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.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.
Plan a Day Trip – Right in Boston Harbor! posted on Aug 18
Looking for a fun day trip for you and possibly your family? Look no further, the Boston Harbor Islands are the place to be. Lots of events take place on these islands during the summer months, so enjoy these festivities while they are here! Spectacle …Continue Reading Plan a Day Trip – Right in Boston Harbor!
K-9 to the Rescue posted on Aug 13
At 5:35 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, Officer Art O’Connell got a call about two missing girls in Douglas State Park. Officer O’Connell, his partner Diesel and a back up state trooper had to search the 5,900-acre, nine square mile, park on foot, as the canopy of the trees was too thick to search via helicopter and the ground too uneven to search by vehicle.