Massachusetts has a vibrant and growing agricultural sector. More than 7,000 farms produce vegetables, fruits, grains, meat, and dairy products that contribute to the State’s economy, provide healthy food to residents, and conserve open space and natural resources. But in our State, a relatively short growing season, very expensive land, and a challenging regulatory system place significant constraints on the growth of farms and agricultural businesses.
This section addresses these challenges through goals, recommendations, and proposed actions that improve support for educational, regulatory, and financial approaches and strategies. Education, research and outreach are needed to improve management practices that will help farmers extend the growing season, produce crops more efficiently, and protect natural resources. On the topic of regulations, changes to the regulatory structure are proposed to safeguard public health and the environment without over-burdening farms to the point where they can no longer compete economically. And in finance, increased public and private investments are proposed so that farms can meet the growing demands for their products while still remaining competitive.