Raise a glass (of milk) in honor of dairy month!

Bree-Z-Knoll Farm, Leyden
Dairy farmers make up only 3% of the farms in the Pioneer Valley, but they are a vital piece of our whole agricultural system, stewarding 18% of our farmland and accounting for 14% of farm product sales. Statewide, dairy farms produce 230 million pounds of milk per year (!!), and 20% of the milk we consume is produced in the state. So our dairy farms provide a LOT of nutrition, economic activity, and care for our land.

Supporting local dairy farms is easier than you might think, since most of the milk produced by our region's dairy farmers is processed and sold in New England and New York. The processing plant for every dairy product is listed right on the container, so you can look up the source here. Or you can buy dairy products directly from farmers at farm stands, farmers' markets, or via home delivery -- of course we have a list here!

And if you want to learn more about the people behind the milk or the contributions dairy farms make to our community, visit our special dairy page here or the MA Dairy Promotion Board's website here.

Strawberry season has just begun! You can find a list of all the farms that grow them here, and pick-your-own farms are listed here.

Farmers' markets and farm stands are open and bursting with spring greens, garlic scapes, and early veggies. And don't forget that we are doubling SNAP/Food Stamps at farmers' markets all season long! Find more details about SNAP & Save, including participating markets, here.

Dairy products are available all year long, but in honor of Dairy Month, here are our milk and cheese recipes! Cabot has a wealth of recipes too.

And if you want seasonal cooking inspiration, check out our weekly Valley Bounty column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette -- we recently featured dill, scallions, and rhubarb.
Join us at Mi Tierra on Monday, June 13th
Next Monday, Mi Tierra Restaurant in Hadley is donating all dinner proceeds to CISA. Make a reservation or just come on out for a great meal and a great cause!

Help make Taste the View a success!
CISA is seeking volunteers for our September 23rd harvest supper and auction, Taste the View. From decorations and set-up to serving and kitchen help, we've got a job for you! Contact Lisabeth to help out. Thank you!

Visit our press room for recent news stories, including a great profile on the Quabbin Harvest Co-op in Orange, an NEPR segment on aging farm ownership and farm succession planning, and an in-depth look at sheep shearing day at Leyden Glen Farm. Plus, coverage of our recent tour of Warm Colors Apiary for wholesale buyers!

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses. Featured this month: Dan Pratt of Astarte Farm in Hadley, Andy Cowles of Andrew's Greenhouse in Amherst, Rebecca Sadlowski from Rooted Flower Farm in Hadley, and Kathleen Burek of Thomas Farm in Sunderland.

Mayval Farm, photo by Leslie Lynn Lucio.
Local Hero Profile: Mayval Farm
"You really need to offer a variety of products in order to draw people," says Margie Parsons. By that measure, Mayval Farm is a resounding success: in addition to their wholesale milk operation, the Parsons sell beef, eggs, maple syrup, and their own cheese and skyr. To learn what 'skyr' is and a lot more about this multi-generational dairy farm, read their full profile.

Local Hero Profile: Stony Creek Farm
Stony Creek Farm
"I'm only one person and there is always more to do," says Gabriella Steria, owner of Stony Creek Farm. But that doesn't hold her back: she has grown her herd of goats from one feisty goat to over 100, and she does more than seems possible through strong relationships with other farm businesses. Read all about Stony Creek here.

Congrats to the Local Farmer Award winners!
The Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Big Y have announced the list of 47 farms in the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires that will be receiving $2,500 grants for physical infrastructure improvements. The Grinspoon Foundation's Local Farmer Awards program is aimed at improving the strength and viability of local farm businesses by providing them with capitol to make strategic infrastructure improvements to their farm. More information about the Grinspoon Foundation and the full list of awardees can be found here.
CISA's events page is constantly updated with farm tours, field days, festivals, and more! Here are a few upcoming highlights:

Barstow's Longview Farm Tours
Every Sunday in June, 1pm to 3pm

Barstow's Longview Farm, Hadley
Barstow's is hosting weekly free wagon ride tours all around the farm, inside and outside the barns. The tours will cover everything that happens on the farm: milk and electricity production, the milking robots, and keeping the cows happy and healthy from the smallest calves right up to the milking cows. Find more info here.

13th Annual Lavender Festival

June 25th and 26th, 10am to 4pm
Johnson Hill Farm, Buckland

Come wander the Labyrinth, visit the antique cemetery and the apple orchard, browse the products of local crafters and artisans and watch demonstrations throughout the weekend. Find more information here.

River Valley Ice Cream Ride
July 30, starting at 9am
Unity Park, Turners Falls

The River Valley Ice Cream Ride blends the best of summertime fun: bikes, gorgeous roads and ice cream. With loops ranging from 5 to 50 miles, farm visits throughout each ride, and ice cream and tasty local food at the end, it guarantees to be a good time for everyone! Proceeds support CISA and MassBike. More details here, and register here.

Do you value the news you get from CISA? Join 1,100 others in supporting CISA's work. We've been strengthening farms and engaging the community to build the local food economy since 1993!


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