Region – State Representative Harold Naughton Jr. organized a farm tour of the 12th Worcester District to visit local farmers and learn what current and potential state programs and legislation benefits the growing agriculture industry in the area.
Naughton was joined by Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Greg Watson, as well as representatives Kate Hogan (D-Stow) and Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough). Each farm visited during the tour participates in at least one statewide program offered through the Department of Agricultural Resources, such as Farm Viability Enhancement, Pick Your Own, Commonwealth Quality Program and others.
A consistent theme throughout the day was the growing desire to establish a buy local initiative in central Massachusetts. Citing the $300,000 secured in the Environmental Bond Bill passed by the legislature this session, area growers said establishing such a group would provide a much-needed network for farmers and consumers that would result in support and expansion for their businesses.
“I want to the thank the Nicewicz Farm, Indian Head Farm, Davidian Brothers Farm, and Tougas Family Farm for participating in the tour and taking the time to show us the complex operations that go into producing quality products,” Naughton said. “There are over 7,000 farms in the Commonwealth and approximately 65 of them area located right here in our district. As this historic industry continues to grow in our region, it is imperative that we as legislators are aware of the needs of our growers. I look forward to continue working with these farms, and all farms throughout the district, to produce effective legislation that will support and assist local agriculture.”
“It was a pleasure to join Chairman Naughton on tours of the Davidian Brothers Farm and Tougas Family Farm last month,” Gregoire added. “It is fascinating to see the simplicity of how old farms worked and still work, combined with the complexity of the technology being implemented to ensure that this old New England pastime remains a booming business.”