CISA's Annual Meeting: come celebrate our 25th!

Elizabeth Solaka photo
Thursday, April 12, 6-8:30pm
Garden House at Look Park, Northampton
CISA supporters and members, you are invited to join with the CISA community to celebrate CISA's 25th anniversary, honor this year's Local Hero awardees, and participate in a vibrant discussion about our local food economy with CISA staff, board, and your community!

This event is free, and seating is limited to 175 people so please RSVP to save a seat. Dinner will be provided!

Tell your story at Field Notes! 

Elizabeth Solaka photo
CISA is hosting an oral storytelling event, Field Notes, on November 18th, and we are seeking story submissions focused on local food and farming. Whether you're a farmer, enthusiastic home chef, restaurateur, or anyone else with a hand in the local food system (PS: that includes all of us!), we want to hear your story. Pitches are due by April 18th.

Register now for the 2018 PVGrows Forum 

Will Szal photo
Saturday, April 7, 9am-4pm
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
The PVGrows Forum provides opportunities to learn from local and regional efforts focused on the urgent and timely topics of immigration, food access, and land access through a series of speakers and discussions. Keynote speakers from Vermont's Migrant Justice will discuss their Milk with Dignity Campaign, which calls on corporations to take responsibility for the farmworker rights abuses in their supply chains.

Action Alert: HIP urgently needs funding 

Due to unprecedented levels of demand for local produce by SNAP recipients, the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) is scheduled for suspension in April 2018. The MA Food System Collaborative, CISA, and many other partner organizations are urging the MA House of Representatives to provide supplementary funding that will prevent the program's suspension and to fully fund the program through Fiscal Year 2019. A grassroots campaign is taking place at farmers' markets and stands across the Valley, with customers filling out postcards in support of the program and calling their legislators. Advocates also spoke with legislators at the HIP Lobby Day at the MA State House March 1st.

Call your legislators to support funding for HIP.

Connect with the HIP Pioneer Valley Facebook page for funding updates and info on using HIP.

Get to know your Local Heroes!

Farmer profile: The Gill Greenery
"In my heart, I wanted a business where I could work with my family," says Seay Minor, co-owner of The Gill Greenery with his wife Rebekah. Their dream has grown into a farm whose sprouts are available at restaurants and retailers throughout the Valley.  
Read the full profile here.

Farmer video profile: Ferrindino Maple
In the first installment of CISA's new video series, "Breaking Ground: Beginning Farmer Stories," we profile Ferrindino Maple in Hampden, where the Ferrindino family harvest, boil, and bottle their "perfectly pure" maple syrup.

Watch the video profile here.
What's in season

It's maple sugaring season! This is a great time of year to visit a local sugar shack for a pancake breakfast.
The MA Maple Producers Association lists them all. 

Sign up now for a farm share and look forward to the bounty of the growing season!
Find your CSA farm.
News from the field 

Visit CISA's press room for news about local food and farms, CISA's weekly Local Hero Spotlight with WRSI, and more! A couple recent highlights:

WRSI Interview: Vicki Van Zee
Former CISA executive director Vicki Van Zee joined current director Phil Korman and Monte Belmonte to celebrate CISA's 25th anniversary, talk about the local agricultural context in which CISA started, and recall some of the issues in local farming that the first CISA meetings focused on.
2018 Outlook: CISA helps farmers stay strong in face of economic challenges
"While the work to sustain local agriculture must happen at a local level, farmers in our region are affected by changes and pressures happening on a national and even global level ...The last year has shown the vital importance of this local work, which can only happen in partnership with the region's farm owners and workers, business leaders, activists and shoppers."

Read more of CISA's column in The Republican.

Farmers never stop working
"Farming is, of course, a seasonal occupation - but really, there's no off season. While the landscape may appear still and empty during these late winter months, local farmers of all stripes are working hard caring for animals, boiling sap, and planning for another bountiful summer season."
Read more of CISA's column in The Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Quick Links

Check out our press page for news stories about local farms and local agriculture, along with our weekly interview series on WRSI, monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and more!
Go to press page

Farm tours, film screenings, workshops, special local meals -- there's always something happening in the Valley!
Go to events listing

Job opportunities, land, equipment.
Go to classifieds
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CISA, 1 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA 01373