For Immediate Release - July 06, 2009

Patrick Administration Celebrates the Town of Hadley for Leadership in Agricultural Preservation

WHAT:

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) will recognize the town of Hadley for protecting more farmland under the Agriculture Preservation Restriction (APR) than any other Massachusetts community. With more than 2,400 acres protected to date, Hadley is a leader in preserving agricultural land. Six new APRs to protect 149 acres were approved by DAR this year, with funding to acquire the APRs provided by the Department of Agricultural Resources, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, and the Hadley Community Preservation Act, as well as private grants through three land trusts: The Kestrel Trust, Valley Land Fund, and The Trustees of Reservations.

In celebration, the town, Kestrel Trust and farmers, will place "Forever Farmland" signs on protected APR farms during Hadley's 350th anniversary. The signs guide viewers to a website: www.foreverfarmland.org, which outlines the benefits of preserved agricultural land, describes farmland protection programs, and provides links to area land trusts, state agencies, and farm support organizations.

WHO:

DAR Commissioner Scott Soares

Kristin DeBoer, Executive Director, The Kestrel Trust

Alexandra Dawson, Conservation Commission Chairman

USDA representatives

Local landowners and farmers

Representatives from the Valley Land Fund and The Trustees of Reservations

WHEN:

Tuesday - July 7, 2009

1:30pm

WHERE:

The Tobacco Barn at

15 Lawrence Plain Rd, Hadley

DIRECTIONS:

From West: Take I-90 E/Massachusetts Turnpike E. Take exit 4 for I-91/US-5 toward Springfield/Holyoke Toll road. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-91 and merge onto I-91 N. Take exit 19 to merge onto Bridge St/MA-9 Continue to follow MA-9. Turn right at MA-47/Middle St. Turn left at Bay Rd/MA-47. Continue to follow MA-47 to 15 Lawrence Plain Rd MA 01035

From the East: Take I-91/US-5 toward Springfield/Holyoke Partial toll road. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-91 and merge onto I-91 N. Take exit 19 to merge onto Bridge St/MA-9. Continue to follow MA-9.Turn right at MA-47/Middle St. Turn left at Bay Rd/MA-47. Continue to follow MA-47 to 15 Lawrence Plain Rd.