Since 1993 CISA has been working to strengthen the connections between farms and the community, by creating and running programs that link farmers, community members, and markets.
Our signature program, the Local Hero campaign is the longest running “buy local” program in the country and is a smashing success.
CISA has been providing shares of the local harvest to low-income seniors since 2004.
Farm to Institutions
A key ingredient in creating a successful local agriculture is building local wholesale agriculture markets with institutional buyers such as workplace cafeterias, hospitals, schools, and colleges.
Scaling Up Local Food
CISA is actively working to ensure that locally grown food is available throughout our region in all of the places that we live, work, and eat. We are working with partners to identify areas such as processing, storage, and distribution, and collaborating with farmers and other groups to develop solutions.
From starting a new farm to marketing and expanding an existing one, CISA offers a wide range of technical assistance to farmers and other CISA members: workshops, consulting, downloadable information sheets, and more.
If you’re interested in starting or expanding a “buy local” program in your area, we can help! CISA offers nonprofit organizations, farming groups, state departments of agriculture, and others the benefit of our 15 years of work creating public support for agriculture.
Farm to School
CISA supports efforts to get kids involved in agricultural activities in classrooms, cafeterias, gardens, and local farms.
Emergency Farm Fund
CISA created this fund in 2011, in partnership with Whole Foods Market and Equity Trust, in response to the damage suffered by farms in western Massachusetts due to Hurricane Irene. The Emergency Farm Fund offers zero-interest loans to assist farmers and farm businesses struggling to meet their immediate needs in the aftermath of severe weather events and other emergencies.