Governor Charlie Baker, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, and Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux joined state agriculture officials, farmers and students to celebrate Agriculture Day at the State House.
Agriculture Day, organized by the Massachusetts Promotional Board and Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, brings farmers and agricultural organizations together to showcase locally grown food and farm products and to educate legislators about issues affecting the agricultural community.
“Agriculture Day is an important opportunity to discuss the unique issues of the Commonwealth’s 7,700 farms, which produce clean, healthy food for Massachusetts’ citizens,” said Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This is an exciting time for agriculture in our state as the number of farms in Massachusetts continues to grow, and the Buy Local movement builds momentum.”
During the celebration, Governor Baker announced that the Department of Energy Resources would provide $1 million to support a two year expansion of the existing AgEnergy Grant Program, which funds clean energy projects for agricultural operations.
“A vibrant agricultural community in Massachusetts is essential to building healthy communities and a stronger economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we celebrate the impact agriculture brings to our economy and history today, the expansion of the AgEnergy Grants will help our Commonwealth’s farmers address their energy needs and increase their future opportunities for competitiveness in the global marketplace.”
Governor Baker also proclaimed March 31 as Massachusetts Agricultural Day, and presented the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation with a citation recognizing their 100 years of service.
State Representatives Brad Hill (4th Essex District) and Paul Schmid III (8th Bristol District) were joined by Suzanne Green, Superintendent-Director for Norfolk Agricultural High School to receive Agriculture Day Awards.
Attendees at Agriculture Day were also treated to a “Taste of Massachusetts.” This Massachusetts-grown menu was developed to highlight locally grown food available across the Commonwealth. Culinary students and instructors from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Program prepared the menu using products mainly donated from over 25 Massachusetts farms.