HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Restaurant, store, and specialty food business owners got an up-close and personal look at some of the cows and facilities that sustain the local dairy industry.
The group Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) led a tour of Mapleline Farm in Hadley Thursday morning, as part of an effort to educate local businesses about this longstanding part of the western Massachusetts economy. The goal is to increase business for farms in our area, which have limited control over pricing, and face complicated regulations.
“All of us just need to understand how important dairy farms are, and to understand that milk is one of the three products that we can drink in Massachusetts that is local to Massachusetts. You have cranberry juice, you have apple cider and you have milk,” CISA Executive Director Phil Korman said.
According to CISA, about 41% of the states 147 dairy farms are located in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties. Milk sales account for 14% of the value of all farm sales from the Pioneer Valley.