Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
On May 29th I attended the Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair in Cummington. Visiting our agricultural fairs is such a great way to get outside and partake in our farming heritage, plus it makes for a fun day with friends and family. These fairs feature exhibits, livestock competitions and showings, farm-fresh food, and local crafts. Some fairs also have fireworks displays, tractor rides, concerts, and pie eating contests. With great attendance in spite of threatening showers, the Cummington fair marked the first of the season. The high number of visitors as well as livestock entrants suggested that our Massachusetts fair season is getting off to an auspicious start!
I was also able to see some of the great improvements that the Cummington Fair has made as a result of a Fair Improvement Grant from the Department of Agricultural Resources. Their new ovens were stocked, the benches under their newly installed covered patio were elbow to elbow, and the energy efficiency improvements to the lighting in their main hall were impressive.
From cooking demonstrations of locally grown food (great job by the way by Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School students and staff!) to sheep exhibits, there was plenty to see and do at the Sheep & Woolcraft Fair — including, yes, that knitting lesson. Here I am getting lessons from Sara Delaney of Belchertown and with any luck I’ll have a scarf finished for the holidays!
I invite you to visit one of the over 40 agricultural fairs that are open through October.
The Barnsatable Fair starts this weekend and the Westport Fair starts today. Fairs in Oakham and Hampden County start later this month.
Visit Winter Farmers’ Markets for Holiday Gifts posted on Dec 5
While performers serenade shoppers with upbeat or easy-listening music, farmers and food producers sell a wide variety of local food throughout the winter at over 40 winter farmers’ markets this season. Those who have not yet visited a winter market might be surprised by …Continue Reading Visit Winter Farmers’ Markets for Holiday Gifts
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: December posted on Dec 4
December’s photo contest winner was Ruth Osgood, who photographed Cranston’s Christmas Tree Farm in Ashfield.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: November posted on Nov 24
November’s photo contest winner was Liz West, who photographed the farm stand at Westview Farm in Boxborough. Have you ever been to a roadside farm stand with produce out for sale without someone working the register? Produce was probably priced on the shelves, and an old …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: November