New report released on food system policies in New England

The American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group joined forces to release the exciting new survey, New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System. This report examines different policies impacting the food system in New England that either hinder or support its capacity to grow sustainably. The survey was created through interviews with people in food and farming in combination with two years of research.

Through this research, the survey explores opportunities for new or amended policies that can help New England’s food system thrive. In doing so, the report specifically looks into five topics in public policy: land, food production, food safety, markets and waste streams. The survey looks into ways that policies can improve on a state and national level, but also how the New England states can work together to achieve collaboration and change.

The Conservation Law Foundation’s website explains:

The New England states have a deep history of cooperation. This history offers promise for our states to work together on complex food system issues. We hope this report serves as a call to action to help policymakers, food and farming leaders, and citizens in each New England state to identify, support, and implement public policies that can have the most significant impact on strengthening our food system.

For more detailed information on the findings from each of the five public policy areas, click here for the conclusion from the report. 

Winter Workshop Series on Financial Management

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is offering a workshop series in western Massachusetts on financial management and business decision-making for farmers. The seven-workshop series will run through March, and is aimed at helping farmers become more finance-savvy and prepared to make decisions about new markets and major investments.

Click here for more information on the individual workshops and dates.

The cost for the whole series is $60 for members and $75 for non-members. Register for individual workshops online or by contacting Devon at 413-665-7100 x22 or devon@buylocalfood.org.

New England Workshop on Cost-Reducing Strategies for Dairy and Livestock

Cooperative Extension faculty and educators from northern New England are offering a workshop on January 17, 2013 in South Deerfield, MA, for dairy and livestock operations. Interactive presentations and discussions will give producers strategies for maximizing the impact of every dollar invested in their operations, including the following topics:

  • Reducing shrink on your farm
  • Alternative nutrient sources and nutrient management
  • Beating high feed costs
  • Maximizing forage quality
  • High forage dairy diets
  • Selecting profitable corn hybrids
  • Modern vaccination program
  • Other locally relevant topics

Register and find more information at: http://extension.umass.edu/cdle/events/cost-reducing-strategies-livestock-and-dairy-operations. Contact Mallory Ottariano with any questions: 413.545.5221 or mottaria@psis.umass.edu.