Legislators get tour of area farms

By Richie Davis, Recorder Staff
Thursday, September 28, 2017

With two reporters and two state legislators in tow, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation organized a “down on the farm” tour to touch on some of the key agricultural issues like locally grown hops for the region’s craft beers, pollinator health and the health of local dairy farms.

Rep. Stephen Kulik was on hand for a discussion of issues related to beekeepers at Warm Colors Apiary and concerns about the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Act and farm labor rules at Pioneer Gardens, both in Deerfield. That followed a review at Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley of Kulik’s proposed Dairy Farm Tax Credit bill and other potential relief for the state’s ailing dairy farmers.

Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley, also participated in part of the tour, which ended at the People’s Pint in Greenfield for a lunchtime discussion of increased use of locally grown hops by breweries around the region.

To address continued low prices paid to farmers for milk, the Farm Bureau is supporting Kulik’s House Bill 2616, which would double from $4 million to $8 million the limit on the allowable tax credit to be paid to dairy farms when milk production costs exceed what farmers are paid for milk.

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