MFBF Young Farmers Update
Leading Farm Bureau into the Future
Livestock On The Common 

Make plans to join us on June 6, 2017, at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. for Livestock on the Common at the Boston Common. This once-a-year event is our premiere opportunity to talk one-on-one with legislators and the public about issues related to farming.


The two bills that we will be focusing on at this event are H.B. 441, which would create a livestock care and standards board and H.B. 3323/S.B. 1584, which would create an ag value for inherited farmland. Please see the key talking points on the bills below.


HB 441 - An Act to promote the care and well-being of livestock - Representative Kulik

*                 Creates a Board within the Department of Agricultural Resources consisting of farmers, local humane organizations, veterinary organizations and relevant state agencies.

*                 The Board will be charged with ensuring livestock is treated humanely, and will be given the ability to create relevant regulations, guidance, etc.

*                 The bill is intended to ensure that future policy regarding the humane treatment of livestock is based on science and broad consensus, rather than emotion.


HB 3323- An Act to establish estate tax valuation for farms - Representative Hogan

SB 1584 - An Act to establish estate tax valuation for farms - Senator O'Connor-Ives

*                 Massachusetts has an Estate Tax that is levied when the value of an inherited estate exceeds $1 million. The estate tax is based on the "highest and best use" of the land - typically the development value, rather than the agricultural value.

*                 This has proven to be a challenge for many farmers inheriting farmland, who want to continue to farm the land rather than develop it. Often, they do not have cash on hand to pay the estate tax and are forced to sell some or all of the land to do so. This is contrary to the intent of several state laws and programs intended to preserve farmland.

*                 This bill would value farmland at agricultural value for estate tax purposes. The land would need to remain in agriculture for at least 10 years to fully enjoy this benefit. If the land is developed within 10 years, back-taxes would need to be paid as well as an elevated capital gains tax.


In addition to talking with legislators this is a great opportunity to showcase animal agriculture to the public. MFBF will be bringing hand-outs on animal by-products, including meat and additional purposes, for you to use to facilitate your conversations with the public.


Please let us know if you are planning to attend Livestock on the Common by RSVPing to Heidi Cooper at

Consider Joining Us... 

On May 24 at 6 p.m. the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation's Young Farmers & Ranchers board will meet at the office in Marlborough. Anyone is invited to come to this, however, only those appointed by their counties can vote on issues.


Please click here to download the agenda for the upcoming meeting. Please click here to download a copy of the minutes from the March meeting.  


If anyone would like to participate but does not want to drive to Marlborough, we do have video conferencing capabilities. Please contact Katelyn Parsons, if you plan to video call into this conference.

Make Plans Now: MFBF's YF&R Planning Legislative Trip To Montreal 

In November, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation's (MFBF's) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) committee is planning to cross the longest undefended border in the world to head to Montreal to learn about U.S.-Canadian trade relations. This is particularly timely as President Donald Trump discusses the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


If you are thinking about going on this trip, please make plans now starting by ensuring you have an up-to-date passport. Start the process of renewing your documents now if your current passport expires before May 2018. Please visit the State Department website, for information on obtaining of renewing a passport.


If you are interested in this trip and would like to participate please email Heidi Cooper at Due to the extensiveness of this trip, MFBF will be limiting this group to a relatively small size, so in order to be included please indicate your interest quickly.

YF&R Logo Information
And The Winner Is...
Thank you to everyone who voted for their favorite logo in the last YF&R update. The winner was option A, which is featured below.

Thank You For Joining Us At Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury

Thanks to everyone who joined us at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury on May 10. We had an excellent tour guided by Glenn and Karen Cook. We hope to see everyone at our social in July! 

American Farm Bureau Federation's Competitions and Challenges 

American Farm Bureau Federation's Achievement Award

The Achievement Award recognizes Young Farmers & Ranchers who have excelled in their farm or ranch and have honed their leadership abilities to superiority. Participants are involved in production agriculture with a majority of their income subject to normal production risks. Judges evaluate competitor's excellence in management, growth and scope of their enterprise and self-initiative that have been displayed throughout the farm or ranch.   

Click here to download an application.
American Farm Bureau Federation's Excellence in Agriculture Award
The Excellence in Agriculture Award spotlights young Farm Bureau members who are agricultural enthusiasts but have not earned a majority of their income from an owned production agriculture enterprise in the past three years. Competitors are evaluated on their understanding of agricultural issues, leadership experiences and achievement, and their ability to communicate their agricultural story.
Click here to download an application.

American Farm Bureau Federation's Discussion Meet Competition

The American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet competitive event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.

Click here to download the 2018 Discussion Meet Questions. Please contact Heidi Cooper at or Katelyn Parsons at if you are interested in participating in this competition.

American Farm Bureau Federation's Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses. Rural entrepreneurs pitch innovative business ideas to a team of judges with expertise in business development and agribusiness. These business owners compete for $145,000 of startup funds.         
For an application, please contact .
American Farm Bureau Federation Foundation's Challenge
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. In those 50 years, the Foundation has done so much to educate youth about agriculture. To continue that record of success, we need the support of Farm Bureau leaders. If we in Farm Bureau don't support ag literacy, who will? As a member of your state's Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, you are crucial to increasing agricultural education all across the country.
AFBFA has challenged every member of the Young Farmers and Ranchers committee to make a $25 donation to the Foundation. Massachusetts YF&R committee will vote on this at the upcoming board meeting on May 24.

2017 YF&R Tentative Social Calendar
June 6 - Livestock on the Common, Boston
June 10 - Camping for a Cure for MFBF's PMC team, various locations throughout the state
July 12 @ 3 PM - Adams Farm Processing Plant & Northeast Beef Promotion Board Tour & Social
Aug. 16 - Island Creek Oyster Farm Tour & Social
September (TBD) - UMass Amherst area Tour & Social
Oct. 19 - Valley Malt & Brewery Tour & Social
November (TBD) - Legislative road trip to Montreal
Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 - MFBF Annual Meeting in Framingham
December (TBD) - Booth at NEVBG to promote YF&R
To add to this we still have Harvest for All activities and fundraising opportunities to nail down; stay tuned! 

2017 YF&R Formal Committee Meetings 
Anyone is welcome and invited to attend and take part in discussion/planning. Only designated county representatives (2 spots per county) can vote. 
May 24 @ 6 PM - MFBF Headquarters in Marlborough
Sept. 6  @ 6 PM - MFBF Headquarters in Marlborough
Nov. 29  - Location/time TBD. Likely in Framingham before MFBF annual meeting.

If you would like to receive the twice-monthly e-newsletter that covers congressional and regulatory action related to agriculture from American Farm Bureau, please reply to this email and let us know. We will submit your email address to get on their mailing list for FBNews. If you decide it's not for you, you can opt-out at any time. 

To learn more about MFBF's YF&R programs and upcoming events visit 

Don't forget to find us on Facebook. We are looking at increasing our following and look forward to having young farmers around the state "hijack" the page over the summer to share their farm stories.

Invite your family and friends to follow us!  

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