Rep. Hogan is honored to co-chair with Senator Jo Comerford, the Legislature’s 21st Century Agriculture Commission, and to lead hearings that investigate opportunities in renewable energy production, streamlining grant process, reviewing our extension services, and many other challenges and opportunities in the Massachusetts agricultural sector. The Commission is made up of members of the Legislature, representatives of the Healey-Driscoll Administration, and key members of the agriculture community.
In October, the Commission held its fourth hearing, which focused on economic development in our agricultural sector. The testimony we heard was both sobering and hopeful. We heard from local farmers, including Ken Nicewicz from Nicewicz Family Farm, Chelcie Martin from Honey Pot Hill Orchards, Joel Schnieder from Eastie Farm, Carmen Mouzon of The Farm School in Athol and Angie Facey of Our Family Farms Milk and Bree-Z-Knoll Farm LLC about the economic challenges they face each day. Massachusetts is home to more than 7,000 farms that contribute $475 million to the state economy each year.
The Commission also heard about the Commonwealth’s strategic plans from partners Winton Pitcoff, Deputy Commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources; Mackanzie May, the Executive Director at Central Mass Grown;
Karen Schwalbe, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, Inc; Director of Rural Affairs Anne Gobi; and Reps Paul A. Schmid and Rep. Dan Cahill.
The hearings are open and the public is welcome to attend via livestream at the website www.malegislature.gov. Archived recordings of all hearings are available at https://malegislature.gov/Commissions/Detail/524/Hearings