Farmer Forum: Hemp Discussion with MA Dept of AG Resources

As a follow up to our December Agricultural Meeting, We are reminding Farmers that this Thursday, January 17th at 6:30PM, The MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources will be coming to Dudley, at our request, to Discuss recent developments with HEMP.

Meeting will be held at the Dudley Town Hall, 71 West Main Street, Dudley, MA 01571 at 6:30PM
Selectman Room, 321A

Agenda:
• Guest Speaker: Taryn LaScola-Miner (Director Crop and Pest Services Division, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources)
• Talk About HEMP
• What is involved in growing it, harvesting it, testing it
• Does MA Recognize some of the 3% seed being certified in CO as being ok here
• What is process, regulations and reporting/testing requirements
• How Does New Federal Farm Bill Affect Current MA Regs
• Farm Bill: Treating HEMP like Ordinary AG Commodity – doesn’t that mean just like Corn
• Could Dudley Farmers Unite and do a Single Application with State, representing 30 farms and work as a Cooperative under guidance of Town and MDAR?
• Pesticides and Hemp – Learn more
• Q&A : Open Informal Discussion

Dudley Farmer Forum 12/8 1pm Dudley Grange

Attention all Active farmers, Retired Farmers and Agricultural Land Owners,

Agricultural Commission Initial Launch Meeting Planned 

A Public meeting to explore and setup the New Agricultural Commission for the Town of Dudley will be held on December 8th, 2018 at 1PM at the Dudley Grange, Center Road, Dudley, MA. Refreshments will be provided.

The purpose of this exploratory meeting is to introduce Dudley Residents, most particularly farmers, to the concept and benefits of the new Town Agricultural Commission and have a discussion with those who have a vested financial interest in framing and agriculture in Dudley.

The new Agricultural Commission is a non-regulatory, town recognized entity which provides a voice for the agricultural community, a resource for mediation, and a link to assistance providers.

The Goal of this meeting is to create a slate of interested candidates that can be submitted to the Board of Selectmen to be appointed as the initial founding members of the New Dudley Agricultural Commission as well as create an initial format for the short and long term goals of the new commission.

Grant Announcement: Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA)

Grant Announcement: Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs (SARA)

The Department invites responses from Massachusetts farmers who own or operate farm land under the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (“APR”) Program who wish to participate in Round 7 of the Stewardship Assistance and Restoration on APRs Program (“Program”). The purpose of the Program is to address stewardship or restoration issues on farmland resources in order to maximize productive agricultural use of the protected resource.

Funding of up to $25,000, with a 15% match, may be available for identified improvements that will help restore or enhance the protected land resources on an APR farm property.

Eligible uses of funds include contracted labor or equipment rental costs to clear land or reclaim inactive fields back to active cropland use such as: clearing vegetation, removing rocks or stumps, cutting back grown in field edges, or reseeding or applying soil or crop amendments to inactive cropland or pastureland to bring it back into production. Funding may be also be used to restore farm resources that have been negatively impacted by flooding, erosion, storms, tornadoes and other natural disasters.

The deadline for applications is December 7, 2018 by 4 PM, and all projects must be completed by June 30, 2019.

Find the application here:
AGR-SARA-19-7-Final-file or www.mass.gov/media/1733661/download

Agricultural Tourism Craft Beverage and Farmer Workshops

 

Agricultural Tourism Craft Beverage and Farmer Workshops

Attention Massachusetts farmers interested in agritourism, craft beverage producers of beer, wine, cider, and spirits and tourism professionals!  Culinary tourism workshops in April will focus on cross-sector marketing practices and branding strategies to attract visitors to tours, tastings, and tap rooms with an emphasis on destination marketing.  While the focus is on the craft beverage sector, farmers interested in agritourism will gain insights into building farm visits and opportunities for cross promotion.

Success stories from host businesses, panel discussions featuring wine, beer, cider and spirits experts sharing best practices, MA Office of Travel and Tourism’s ad agency Small Army with recommendations on brand development and identifying social media priorities, and resources from craft beverage associations and state agencies MOTT and MDAR are part of the workshops, ending with networking.

This event is open to farmers interested in ag tourism, craft beverage businesses and tourism professionals. There is no cost to participate, however registration is required as space is limited.  The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources have teamed up for this series of workshops to support the Commonwealth’s craft beverage industry and farmers in agritourism.

 

April 2 – Stone Cow Brewery
500 West St B, Barre, MA 01005
1:00pm – 4:30pm
Host presentation by Stone Cow Brewery
Panelists: Bear Swamp Orchard (Jennifer Williams), Berkshire Mountain Distillery (Chris Weld), Black Birch Vineyard (Michelle Kersbergen), Nightshift Brewing (Rob Burns); Moderated by Katie Stinchon (Mass Brewers Guild)
Ad agency: Small Army
Industry/State: Mass Brewers Guild, MDAR, MOTT
Networking to follow

 

April 9 – Nashoba Valley Winery
100 Wattaquadock Hill Rd, Bolton, MA 01740
1:00pm – 4:30pm
Host presentation by Nashoba Valley Winery
Panelists: Aeronaut Brewing Co. (Jason McCool), GrandTen Distilling (Matt Nurenberg), Ragged Hill Orchard (Anne Garwood-Hampp), Truro Vineyards (Dave Roberts)
Ad agency: Small Army
Industry/State: MA Farm Wineries & Growers Association, MDAR, MOTT
Networking to follow

 

April 23 – Lookout Farm Brewing & Cider Co.
89 Pleasant St. South, South Natick, MA 01760
1:00pm – 4:30pm
Host presentation by Lookout Farm Brewing & Cider Co.
Panelists: Hardwick Winery (John Samek), Privateer Rum (Andrew Cabot), Wormtown Brewery; Moderated by Lisa Davol (Franklin County/CiderDays)
Ad agency: Small Army
State: Massachusetts Distillers Alliance, MDAR, MOTT
Networking to follow

 

Click link to register: Craft Beverage Workshops

 

MDAR’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services – MDAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community 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 MDAR’s website at www.mass.gov/agr. For Ag industry events, click here, for consumer related events, visit the Massachusetts grown and fresher Calendar.