Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
An article about young farmers in Franklin County quotes Amanda Brown, director of the UMass Student Farming Enterprise Program and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture’s Agricultural Learning Center. She says the learning curve for first-time farmers is steep and she advises new farmers to spend a couple years learning by working for a good established farmer. (Recorder 9/20/19)
Springfield Public Schools, working with its dining service management company, Sodexo, will use their USDA grant funds to build five to seven new teaching gardens at schools. They’ll also expand parental involvement in partnership with the Springfield Food Policy Council and UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program. (Gazette 9/23/19)
Article on environmentally-friendly dairy farming practices quotes Extension Professor Masoud Hashemi, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, on the historical move from use of nitrogen-fixing legumes to the application of artificial fertilizers and the resulting danger of contamination of water bodies and underground sources of water. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 9/21/19)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has named Clem Clay as director of the UMass Extension Agriculture Program, a 110-year old educational outreach program that serves farmers, landscape and turf professionals, fruit growers, arborists, nursery owners, flower growers, service providers, public agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses.
On August 2, members of the state’s Food Policy Council visited the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield following a regular meeting of the Council held on the UMass Amherst campus. Agriculture Commissioner John Lebeaux, chair of the Council, Representative Daniel Donahue, 16th Worcester, and other state officials toured five project sites at the farm and heard from faculty, extension staff and graduate students on their work.
UMass Clean Energy Corps, a group of students working with Benjamin S. Weil, environmental conservation, produced a series of recommendations for energy savings at the Whately Elementary School, the largest user of energy in the town. (Recorder, 7/22/19)