Agriculture and natural resource conservation are at the heart of Western Mass’s identity.
From the food we eat to the flowers we buy to the beer, wine and cider we drink, farmers are some of the most essential people in our region.
But, we often take them for granted. As climate change reshapes our landscapes and the cost of everything from fuel to machinery increases exponentially, it’s harder and harder for small farms and related businesses to stay afloat. Often, they feel left to do it alone.
Even scarier, we all know that farming must survive if we do. But the pipeline of new farmers is bleak. Low returns on investment, difficulty obtaining financial support, and increased competition from major corporations and special interests turn subsequent generations away from the economic viability of agricultural work.
It’s long past time to create a proactive and comprehensive policy package to mutually support the needs of farmers, animals and the environment.
To this end, we’re currently interested in the following: