Farmers, small-batch food producers, foresters, wood product producers, and municipal leaders are invited to attend a free Ag Summit on Sunday, February 11 at Mohawk Trail Regional High School (24 Ashfield Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370). This one-day event, hosted by Rural Commonwealth and made possible by a grant from Greenfield Savings Bank, will feature workshops in the morning, discussion groups at lunch, and presentations by federal and state legislators on agricultural issues in the afternoon. The event is free. Attendees should bring their own brown bag lunches. Registration begins at 9:00am, with workshops starting at 9:30.
In anticipation of the Farm Bill being debated in the US House and Senate Committees in the coming weeks, US Representative Jim McGovern, who is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, will bring the latest news concerning federal legislation and will respond to concerns about agriculture and forest products at 1pm. Following his presentation, Senators Anne Gobi (Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture) and Adam Hinds and Representatives Paul Mark and Steve Kulik will bring their outlook for agricultural legislation in Massachusetts. They will also respond to concerns from those in attendance.
Morning workshops will be held in two blocks. The first block (9:30am – 10:30am) will include concurrent workshops on marketing for owners of ag businesses with Cricket Creek Farm; and making the leap to small-batch food production for retail. The second block (11:00am – noon) will have a session on food product distribution with Sidehill Farm and Marty’s Local, and another for municipal leaders and business owners about how local governments can support the ag sector that will be moderated by former legislator and Ag Commissioner Jay Healy.
For more information about this event, please email us or call one of the Rural Commonwealth directors: Toby Gould (413-768-8253) and Beth Bandy (413-824-2593).