The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) needs the assistance of area farm operators. As you may be aware, in 2013 CMRPC worked in eleven communities in our region – Barre, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Hardwick, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, Princeton, Rutland, Warren, West Brookfield (referred to as the Rural-11). As part of that effort, we mapped almost 700 working landscapes – farms and woodlots, and identified such action steps including:
• Develop a greater understanding of farmer needs and challenges
• Support Buy Local and agritourism programs,
• Support central Massachusetts agricultural educations,
• Promote technology and transportation infrastructure,
• Promote improved water and waste water management,
• Develop of middle and end user markets
• Explore regulatory reform in support of small farm operations.
The summary report and maps can be found on our website.
This year to continue the effort to support the agricultural economy of the eleven communities and surrounding areas and in particular as indicate in the above list of action items “Develop a greater understanding of farmer needs and challenges.” To do that, we need to understand the nature and scale of the farms in the area. (The latest USDA Ag Census figures won’t let us get down to the town level.) We ask that you take the on-line survey to provide information about your operation. We will be reaching out to farms in the region. A similar survey was done in Franklin County this past winter.
More info on the CMRPC website.