Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture raises $40K for local farms

The Recorder, October 2, 2017, by Andy Castillo

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) held its annual fundraiser to support local farms, raising more than $40,000.

“CISA’s mission is to strengthen farms, and we want to engage the local community in building a local food economy,” said Executive Director Philip Korman, standing in a restored barn at Quonquont Farm on North Street, which hosted the event last week. “We’re holding this on a local farm, and everything is sourced locally.”

The event, in addition to raising money for the nonprofit organization’s services, celebrated this year’s harvest by Pioneer Valley farms. CISA helps farms by giving technical assistance, connecting farmers with services, facilitating grants, researching, and promoting local agriculture in communities. The organization’s offices are in South Deerfield’s village center.

About 200 people attended Thursday’s event, participating in auctions and eating meals from CISA’s “Local Hero” farms prepared by Smith College Dining Services.

Speaking to local farmers, Korman said, “The community respects the work you do for us every day. We appreciate the work you do. You bring food to our tables, flowers to our vases, and wood to our stoves.”