742 or email: Ellen.Hart@state.ma.us.

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Savor Massachusetts Update

Savor Massachusetts is a culinary must-have resource for even the most discerning palate. Don’t forget to take advantage of our new and improved Culinary and Agricultural Events Calendar. Our new format now allows us to include a detailed event description, a Google maps feature and a link to your website. Keep us posted on your major farm and agricultural events all season long! To submit a culinary or agricultural event, email to Julia Grimaldi at Julia.Grimaldi@state.ma.us.

Want to feature one of your farm favorite recipes for consideration? Savor Massachusetts features a monthly recipe. Recipes should include as many MA grown products as possible and be simple enough to prepare for the home cook. Recipes may be edited for clarity, you will receive full recipe credit. Submit recipes to Julia Grimaldi at Julia.Grimaldi@state.ma.us.

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MA Seafood Businesses Successful with Export Sales
Using USDA Funds

Seven Massachusetts companies were participants in the European Seafood Exposition show, the world’s largest seafood fair held May 3 – 5 in Brussels. Seafood businesses from the Bay state included American Pride Seafood Group, New Bedford; East Coast Seafood, Lynn; Elafood USA, Chelsea; Darel Co, Chelsea; Eastern Fisheries, New Bedford; Northern Wind, New Bedford; and Zeus Packing, Gloucester.

They were among the 24,000 attendees including 1,600 companies from 140 countries and 6 continents. On site sales generated at the event for the Massachusetts companies were estimated to be over $176 million dollars. This show is the major trade event for European seafood buyers. The Massachusetts businesses were under the Food Export USA banner in the USA Pavilion. MDAR is a member of Food Export USA Northeast, receiving USDA funds to support export development.

“Exporting is vital to the industry's sustainability,” said Scott Soares, MDAR Commissioner and President of Food Export USA Northeast.

Last year MDAR worked with Food Export for some $383,000 to be awarded to MA seafood businesses through the USDA Market Access Branded Program. Funds were used to offset export development costs including participation in the European Seafood Exposition.

Massachusetts 2010 exports of fish and seafood totaled US $425 million. This total includes all fresh and frozen, dried, salted, smoked and in brined marine products. It also includes prepared and preserved seafood products.

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2011 Agriculture Photo Contest - Deadline June 15th!

Photographers who enjoy capturing images of the Bay State’s farms and farm and horticultural products are invited to enter the 2011 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest. Winning entries will be published in the 2012 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar. The contest and calendar are sponsored by Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc., and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).

We are seeking photos that represent the traditional (maple sugaring, cranberries, dairy cows, flowers/plants, fall fruits, farmers and farm families), as well as the new and dynamic, such as on-farm renewable energy systems and urban agriculture. For farmers, its a great way to promote your farm! View last year’s winners here.

Winning photographers will be credited in the calendar and will be invited to a ceremony at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) in West Springfield this September (tickets to the fair included). Winning photos will be featured on MDAR’s home page during the corresponding month. Click here for Entry Form[pdf].

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BUSINESS


Organic Agriculture College Programs

The Organic Agriculture program at Bristol Community College in Fall River is accepting registration for the fall semester. Courses are designed for gardeners, farmers, landscapers, community organizations, and concerned citizens. Students can earn a certificate in Organic Agriculture or take just specific courses of interest. This fall we will offer courses in Organic Farming Practices, Science and Care of Plants, Food, Farming, and Famine, and a new evening course in Organic Pest & Disease Control. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. Courses begin September 6. For more information, contact Dr. Jim Corven (james.corven@bristolcc.edu)

Bristol Community College announces a new course in Organic Pest & Disease Control. The course will be a practical survey of principles and practices for effective management of pests and diseases in SE Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The course will be available as a 1 credit college accredited course ($166 tuition) or as a noncredit course ($75) through the Center for Workforce and Community Education. Online enrollment is available at www.bristolcc.edu. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. The course will begin on September 12 and meet Mondays (6-9 pm) until October 24. More information: contact Dr. Jim Corven (james.corven@bristolcc.edu).

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Farmers' Markets Seeking Vendors – 2011

For more information on Massachusetts Farmers’ Markets, contact David Webber, 617-626-1754 or David.Webber@state.ma.us

New/Proposed Farmers’  Markets:

  • Allston/Cambridge Street, Contact Alana Olsen, 617-254-7564 or Alana@allstonvillage.com
  • Amherst/Kendrick Park, Wednesday, 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 15 to November 23, Seeking dairy products and prepared foods using local ingredients. Contact Danya Teitelbaum, 413-345-0848 or kendrickparkmarket@gmail.com
  • Attleboro/Our Lady of LaSalette, Friday, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 3 to October 28. Contact Marie Pray, 508-336-7681 or oakdalefarm@juno.com. Seeking cheese, baked goods.
  • Billerica, Mondays, 3:00 pm – Dusk, June 27 to October 24. Contact Wayne Smith, (978) 667-0615, or wayner_smith15@comcast.net. Seeking fish, herbs, bread.
  • Burlington, Mid- July to October, Contact Rachel Dutton, farmersmarket01803@gmail.com.
  • Chatham, Tuesdays, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm, June 7 to December. Contact Kathy Sanders, 508-247-7268 or chathamfarmersmarket@hotmail.com
  • Chelmsford/Mahoney’s, Saturdays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 2 to September 3, Contact Pamela Vasques, 781-820-3917 or pvasques@comcast.net
  • Chelmsford Winter Market, Saturdays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, November 5 to February 4. Contact Lisa Bougoulas, 978-460-0951 or lisab@centralmassgway.com. Seeking baked goods coffee, tea, nuts, fudge.
  • Falmouth/Mahoney’s, Saturdays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 18 to September 3, Contact Pamela Vasques, 781-820-3917 or pvasques@comcast.net
  • Hull, Fridays, Contact Judeth Van Hamm, 781-925-5665
  • Milton/Thayer Nursery, Sundays, 10:30 am – 3:30 pm, June 5 to November. Contact Doris Vath, 617-698-2005 or dorisstonesoup@thayernursery.com. Seeking meat and cheese
  • Needham, Contact Jeff Friedman, 781-400-1036 or friedmanesq@aol.com
  • Peabody, Saturdays, 9:00 m – 1:00 pm, August 13 to September 17. Contact Lucia DelNegro, 978- 538-5987 or lucia.delnegro@peabody-ma.gov.
  • Randolph, Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, July 9 to October 15, Contact Pat Tracy, (781) 963-2680 or ptracy59@comcast.net
  • Sudbury, Sundays, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, Contact Stella Richards, 978-443-0058 or stellarichards@verizon.net
  • Webster, Fridays, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Contact Cathleen Liberty, 508-949-3800, x 1003 or cliberty@webster-ma.gov.
  • Westboro, Thursdays, 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm, June 9 to September 29. Contact Dave McMahon, 508-799-9389 or cmsdismashouse@aol.com. Seeking poultry, honey, seafood, dairy, gourmet dog treats.
  • Williamstown, Contact Lori Garvie, 413-664-4907 or selfstorage@delftree.com
  • Wilmington, Sunday, 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm, July 10 to September 4. Contact Amanda Munsie, 339-227-7193 or amanda.munsie@gmail.com. Seeking produce, poultry, specialty foods and artisans.
  • Woburn, Sundays, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm, June 5 to October. Contact Paul Medeiros, 781-938-0297 or paulderman@verizon.net. Seeking all types of vendors.

Existing Markets Looking for Vendors: Click here for Complete List [PDF]

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MassDOT’s Farmers' Market Program Begins

This year’s annual Massachusetts Department of Transportation Farmers’ Market Program began in May and goes through the fall. We invite all Massachusetts farmers to sell their freshly grown fruits and vegetables as well as their made-in-Massachusetts products, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The farmers' market program has been very popular for the last ten years on the Masspike and for the second year, MassDOT has decided to offer the Farmers' Market at all eighteen service plazas on State of Massachusetts’ Highways. Along with the original eleven Masspike service plazas, MassDOT has added seven new service plaza locations. The Farmers' Market Program offers our Massachusetts’ farmers a unique opportunity to sell and market their wonderful locally grown products. Farmers can sell their goods as long as they do not compete with the service area stores and restaurants.

The service areas available for the Farmers’ Market are located in Lee (east/west), Blandford (east/west), Ludlow (east/west), Charlton (east/west), Westboro(west), Framingham (west) and Natick (east), Interstate 95 in Newton, Lexington, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 24 locations (north / south ) in Bridgewater, Route 3 in Plymouth and Route 6 in Barnstable.

If you are interested in participating in this year’s program or have any questions, please contact David Fenton at 413-572-3171 or via e-mail at Dave.Fenton@state.ma.us.

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Calling for Vendors at Mass. Marketplace

Mass Marketplace at Massachusetts Horticultural Society - Elm Bank, Wellesley, MA - August 6, 2011
MASS MARKETPLACE: Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Mass Marketplace goal is to showcase the finest products from Massachusetts’ fields, farms, gardens, kitchens, local artists and artisans. We are looking for…

  • Locally grown agriculture: produce, fruits, etc.
  • Specialty foods: homemade baked goods, honey, maple syrup, gourmet jams, jellies, and marmalade, pesto, humus, farmstead cheeses, etc.
  • Flora culture: plants, pots, tools, and garden sculptures
  • Natural Crafts: hand- made baskets, woolens, hemp, pottery (stoneware), soaps, greeting cards, dog-friendly foods, etc.

If you are interested in exhibiting at this event, please download our vendor application form.  If you have questions, please e-mail us at massmarketplace@masshort.org, or contact Penni Jenkins at 617-933-4988. Please visit our website at: www.masshort.org.

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You’re Invited! Looking for Exhibitors on Hey Day/Farm Day

What: Hey Day/Farm Day
Where: Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd. Princeton, MA
When: Saturday, October 1st , 11:00 am —4:00 pm (Raindate: Sunday, Oct. 2nd)
Who: Area Farmer’s Market participants, Community Organizations, Princeton Art Society members

Join in for farm-related demonstrations, exhibits, and activities for people of all ages including: cider pressing, blacksmithing pumpkin painting, and corn grinding. Cider, cheese, local produce will be for sale, along with home-baked goods. For children there will be a maze to play in, farm animals, a vegetable/fruit critter design contest and scarecrows made out of recycled materials. Throughout the afternoon, guided nature walks will be offered, and members of the Princeton Art Society will exhibit, demonstrate and sell their lovely local artwork. Last year we had a wonderful turn out of over 1,000 people.

Local farmers, bakers, and others may sell their home-grown and/or home-made items at the upcoming Hey Day/Farm Day - Click here for flyer(.doc)

  • Set up area 10 x 10 - Bring your own table and small tent if possible (let us know if you can not)
  • For vendors who sell products we are asking for a $20.00 donation to Mass Audubon to help cover costs and support nature education programming
  • Plan to arrive by 10:00 to get set up for opening at 11:00

PLEASE CALL to reserve space 978 464 2712 by Sept 24th or email dcary@massaudubon.org

Co-sponsors: Town of Princeton Agricultural Commission & Princeton Arts Society - www.massaudubon.org.

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SEMAP's Marketing Series

Barn Raising: Marketing Your Farm Business - Increasing Your Sales 
A Five-Session Workshop Series, including a Create-Your-Own Website Lab (optional)

Join us for a modern take on a classic barn raising where you will come together with other growers and producers in your farming community to establish a marketing plan and website for your farm business. Just as the barn is vital to the operations of your farm, a marketing plan is vital to the success of your farm as a business. In short, improve your marketing plan and you'll improve your sales.

Who Should Attend?: Anyone interested in establishing a marketing plan or updating an existing strategy that needs some fine-tuning. You're invited to take part in SEMAP's Marketing Series for farms:

  • Develop a branding concept for your farm
  • Develop an overall marketing campaign for your farm - plus mini-campaigns for different seasons
  • Understand and decide what marketing tools (web, print, etc.) best attract customers to your farm
  • Learn how to plan and create the framework for your farms website
  • Plan and create a WordPress website for your farm

SEMAP has partnered with Kelly Pelissier owner of Sage Hill Design to offer a very comprehensive workshop series that takes you through the steps of developing a marketing plan for your farm. Come work with your peers, share ideas and walk away with tools, campaign ideas, and other beneficial resources to reach potential customers, but more importantly connect with your community. To register, and for more information on each session, click here!

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MassCon: Containment Spraying in
Massachusetts Apple Orchards

With the adoption in commercial apple orchards of fully dwarfed trees and ultra-high-density planting/training systems, containment or tunnel spraying becomes a potentially feasible alternative to conventional airblast spraying.  By spraying only within a tunnel (or tent) extending on both sides of the row being treated, tunnel spraying can dramatically reduce drift of agricultural chemicals to non-target areas and substantially decrease the quantity of chemical used.  The potential environmental benefits are unmeasured.  The quality of pest control should be enhanced, while at the same time, significantly reducing the quantity of pesticide used.  A change in methodology such as this can only enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of apple farming in a steadily urbanizing part of the Country.

The Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association (MFGA), in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Fruit Program (UMass), recently received a USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant from MDAR to study the feasibility of containment spraying.  A Lipco Tunnel Sprayer was purchased and is being evaluated at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center in Belchertown.  Progress associated with this study is reported in a new blog:  http://masscon.blogspot.com. If you are interested, please visit the MassCon Blog or contact Wes Autio (autio@pssci.umass.edu).

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Export Marketing Forum in Boston for Food
and Agricultural Products

Plan to attend the Export Marketing Forum in Boston on September 27th and 28th 2011. Register early to save $100. Sponsored by Food Export USA Northeast to which MDAR is a member, the Forum offers an efficient opportunity to learn about exporting logistics and explore international markets, as well as network with other food and agricultural businesses and industry experts. You will get a chance to join hands-on workshops to learn practical exporting logistics; meet U.S. suppliers that have grown their business in international markets; hear from industry experts about hot topics affecting the U.S. and global food trade; meet one-on-one with In-Market Representatives, pre-qualified buyers, and trade experts about your product’s potential in global markets; showcase your products to international buyers and explore businesses providing products and services to support your exporting needs.

Sign up now and save $100. Contact Bonita.Oehlke@state.ma.us, 617-626-1753, for additional information.

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Dairy Farm of Distinction Applications

Applicant farms will be scored on appearance from the roadside and must comply with the criteria guidelines. Judging will take place during July and August and winners will receive an award certificate and a Dairy Farm of Distinction sign that can be mounted for public display. Judging will automatically take place every year unless the dairyman withdraws the application. Deadline is June 24, 2011. All active dairy farms in the state may participate in the program by contacting MA Farm Bureau at 508-481-4766 or visit mfbf.net.

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MA Specialty Food News!

A Massachusetts Pavilion at the 2011 Summer Fancy Food Show, Washington DC, July 10 – 12, will feature products from 22 Bay State specialty food businesses. The trade show has a reputation as the premier marketplace for value-added foods, with 2,400 exhibitors and 24,000 attendees. In addition to the companies in the Massachusetts Pavilion, there will be some 35 other Massachusetts exhibitors spread throughout the Show.

The Massachusetts Pavilion is part of the Avenue of State Pavilions featured at the show. Participants pay their complete expenses, however are eligible for reimbursement under the USDA MAP Branded Program for up to half the cost of eligible expenses. The state pavilions are of special interest to buyers looking to find regional products to meet their customer requests.

Exhibitors include: Bittersweet Herb Farm, Bonnie's Jam, Deborah's Kitchen, Cains Foods, Cape Cod Provisions, Coastal Goods, Dresden Stollen, Effies, Equal Equal Exchange, Glutinus Minimum, Kettle Cuisine, Lark Fine Foods, Mini Pops, Myron’s Fine Foods, Nantucket Pasta Goddess, New England Natural Bakers, Panapesca, Philip 'R's Frozen Desserts, Powell and Mahoney, Root Cellars, Sauces ‘n Love, Tortured Orchard.

In addition, a Buyers Mission to the show coordinated with assistance from MDAR will allow exhibitors to meet with 13 buyers from 11 countries on Saturday, July 9th. Participants do not have to exhibit at the show.

Eight Massachusetts food companies have been chosen as silver winners and entered into the final stage of the 2011National Association of Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Sofi awards (the Oscars of food products). The list of the Sofi award winners include: Deborah's Kitchen, Lark Fine Foods, Late July Organic Snacks.

UPCOMING EVENTS


Great Ideas Summer Conference

Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Mahoney's Garden Center, Falmouth, MA

Join UMass Extension and Massachusetts' largest green industry associations - Massachusetts Flower Growers Association and Massachusetts Nursery Landscape Association for their 8th annual collaborative event, for a full day of education, trade show, networking and great food! Key note speaker this year is Roger Cook, from the TV show, This Old House. Mr. Cook will discuss and demonstrate the proper selection and planting of trees and shrubs. Other topics include organic turf pest management, IPM on herbaceous plants in retail garden centers, invasive plant look-a-likes, preparing for the pesticide inspection, demonstration of pruning fruit trees, best management practices related to nutrient management, new and overlooked perennials and best practices for insuring your payday. To register go to www.mnla.com.

Mass. Farm to School Project Invites Distributors/Vendors
to Discuss Institutional Demand for Locally Grown Foods

Farmers with an interest in selling products to institutions are welcome to join a statewide “shoptalk” meeting with distributors, aggregators, and trucking operations. In preparation for Mass. Harvest for Students Week (Sept. 23-27), we'll discuss procurement and promotion of locally grown products, transparency and traceability of food from the farm to the customer, recently-passed legislation mandating local food purchasing by state agencies, and more. Primarily intended for businesses interested in being a "go-to source" for local product for institutions, we will hear from the procurement director of a college about his local foods requirements.

WHEN: Wednesday June 29th, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
WHERE: Rovezzi’s Ristorante, 2 School St. Sturbridge, MA

This meeting is free and refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to info@massfarmtoschool.org or by calling 413-253-3844.


Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers (MADF)
Summer Picnic

Please join us on Friday, July 22nd as the Duffy family welcomes the New England Dairy community to the Great Brook Farm State Park. Mark will share with us the features of Massachusetts’ first “robotic milking system” and a brand new state-of-the-art barn. This is only the second Delaval VMS installed in New England.

In addition to the tours, our day will also include vendor tables showcasing the products and services of the dairy industry, an update on programs and services that are available to today’s dairy farmers by NRCS, MDAR and UMass, Amherst. We invite you to also join us for an update by Bob Wellington of AgriMark and Henry Gillet, MADF Legislative Director who will share with us the ever changing political and regulatory issues affecting the dairy industry and our farm families. This valuable meeting will also include a pesticide credit educational program at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm by Andrew Hukowicz of Helena Chemical.

We have extended an invitation to many of our state legislators to be our guest for this unique event, and we hope that you will be able to join us as well for this invaluable day sponsored by the MADF board of directors and our hosts, Mark & Tamma Duffy.

Vendors:
Join the Massachusetts Association of Dairy Farmers on July 22nd and showcase your products & services at the MADF Summer Picnic and Open Barn for Agriculture! The summer picnic will offer something for everyone. Whether it is the innovative robotic milking machine, the state of the art barn, the opportunity to receive the latest updates on the dairy industry, or just the opportunity to share and exchange information one on one; you are sure to find what you are looking for at this years’ unique event.

For farmers and friends…what better way to see your colleagues and friends in the “heat” of the season and for industry vendors; this is a great opportunity to see hundreds of current and potential customers at the ONLY Summer Trade Show event in New England for the Dairy Industry! Click here for registration info., or contact Rena Sumner at the MADF office at 413-369-8092.

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Summer Workshops on the Farm & Summer Graduate Course

Join us for one or more of our Summer Workshops on the farm or sign up for our Three Graduate Credit Summer Course and attend eight workshops this summer.

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) is sponsoring twelve workshops on farms across the state this summer. Each workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers classroom-ready activities and focuses on one unique aspect of agriculture with exploration of the work that takes place at that farm. The fee of $30 includes pdp's, lunch and all materials. We hope to see you at a farm this summer. Click here for the list of available workshops.

Summer Graduate Course Registration

Spaces are still available in our popular 3 Credit Summer Graduate Course for educators. MAC, collaborating with Fitchburg State College, offers this three-credit graduate course, titled "Growing Agriculture in the Classroom," using Massachusetts farms as classrooms.

The course will meet on Tuesdays, June 28 and Tuesday, August 16 at the Brigham Hill Community Farm in North Grafton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each participant must attend both sessions and also participate in six additional workshops during the summer, selected from the twelve workshops listed above, on a variety of topics in locations across the state. Participants will also keep a journal of their agricultural journey and developing a classroom project, which they will present to their peers on August 16.


NEWS FROM USDA


Farmers' Market Promotion Program

The USDA Farmers' Market Promotion Program (FMPP) announced availability of 2011 funds in the Federal Register. See www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-01/html/2011-13483.htm. The FMPP was created through an amendment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976. The grants, administered by the FMPP, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities.

NOTE: Applications due by July 1! Approximately $10 Million is available.
The FMPP home page is here: www.ams.usda.gov/FMPP

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Carmen Humphrey, Branch Chief, Marketing Grants and Technical Services Branch, Marketing Services Division, Transportation and Marketing Programs, AMS, USDA, on 202-720-8317, or via facsimile on 202-690-0031.

IN EVERY ISSUE

Classified Ads

  • For Sale: Irrigation Pumps. Berkley pump 1200-1400gpm, 671 Detroit diesel, can irrigate 20 acres of strawberries at a time. $3500 or best offer. Also, 6" x 6" Gorman-Rupp pump 6 cyl. gas, $2200. Both pumps in goo condition, 413-237-2615
  • Farmers: When you are about to plow under a partly spent bed to plant a-new, or where you over-planted a crop or have extra, think to contact Boston Area Gleaners! Call and leave a message at 781-894-3212, or e-mail <volunteer@bostonareagleaners.org>. We will organize a crew to come out to harvest the crop pronto, to transport to Food For Free (a Cambridge food bank that delivers) or other food pantry or shelter. You can also call the coordinator directly -- Oakes Plimpton at 781-648-5117
  • Home Grown Feed Hay For Sale – Timothy, Clover, Orchard Grass, Fescue Mix – Delivered or picked up, Stow, MA – 978-815-0203 or abc980c@yahoo.com
  • Agricultural excavation – grading services. We 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
  • Solar Energy for Agribusiness: SunWire Energy works with agricultural facilities to provide energy solutions that create long-term savings opportunities. Through an agricultural leasing structure, qualifying entities can add solar energy to their facility with no upfront costs, realize significant immediate savings, and eventually benefit from free electricity (all backed by the USDA). There are almost no capital requirements to participate in this program (just the cost of a title search). SunWire Energy is a comprehensive energy services provider offering turnkey solutions for qualify ag facilities. For a free preliminary analysis, contact Sarah Anderson at 888-892-9860 (toll free), 443-668-1173 (direct), or via email at sarah@sunwireenergy.com

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 

June

12, 19, 26, 7/32011 Hands on Queen Rearing Workshop - Leominster, MA $200 (Limit 10 Students per Session) This course serves as both an introduction to rearing queen honeybees, and as a hands on support for those that have done extensive reading and research, but need a little handholding and guidance. www.beeuntoothers.com
15MA Christmas Tree Association Twilight Meeting - Ket-Tree Farms, Randall Ketterman, 116 Stebbins Rd., R.R.#1, Monson, MA, 413-267-3631.
22MA Christmas Tree Association Twilight Meeting - Scott Dwinell, 132 Salem Rd., Topsfield, MA 01983, 978-887-2670, tdwinell@verizon.net.
24UMass Extension's Broadleaf Weed Identification workshop -UMass Amherst, 9am to 3:30 pm (Sorry, the workshop in Jamaica Plain on June 21 is filled.) Correct weed identification is an important first step in the development of an effective weed management program. Feel free to bring a weed or two to identify. Workshop held rain or shine (lunch not provided), Cost $95/person (pre-registration required, as space is limited). Credits: 5 pesticide contact hours for categories 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 36, 37, 45 and applicator's license available. Association credits: 1/2 MCA, 1 MCLP, 1 MCH, and 5 CFE credits available. Also offered later this summer: Grassy Weeds: an in-depth look, August 25 - UMass Amherst. For a registration form, go to www.umassgreeninfo.org/ and click on Conferences and Workshops.
25Massachusetts Beekeeper's Association Field Day Meeting, UMASS Agronomy Farm, South Deerfield, MA - www.massbee.org

July

9Buyer’s Mission to the Washington DC Summer Fancy Food Show – Meet with international buyers to get feedback and sell your products. For more info. Bonita.Oehlke@state.ma.us.
10 - 12Washington DC Summer Fancy Food Show - Consider being a part of the Massachusetts pavilion at this event www.specialtyfood.com. For more info., contact Bonita.Oehlke@state.ma.us.
14The MA Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and the MA Flower Growers Association (MFGA) Great Ideas Summer Conference and Trade Show, Mahoney’s Garden Center in Falmouth, www.mnla.com.
14MA Farm Winery and Growers Association Twilight Meeting, Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth 6 – 8 pm. For more info., email leesidemini@gmail.com.
18Fruit Growers Summer Meeting, 9:00 - 2:00pm, Parley Farm, Tyngsborough MA Fruit Growers Association, Wes Autio 413-545-2963 autio@pssci.umass.edu.
21Turf Field Day 8:30 - 1:00, UMass Joseph Troll Research Center, South Deerfield. Mary Owen, 508-892-0382, mowen@umext.umass.edu.

For a Complete Ongoing List of Events and Workshops, Click Here.

*** If you have events you would like listed to our Ag industry calendar, or Consumer 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 L. Patrick, Governor
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Richard K. Sullivan, 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
  • Scott J. Soares, Commissioner
  • Nathan L’Etoile, Asst. Commissioner
  • Anna Waclawiczek, Chief of Staff
Division Directors

Next issue to be published for August / September. Please send news, calendar and/or classified information by July 22nd 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.