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The Vine - February 2019
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A Message from the Director 
Winter is anything but our quiet season here at SEMAP. From our annual appeal in November right through to Farm to Tapas in the summer we have lively time planning and implementing our various initiatives and events.  On Saturday, we had a very successful workshop on growing hemp, and just a few short weeks away is the 12th Annual Ag & Food Conference coming up on February 24th, 2019.  We have also been taking some time to look into legislative issues. With the new session just beginning, please reach out to your representatives if you see a bill that you support. If you are not certain who your legislators are, this tool will tell you. With many bills filed on similar subjects, it's always helpful to name the specific bill number when contacting your legislators. Here is a list of the bills we think you should be aware of.  Continue reading.

With thanks,
Karen Schwalbe
Executive Director
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Ag & Food Conference Keynote: Climate Impacts on Agriculture in New England
The climate is changing - growing seasons are longer, summers are hotter, winters are warmer and extreme precipitation events are up 70% in the northeast. These anticipated changes and greater variability in the weather will make it more challenging for those who grow our food, locally to globally. 

Mike Hoffmann, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, which was created to help raise the profile of the challenges posed by a rapidly warming climate and to help those who grow our food adapt to the changing conditions as well as reduce their carbon footprint. Dr. Hoffman has previously worked as the Director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Associate Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. Learn more about our conference.
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SEMAP Seeking Food Donations/Wholesale Items
Have meat, vegetables, or other product you'd like to donate or wholesale for the conference lunch? Let us know! 

Email Jon at . Your farm or business will  listed in our program, and shown in our presentation.

Become an Exhibitor at Ag & Food Conference
Get the word out about your organization. Set up a table at the Ag & Food Conference and promote your organization in front of 250 attendees.  Nonprofit exhibitor fee is $50, and for-profit exhibitor fee is $125. Sign up to exhibit.

1:1 Consulting with the Carrot Project at the Ag & Food Conference
At the Ag & Food Conference we will be hosting several "Ask the Expert" one-on-one financial sessions. Discuss your farm related financial questions with The Carrot Project. Sign up for a 15 minute one-on-one sessions today! There is limited availability.  Sign up here.
6-Acre Town-Owned Parcel in Dighton for Lease

The Town of Dighton has a 6-acre parcel of farmland for lease.  The proposal is for a 5-year lease term with the option to renew for an additional 5 years. The Lessor is the Conservation Commission.

Proposals are due to Town Administrator no later than February 14, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. Learn more.

NOFA Bulk Order Deadline Extended, February 7th
NOFA has been able to substantially automate their order processing and they are passing that time saved on to you! Get your order in online by Febuary 7th at midnight to take advantage of our amazing tri-state bulk order.   Learn more .

Seed Sovereignty Day, February 9th
NOFA/Mass, the Freed Seed Federation, and the Young Farmer Network have organized a day-long intensive designed to restore the farmer's role as participant in the breeding process. There will be hands-on training on how to save, improve, and breed seed on-farm with eminent organic plant breeders in the Northeast. Discussion will include the state of organic seed, and collaborations between farmers, gardeners, plant breeders, and independent seed company representatives. Dr. John Navazio from Johnny's Selected Seeds and LiaBabitch from Turtle Tree Seeds will be present.  Learn more.
New Garden Society Volunteer Open House, February 11th
Would you like to share your horticultural and agricultural know-how with our incarcerated community? If you are intrigued by the idea of teaching once a month in a prison garden in 2019, please swing by this event to meet with The New Garden Society's team of Educators and find out if the experience is for you. The event will be February 11th at Crystal Spring Farm in Plainville, MA, at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, or 7:30pm.  Learn more.

Produce Safety Grower Training, February 13th
Wondering where to begin with food safety? Start here! The PSA Grower Training is currently the only official FDA-recognized produce safety training to help growers implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and understand their responsibilities under new Federal regulations (FSMA). Whether you have a farm that is fully covered by the law or a small, exempt farm and you're just looking for information, this training is for you. Event held in Plymouth, MA.   Learn more .

Harvest New England Conference, February 27-28th
The Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show is New England's premier agricultural marketing conference, and will be held February 27-28th in Sturbridge, MA. Sponsored by the six New England State Departments of Agriculture, the event includes nearly 30 workshops, about 800 people in attendance, and a trade show of almost 100 exhibitors. Farmers of all types and sizes, new and established, from throughout New England, attend to enhance their marketing and business skills.  A Farmers Market Managers Seminar will be held on Feb. 27th. The early registration discount has been extended until February 8th.  Learn more .
Farmer Sewing Workshop, March 2nd
The Farmer's Sewing Workshop is set for Saturday March 2nd, 10am - 4pm with a potluck lunch.  Address: 98 Reed Rd, Westport MA.  Farmers can bring their work clothes and reinforce them for next season. There will be machines and hand-techniques to explore. Email Lu Yoder or Karen with any questions.
Local Specialty Crop & Local Food Trade Show, March 5th
The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) is offering their 8th Local Food Trade Show. The 2019 Local Food Trade Show is designed to facilitate connections and stimulate business relationships between producers and wholesale buyers of local food, with a focus on specialty crop food products in Massachusetts. The event is Tuesday, March 5, 2019,  8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at Northeastern University. Learn more.
Planning for the Next Successor on your Farm, March 7th
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is offering this workshop for farmers to better understand what is involved in succession planning.  Experts from Land for Good and MDAR will provide tools and resources - including the state's  Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) to help you identify the next owner of the farm and take steps towards making the transition.

Thursday, March 7th  (snow date 3/25, same place & time) - Fidelity Bank, 9 Leominster Connector, Leominster, 5:00 - 7:00pm 

To register for a workshop session email Dorothy Du at - please include which date/location you will attend and how many people will be attending from your farm.  Sponsored by MDAR's Agricultural Business Training Program.

Legal Food Hub Webinar Series
The Legal Food Hub is hosting a series of webinars this winter about issues farmers care about - how to form a business, hiring employees, land issues, branding your business. Check out the offerings and plan to listen in on a few!  Register at the links below, all webinars start at 12pm. Learn more
Beef Producer Survey
Regional universities and technical schools are updating their programs to make sure that our future beef farmers have the knowledge, skills, and training experiences needed to meet region-specific demands and challenges in the beef industry. What do entry-level beef cattle farmers need to know to be successful in New England? Fill out the survey.

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Meet our Members!

Olson's Greenhouses
Raynham, MA

Ventura Grain,
Taunton, MA

Grateful Massage & Wellness
Sharon, MA

Lolan's Farm,
Middleboro, MA
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