- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Media Contact for State Officials Celebrate Agriculture Day at the State House
BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker declared March 27, 2019 as Massachusetts Agriculture Day. To celebrate the occasion, state officials, legislators, farmers, and students gathered at a State House event as part of a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Promotional Board, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, and Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets. Farmers, producers, and agricultural organizations joined together to promote the Commonwealth’s diverse locally-grown food and farm products, and discuss the agricultural industry.
“Agriculture Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work Massachusetts farmers and producers do every day for their local economies, and to encourage residents across the Commonwealth to buy locally produced items to support our state’s vibrant agricultural industry,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
“Massachusetts farmers are the backbone of our state’s economy, and our administration is proud to support the Commonwealth’s agricultural sector and the diverse set of products harvested for people in Massachusetts, across the country, and around the world,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are declaring March 27, 2019 as ‘Massachusetts Agriculture Day,’ to raise awareness about the contributions Massachusetts local growers make to the farm economy and encourage people to buy local.”
With approximately 7,800 farms within Massachusetts maintaining nearly 523,000 acres of open space, local farms employ over 28,000 workers and contribute $492 million to the state economy. The Commonwealth is ranked fifth in the United States for direct market agricultural sales.
“Agriculture Day is an opportunity for farmers and producers to meet and discuss issues, ideas, and challenges currently being experienced within the Massachusetts agricultural industry directly with state officials and legislators,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Massachusetts farmers ensure residents have access to nutritious, fresh, and environmentally sustainable agricultural products year round, and we appreciate their dedication to the Commonwealth’s many communities.”
“We recognize the dedication of Massachusetts farmers in providing nutritious, fresh, local and environmentally sustainable agricultural products throughout the year,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. “Our department is proud to support these farmers in being sustainable and profitable through marketing, promotion and our extensive grant programs.”
Agriculture Day awards were presented to State Representatives Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown), MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux, Kathy Carroll from the UMASS Nursery & Landscape Program and Economist Dr. Dan Lass from UMASS Resource Economics, for their dedication and support of the Massachusetts agricultural industry.
“I am honored to accept this year’s Agriculture Day Award and support the farmers and producers across the Commonwealth who ensure the public has access to nutritious and delicious locally grown, farm fresh items,” said State Representative Sarah Peake (D- Provincetown). “From oyster ‘farming’ on our tidal flats to the growing of fresh produce at myriad Cape Cod Farms, I am proud to support the local agricultural organizations in my district that engage with our community members and students on the Lower and Outer Cape in order to promote the mission of sustainable farming and making smart food choices.”
Massachusetts Agricultural Day serves as a great opportunity to continue to empower students, children, and their families through education regarding healthy eating, behavioral practices, agriculture, food, and environmental science. Nick Ryan from the Plymouth County 4-H Ambassador Club was a speaker at today’s event to provide a younger generations’ optimistic view on the future of agriculture in the Commonwealth.
“Farming in Massachusetts is a tough business and we appreciate that we have a dedicated group of legislators who take the time on Agriculture Day to meet with us and discuss our issues,” said Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation President Mark Amato. “The connections made today are invaluable as we chart the future course of Massachusetts agriculture.”
A “Taste of Massachusetts” reception was enjoyed by attendees in the State House’s Great Hall. Culinary students and instructors from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Program prepared and presented the menu, using products donated from approximately 40 farms and food producers across the Commonwealth.