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The Vine - February 2020
Workshop Schedule Announced for the Ag & Food Conference!
The workshop schedule is complete and we are excited to share it with you! The focus of the conference will be on building a local grain economy kicked off by two amazing keynote speakers Doug Mosel and Jim Amaral. 

In addition to tracks focused on growing, business, livestock and foodies, and public policy,  we've lined up several workshops throughout the day focused on local grain growing, harvesting, processing, nutrition,
and more.  

SEMAP Spotlight
Member Feature of the Month 
Heart Beets Kitchen Helping Busy Families Eat Healthy and Be Less Stressed About It  
This month we highlight Sarah Murray from Heart Beets Farm and her new business, Heart Beets Kitchen.

Expanding on Sarah and husband Steve's love of growing and providing healthy produce, Sarah has found a new way to deepen the farm's relationship with the community while providing a valuable service to busy, working families.  
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Ag & Food Conference Keynote: Jim Amaral of Borealis Breads

One of our esteemed keynote panelists is Jim Amaral from Borealis Breads in Maine. 

For more than twenty-five years, Borealis Breads has been a vibrant and lasting part of Maine's dynamic food scene. Relying on locally sourced ingredients and grains grown and processed right here in Maine, Borealis owner Jim Amaral was a pioneer in the local food movement and helped lead the way in Maine's wheat and grain renaissance.

Sponsor, Exhibit, or Donate Farm Products to the Ag & Food Conference!

Our Annual Conference is a hub of learning, conversation, and good food. 

Make the most of the opportunity to connect with the agricultural community by signing up as a sponsor for our event, or s etting up a table at our exhibitor fair. Learn more here.

Our locally-sourced lunch is always a big hit. Have your business featured by make a donation of vegetables, fruit, meat, or preserves for our delicious conference lunch by emailing
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Protecting Massachusetts Farms and Farmland Listening Sessions, February 11 and 13th

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is hosting Listening Sessions on issues concerning land conservation and the protection of farms and farmland in the Commonwealth. Your input will be critical to designing a statewide conservation plan for Massachusetts. 

The Livestock Institute Annual Meeting & Potluck, February  20

All are welcome! Join The Livestock Institute of Southern New England for their Annual Meeting on Thursday February 20th, 2020 at 6:00pm This is a potluck event, open to all!  The night's presentation will include updates on TLI, Meatworks and programming for livestock producers.

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Farm Bureau Looking to Recognize Century Farms
MFBF and the Massachusetts Grange are partnering once again to celebrate Massachusetts farms that have been family-owned and operated for 100+ years.
The program recognizes those farms and farm families that have done so much to contribute  to our rural heritage and traditions. Online, printable application form is available on the  MA Farm Bureau website .

Notice of Public Hearings Regarding Minimum Wage, Overtime Pertaining To Agricultural, Farm Work 

The Department of Labor Standards shall conduct two public hearings to determine the appropriateness of issuing regulatory guidance in the form of an opinion letter regarding the scope of "agricultural and farm work" within the context of the Massachusetts Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws and in light of the recent Supreme Judicial Court case of Arias-Villano vs. Chang Enterprises, Inc. et al 481 Mass 425 (2019)
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Update your Local Food Guide Listing by March 15th
Every year SEMAP distributes over 10,000 copies of our Buy Fresh Buy Local Guide to the Southeastern Mass region.

Advertising opportunities are available.

Ensure your business Local Food Guide listing is up to date. >>> Update your listing by March 15th. <<<

Get additional recognition in the Local Food Guide with a Membership!  
>>>  Become a SEMAP Member . <<<

Not sure if it's time to renew your membership?
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NESF Explore Farming Workshop, February 23
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is offering a free, interactive two hour workshop with presentations and in-class activities designed to help you identify what actions
you will need to take towards a career in farming. 
This workshop is offered several times
a year, and their page will be updated
as new workshops dates are put in the calendar.

SEMAP Winter Networking Meeting, March 2nd
Let's do some networking and learning over coffee!  Hear from representatives from Coastal Food Shed, The Marion Institute, and MDAR and discuss all aspects of wholesale from planning to delivery.   
CSF will engage in dialogue around current marketing channels, interest in growing wholesale marketing spaces, participating in a food hub and farm to school opportunities, and what these new channels could mean for your farm business. MDAR will announce the development of a Commonwealth Quality Farmer's Market audit program and ask for ideas and input for this new program area.
Dinner will be served, registration required.

Growing Mushrooms: Developing the Northeast's Specialty Mushroom Industry, February 5, 12, 17
A Research and Education project funded by Northeast SARE to help more farmers with growing mushrooms.  
The attendees of this online series can apply for ongoing mentoring as they develop and implement a business plan for growing mushrooms commercially. Ten growers will be accepted for intensive support from the project team in exchange for keeping track of labor and economic data while starting and operating their enterprise in the growing season of May 2020-Oct 2020. 

Spoon Carving Workshop at Tilth & Timber Farm, May 17 
Sign up early for these popular workshops!
During this six hour small group workshop you will learn how to transform a log into a functional wooden spoon using simple hand tools. 
We will discuss the basics of spoon carving and tools of the trade, including how to safely use an axe and basic knife techniques.
You will learn about choosing the right piece of wood, designing a spoon, and reading the grain.  
Jobs & Opportunities
UMASS Dartmouth Campus Dining Services Offering Food Waste for Composting
Until very recently the campus had been collecting coffee grinds from all the key venues on UMASS Dartmouth campus and giving them to Farmer Ben from Sid Wainer's farm to use for compost.  UMASS is now looking for another local farmer to take the coffee grinds and possibly other food waste pulp to use on their farm.  If interested, please contact: 
Nancy Wiseman,   FMP 
Director of Operations - UMass Dartmouth Dining Services
285 Old Westport Rd, North Dartmouth, MA 
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Upcoming Events
2/20 -- The Livestock Institute Annual Meeting & Potluck, Dartmouth, MA
2/22 -- Campus Farmer Summit , Easton, MA

    Grant Requests for Response

Agricultural Energy Grant Program - Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020)
Request for Response (RFR): RFR File: AGR-AgEnergy-FY20
For the implementation of agricultural projects that improve energy efficiency and facilitate alternative clean energy needs. Responses must be received by 4:00 pm on February 28, 2020 - Contact: Gerry Palano, 617-626-1706,
Direct link:

Agricultural Cranberry Enhancement Program (ACEP) - Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020)
Request for Response (RFR): RFR File: AGR-ACEP-FY20
For practices that support the Commonwealth's cranberry industry in promoting innovative approaches to enhance environmental benefits and encourage increased economic activity in the cranberry sector. Responses must be received by: 4:00 pm on February 28, 2020 - Contact: Laura J. Maul, 617-626-1739,
Direct link:

Ag Composting Improvement Program (ACIP)
The program provides funding for equipment or projects which improve overall management of agricultural composting, or facilitate on-farm compost use. Grant maximum funding amount is $75,000, 25% match required. February 14, 2020 deadline for response.
For more information contact Sean Bowen (617) 626-1724,
The link to the Ag Composting Improvement Program (ACIP):

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