HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP)- Federal and state officials met with local farmers in western Massachusetts Monday.
The fourth annual Massachusetts Farm Tour is to meet with local farmers in Central and western Massachusetts and highlight the success of the regions rich agricultural industry.
Congressman Jim McGovern told 22News, “Learn about farms, learn about whats happening , learn about the challenges for some of the local farms, but also to promote farms. I want people to support our local farmers to buy things that are grown here locally.” Congressman McGovern said there are 63 towns in his district with about 1000 farms.
Many western Massachusetts communities have been established from farming, and many farmers 22News spoke with said it’s important to pass on the knowledge of farming to future generations.
The North Hadley Sugar Shack is one farm that was toured Monday. Farmer Joe Boisvert says hes seen fewer students come see production because the schools can’t afford transporation.
Joe Boisvert,of the North Hadley Sugar Shack said, “They can come out to the farm meet our families see how hard we workd and see how important agriculture whether its maple syrup beef cows or vegetables are to the economy here and to the farmers in western Massachusetts.”
Some farmers like the Boisvert’s have received funding from the state to upgrade equipment and increase production.
Scott Soares, the state Director for Rural Development said, “Know your farmer, know your food strategy that the USDA has been implementing for some time now so folks can appreciate the kinds of activity and community economic development that we see in these rural communities that really lead to the food products that they eat anywhere in the state.”
“It’s better for us, it’s healthier for us and it’s also good for our economy,” Congressman McGovern said. He said they are looking into getting more funding to get students to the farms and learning.
Here is a list of farms Congressman McGovern visited Monday:
- Simple Gifts Farm, North Amherst
- Boisvert Farm & The North Hadley Sugar Shack, Hadley
- Atlas Farm, Greenfield
- Just Roots, Greenfield
The tour continues Tuesday at the following:
- Ragged Hill Orchard, West Brookfield
- Royal Crest Farm, Spencer
- Breezy Gardens, Leicester
- Cooper’s Hilltop Farm, Rochdale
- Whittier Farms, Sutton
- Foppema Farm, Northbridge