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Who is CISA?

Who is CISA?

Hear about what we do from local farmers and people we work with every day!

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Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy.

CISA has been working for over 25 years to build a stronger, more resilient, and more just local food system. We envision a local food system where farms are viable, working conditions are fair and just for owners and workers, the environment is respected, and locally grown food is available for all.

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Whats Happening?

Farmers Circle with The Southern New England Farmers of Color Collaborative

February 1 - December 31
Farmer Circles are peer learning communities for farmers interested in discussing a certain topic in an informal, supportive environment. Each circle meets for at least 12 hours over the course... more
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Laws of the Land: What to Know About Your Farm BEFORE You Commit

February 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
You’ve heard the phrase ‘location, location, location’ when it comes to choosing a home. It’s no different for farmers when choosing a site for their farm business. All sites come... more
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Farming Stress and Mental Health Awareness: Recognizing, Responding, and Accessing Resources (Remote)

February 1 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
MDAR’s MassGrownWellness program will deliver a series of in-person and online training events for all Massachusetts agriculture community supporters, including all farmers, MDAR and professional staff, and partner organization advocates.... more
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Farming Stress and Mental Health Awareness: Recognizing, Responding, and Accessing Resources (West Springfield)

February 7 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
MDAR’s MassGrownWellness program will deliver a series of in-person and online training events for all Massachusetts agriculture community supporters, including all farmers, MDAR and professional staff, and partner organization advocates.... more
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Making Spreadsheets Work For Your Farm

February 7 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Crop Planning & Record Keeping For Direct Sale Vegetable Farmers Workshop presented by Berkshire Grown: How do you grow over 50 different crops for 500 shareholders who are coming to... more
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Hosting a Food Focused Event on Your Farm: The Legal Side of a Delicious Activity

February 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Hosting an event with food on your farm is a great way to gather your community, educate the public about farming, and grow your business. Join this webinar to learn... more
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NSAC Value-Added Producer Grant Application Webinar with USDA

February 8 @ 2:00 pm
NSAC hosts USDA to provide an overview of 2023's Value-Added Producer Grants. This webinar will review funding priorities, application and eligibility requirements, and an overview of NSAC's value-added producer application... more
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Staffing Up: Recruiting & Hiring

February 9 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
In this session, participants will learn share and co-learn effective strategies to create a farm culture and use this to both hire and retain employees. The starting place is to... more
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Media and Marketing 101

February 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
As a small business, you are likely using emails, text, and social media to advertise your business and communicate with your customers. You may also have your own webpage spotlighting... more
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Sharing Challenges & Successes in Meat Production: Statewide Farmer Networking

February 15 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Join fellow meat and poultry producers to discuss challenges and share ideas related to raising, processing, and selling meat in Massachusetts. This statewide virtual networking event is open to all,... more
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Onboarding New Employees

February 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Congratulations! Your small business is ready to hire your first employees. This is both an exciting and daunting process. Luckily, we have Tara Walker of Bernstein Shur Portland, Maine who... more
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Practical Techniques to Optimize Employee Performance

February 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
In this session, we'll explore effective communication practices that share expectations and provide feedback to employees all season long. You’ll have a chance to think about how to ensure your... more
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Get the Latest News From CISA

Valley Bounty: Pause and Pivot Farm

January 20, 2023    Posted in: CISA News, CISA's Valley Bounty Column, Press Room
‘When people think about farming, a lot of specific imagery may come to mind,” says Miana Hoyt Dawson of Pause and Pivot Farm in Williamsburg. “We’re probably the opposite of ... more
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Valley Bounty: Chicopee Fresh

December 24, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, CISA's Valley Bounty Column, Press Room
Many Chicopee families rely on school food to ensure their kids get enough to eat, and Chicopee Fresh has a mission to combat food insecurity while supporting the local economy. ... more
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WRSI: Autumn Mist Farm

November 6, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, WRSI's "Local Hero Spotlight" interviews, Press Room
… Derrick Turnbull, farmer and owner of Autumn Mist Farm in Feeding Hills talks to Phil and Monte about: Their newly opened farm-to-table restaurant and retail store Selling local beef ... more
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Valley Bounty: Warm Colors Apiary

November 5, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, CISA's Valley Bounty Column, Press Room
Dan and Bonita Conlon began Warm Colors Apiary in South Deerfield around 2000, as Dan Conlon transitioned from a teaching career to full-time beekeeping. The couple strives for nonchemical beekeeping ... more
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WRSI: Bella Foodie and Making Food Fun

November 1, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, WRSI's "Local Hero Spotlight" interviews, Press Room
Bella Foodie is "a personal chef and food educator making healthy food fun," for kids, families, and groups of all sizes. Ashley Tresoline, the woman behind Bella Foodie, talks with ... more
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Valley Bounty: Wheel-View Farm

October 27, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, CISA's Valley Bounty Column, Press Room
Wheel-View Farm in Shelburne is named in homage to the farmers, the Wheelers, and the farm’s enviable vantage point. As Autumn splashes flaming reds and oranges across the landscape, the ... more
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WRSI: Yes on Question 4

October 24, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, WRSI's "Local Hero Spotlight" interviews, Press Room
Phil, Monte, and longtime farmer and business owner Michael Docter of Mi Tierra Tortillas talk about why the Work and Family Mobility Act — which can be upheld by voting YES ... more
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Valley Bounty: Pioneer Valley Food Tours

October 15, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, CISA's Valley Bounty Column, Press Room
Deborah Christakos founded Pioneer Valley Food Tours in 2017 by transforming her passion for fresh, local food into walking and bicycling food tours. Christakos shares her inspiration: “My husband and ... more
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WRSI: Artifact Cider

October 10, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, WRSI's "Local Hero Spotlight" interviews, Press Room
Jake Mazar from Artifact Cider talks with Jacob and Monte about: Cider’s place as a traditional and modern embodiment of New England An apple’s travels from the trees at Pinehill ... more
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WRSI: Sentinel Farm

September 30, 2022    Posted in: CISA News, WRSI's "Local Hero Spotlight" interviews, Press Room
Meg and Steve Lanphear of Sentinel Farm in Belchertown talk with Phil and Monte about: Why the Apple crop struggled this year, but peaches thrived. Pressing your own cider! (“A ... more
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Featured Local Hero Profile

Be a Local Hero

Local Hero Profile: Wilder Hill Gardens

June 9, 2022    Posted in: Local Hero Profiles
Local Hero Profile by Ellery Pool, TerraCorps Service Member If you are looking for sustainably grown nursery plants, gorgeous cut... more
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