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Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. Photo by Amanda Bettle

Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. Photo by Amanda Bettle

February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. 

This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock.

It is the mission of the NRT to educate the public about significant natural and cultural resources and to acquire and preserve land of special character for the benefit of the public. In 1973, the NRT was invited by Elise Ames Parker to use her former residence, Sheep Pasture, as a 115-acre classroom for its environmental programs and the study of nature in an outdoor setting.  With the availability of this classroom came exciting new ways for the organization to implement its mission.  A program of community gardens was introduced and managed,   farm buildings were repaired and farm animals were acquired. Today, the private trust manages and owns 154 acres of conservation land.

Livestock like sheep, goats , chickens,  geese and a Jersey cow are used in an experiential education program available to area schools. The “Down on the Farm” field trips focus on how the animals contribute to food and fiber production. Groups of children learn and explore on the farm with NRT educators. They have a day filled with fun and educational hands-on opportunities like making butter, collecting eggs and carding wool by hand.

Each month, we are posting the 2015 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar’s photo of the month. The calendar features a winning photo of Bay State farming as well as interesting facts about local agriculture. The 2015 Celebrating the Seasons of Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar is available for purchase. All photos were taken by amateur photographers who won the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest. Proceeds from the $10 calendars benefit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, a small, private non-profit organization that has been working since 1983 to provide agricultural education and training.

Written By:


DAR Program Coordinator

With a background in the culinary arts, nutrition education and program development, Julia joined The Department of Agricultural Resources Division of Agricultural Markets in 2008 to help spread the word about Massachusetts’ incredible agricultural and culinary opportunities. She also coordinates several grant and marketing programs available to a diversified group of growers and agricultural associations across the Commonwealth. A Boston University graduate, she can be found in her spare time sourcing out the best local products for her next culinary creation or volunteering in the community.

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