The latest USDA agriculture census data for Massachusetts, released earlier this month, shows farmers weathered the Great Recession as total agricultural sales held steady. Direct sales to consumers jumped 14 percent between 2007 and 2012. The growth in direct sales by local farms in western Massachusetts during the five year period mirrored the statewide increase. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke about the report with Philip Korman, executive director of Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture.
A state-funded wellness initiative in the Northern Berkshires is holding a community discussion on addressing the region’s nutritional challenges.
The North Berkshire chapter of Mass In Motion, a state-funded program that encourages health-conscious lifestyles through exercise, nutrition, and community involvement, is holding a community-wide event that will focus on connecting residents to fresh and healthy food.
The USDA is helping fund an effort to get products from local farms into the kitchens of large institutions in the region, such as colleges and hospitals. Officials say the demand for food from closer to home continues to grow, but the infrastructure to supply it has not kept up. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports