Massachusetts

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Leasing Land to Farmers: A Handbook for New England Land Trusts, Municipalities and Institutions

This handbook is intended to help land trusts, municipalities and institutions such as schools, churches and nonprofit organizations that own farmland to keep that land in production — or bring it into production — by leasing it to farmers.The resources in this handbook will help municipalities, land trusts and both public and private institutions consider options and find ways to structure successful tenancy arrangements with farmers.

From Factories to Fresh Food: Planning for Urban Agriculture in Somerville

Somerville, Massachusetts was historically an area with farms, backyard gardens, livestock, and food processing facilities. The emergence of industry, however, changed the dynamic of the city and now Somerville is densely populated, has much less industry than at its historic high, and little space for agriculture. However, in recent years Somerville’s local food movement has enjoyed a surge in popularity.

In Pursuit of Good Food: Improving School Food at Boston Arts Academy

Boston Arts Academy has been working to improve both the quality and nutritional value of the food served in its cafeteria. Boston Arts Academy is a pilot high school located in Boston’s Fenway Neighborhood. The diverse student body is drawn from seventeen Boston neighborhoods. Many of the students are from underserved communities and approximately 65% qualify for free or reduced meals. More than 90% of the school’s graduates attend college.

Protecting Farmland Through Purchase of Development Rights: The Farmers' Perspective

No one recent issue has generated more discussion and concern in rural communities across the country than escalating growth and its myriad of related impacts and pressures. From Maine to California, communities have found themselves in the difficult position of balancing growth and the loss of critical natural resources.

Farms for the Future: Massachusetts' Investments in Farmland Conservation

This report is intended to provide readers with a better understanding of Massachusetts agriculture and the land on which it relies."Farms for the Future: Massachusetts’ Investments in Farmland Conservation" includes a review of state programs that are saving farmland, protecting the environment and helping improve farm profitability, and recommends a number of actions to improve and complement those programs.

Nutrition Incentives at Farmers’ Markets: Bringing Fresh, Healthy, Local Foods Within Reach

Based on visits and interviews, this report profiles pilot programs that match and expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),1 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP), and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) dollars spent at farmers markets.

Community Food Systems: Strengthening Community Health and Economy

Planners have historically focused on air, water, shelter and food. In the 19th century, as cities expanded, light and air gained prominence in an effort to combat public health concerns and disease. In the early 20th century, the garden city movement addressed the role of food in relation to planning. This relationship was lost for decades, but now food is moving to the fore once again - regionally, nationally and globally.

Hatfield, MA: Farm Map

A guide to the best fresh produce and agricultural products in Western Massachusetts.

Enjoy the fruits of Hatfield's farms throughout the year!

Hatfield's rich agricultural tradition continues to this day with about 3,500 acres of the most fertile farmland in the nation along the Connecticut River devoted to a wide range of fruits, vegetables and livestock. The town is also home to renowned nurseries and tree farms. While much of the produce is sold to wholesale markets, you can still drive through Hatfield and purchase direct from farmers year-round.

Carver, MA: Living Near a Farm Brochure

How to become a farmer's friend in 10 easy steps.

Think about what attracts you to Carver: its beauty, history, peacefulness, and scenic cranberry bogs.

For generations, your farming neighbors have nurtured and cultivated their bogs and fields, creating the unique and beautiful New England countryside we all cherish and call home.

As our town grows, farmers are becoming closer neighbors with non farmers. Here are ways we can work together.

Local Foods: Estimating Capacity

While local food is enjoying new interest in much of the country, data revealing the extent of local food production and consumption are typically lacking. This lack of data has made it difficult to set local food goals and assess progress toward such goals. This paper describes two methods for quantifying local food consumption and presents estimation results using national and state data. The local food indicators presented in this article can be easily estimated with publicly available data, and represent low cost
indicators of local food use.

Regionalist Approaches to Farm and Food Systems Policy: A Focus on the Northeast

This paper explores why agriculture and food system policy needs to pay more attention to regions. Regionalism, which urges a move from sector-based to place-based policymaking, has emerged as a powerful principle in public policy. Applied to agriculture and food policy, it acknowledges the regional diversity of the U.S. farm and food system and enables important differences between regions to be articulated and addressed more explicitly in the policy making
process.

Ecolabel Value Assessment: Consumer and Food Business Perceptions of Local Foods

An ecolabel is a seal or a logo indicating that a product has met a certain set of environmental and/or social standards or attributes. Ecolabels offer one avenue to educate consumers about locally grown, sustainably-raised foods.

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture partnered in a pilot with the Iowa State University Business Analysis Laboratory to conduct consumer and food business market research related to ecolabels.

Community Benefits and Costs of Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements

The National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided funding for American Farmland Trust (AFT) to estimate the benefits that a farm could provide a local community in the future when its development rights are purchased. AFT analyzed the financial impacts to communities and individuals that result from protected farmland. Through the use of existing sources of data to generate this information, potential benefits are quantified in a way that taxpayers can understand and appreciate.

Community Choices:Thinking Through Land Conservation, Development, and Property Taxes in Massachusetts

This study investigates the relationship between permanent land conservation--achieved through public or nonprofit acquisition of either land or conservation easements--and property tax bills.

The study examines the short-term effect of land conservation by calculating the tax increase caused by removing $500,000 of property value from the tax rolls in seven sample towns.

The study then correlates the residential property tax rate in each Massachusetts town with various measures of development and ruralness to demonstrate the long-term effects of land conservation.

The Cost of Community Services in Middleborough, Massachusetts

The town of Middleborough, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA) commissioned American Farmland Trust to conduct a Cost of Community Services (COCS) study to gain a better understanding of the financial impact of existing land uses in the Town of Middleborough. The study is a snapshot in time of current revenues and expenditures on a land use basis. It analyzes the financial demands of public services (e.g.

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