Fruitful Partnerships: Two Eastern Mass. Farms to Continue Working with UMass Amherst
On the heels of a successful Spring 2014 Mass Aggie Seminar series held with two new partners in eastern Massachusetts, key organizer Sonia Schloemann (Extension Educator and Fruit Specialist at UMass Amherst), is already planning another set of programs next year with the two farms. Powisett Farm in Dover, Mass. and Tangerini Farms in Millis have been model collaborators, according to Schloemann. “Powisett and Tangerini Farms were great co-hosts. They share similar values regarding investment in community education and we are delighted to be putting ideas together with them for spring 2015.”
Teens Focused on Sustainable Local Agriculture at This Year’s Massachusetts Envirothon
The setting for this year’s high school Envirothon, Sholan Farms in Leominster, Mass., could not have been more beautiful, nor more appropriate. The hard work, curiosity and environmental passion of 31 teams of high school students and their teacher-coaches was obvious from start to finish. The all-day environmental competition showcased serious student investment in learning about this timely issue. All schools gave a 15-minute presentation on Sustainable Local Agriculture to a panel of judges.
Green Stormgears, Westford Youth Robotics 4-H Club, Place First Statewide
Massachusetts 4-H has yet another reason to be proud. The Green Stormgears from Westford, MA, took first place in the Champions Award Category as the best in judging and robot categories in the state. This afforded them the privilege of representing the Commonwealth in the Championship at the 2014 World Festival in St Louis Missouri on April 28.
Bee Smart, Amherst!
A “beehive of activity” had the campus “abuzz” on April 23 at one of the public events held during Pioneer Valley Bee Week, a western Massachusetts initiative to raise awareness about bee health, bee hives and bee habitat. The event was also one in a series of 2014 events commemorating a century of Extension service and education across the nation.
Mass Agricultural Day at Boston State House
Farmers! Legislators! Organizations! Local Food!
If you were roaming the marble halls of the Massachusetts State House on March 26, 2014, you would have experienced a barrage of foods, sights and aromas that tout the Baystate’s finest agricultural provisions.The prestigious Agricultural Day Award was presented by Mass. Farm Bureau Federation President, Rich Bonnano, to Kelly Erwin in recognition of her support for the viability and sustainability of the agriculture industry in Massachusetts as former Executive Director of the Mass. Farm to School Project. She was honored as the “Mother of Farm to School” for her heroic efforts over 12 years to bring fresh food into schools all across the Commonwealth. Well done, Kelly!
4-H Summer of Science new video
4-H Summer of Science rolls out exciting new video! Learn about the new adventures young students have on campus as they discover new worlds through the lens of science, engineering and technology. Watch it here.
Durfee Conservatory Sports New Website
Looking for a breath of spring somewhere....anywhere? Visit Durfee Conservatory’s new website as well as the greenhouses! This information-packed website with lovely floral images will help you remember that spring is arriving soon.
Massachusetts 4-H Camps: 2014 Spring & Summer
Join one of the many camp offerings for youth in Massachusetts. Camps are educational and interactive, a great way to encourage the love of animals in young people ages 8-18.
Farmers and Food Producers Gain Food Safety Training
UMass Food Science Extension recently held an intensive 3.5-day course called “Better Process Control School” to train existing and would-be food producers in the fundamentals of food safety processing techniques and in meeting FDA requirements.
UMass Winter School for Turf Managers: A Tradition of Excellence
You might think a lot has changed since 1927, and you would be right in many respects. One thing that has not changed is the top-quality training that turf professionals have received at UMass Amherst’s prestigious ‘Winter School for Greenkeepers.’ Established at Massachusetts Agricultural College in the same year that Charles Lindbergh made the first non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic, Winter School maintains the same rigorous standards as it did then, through classroom, laboratory and discussion activities in a seven-week intensive format.