For Immediate Release - June 01, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Start of the 2010 Agricultural Fair Season

Massachusetts offers more than 40 agricultural fairs throughout the summer and fall

CUMMINGTON - May 29, 2010 - As the more than 3 million visitors a year who attend them well know, Massachusetts' agricultural fairs are not to be missed.

Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Scott Soares, fair representatives, and local legislators will celebrate the beginning of the 2010 Agricultural Fairs Season at the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair in Cummington today.

"Visiting Massachusetts agricultural fairs is one of the highlights of my summer," said Commissioner Soares. "We invite you to share in the spirit, heritage, and future of our state's fairs to enjoy the wide array of locally grown agricultural products and exhibits."

From major multi-county fairs to youth and community events, agricultural fairs showcase Massachusetts farming and its contributions to the state's economy, environment, health, and quality of life. Agricultural fairs are also a way to learn about and support local agriculture. These fairs feature exhibits, livestock competitions and showings, farm-fresh food, and local crafts. Some fairs also have fireworks displays, tractor rides, concerts, and pie eating contests.

"Fairs in Massachusetts are events that families and the community can come together and make memories that will last a lifetime," said Chuck Felix, president Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs Association. "It is also an opportunity to enjoy and taste local agriculture, and for farmers to showcase what they do best, from big cities to small towns."

This year, thanks to a new public-private partnership, the American Automobile Association (AAA) will provide DAR's 2010 Agricultural Fairs Directory to its members.

To find an agricultural fair near you, visit Renewable Energy Projects at State Agencies: A step-by-step Guide to Identifying, Planning and Funding Projects pdf format of 07_renewable_funding_guide.pdf

View an interactive map of fairs across the state

DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of local agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Development, Animal Health, Crop and Pest Services, and Technical Assistance - the DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the Commonwealth's agricultural community, working to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR's website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/MDARCommish