Impact of COVID-19 on small farms in Massachusetts

Coronavirus Local Impact

HATFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Jim McGovern will visit six farms in Massachusetts Wednesday and Thursday including farms in Franklin and Hampshire counties.

McGovern will be joined with agriculture experts from state and federal agencies to highlight the needs of Massachusetts farmers and discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on small family farms.

22News visited Riquezas Del Campo in Hatfield with Congressman Jim McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee and a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Congressman McGovern told 22News many of these local farmers have changed the way they operate to keep their businesses alive, “We need to strengthen our local food supply. We need to support our local farmers. And in Massachusetts, agriculture is an important part of our economy and i think at the state and federal level, we need to do be doing more to support them.”

According to a news release sent to 22News from Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Riquezas del Campo is an immigrant run worker cooperative with a mission to grow a diverse range of organic vegetables and work to make its food available to its members and their communities.

The farm has been growing for two years but after the coronavirus pandemic started in March, they have focused on providing a majority of its crop to the Pioneer Valley Workers Center (PVWC), Despensas del Pueblo, a community lead food distribution project that occurs four times a week.

“A cooperative is economic solidarity, and in these moments of crisis, solidarity means helping families who do not have the means to provide the food that their family needs. That ‘s why Riquezas del Campo is so important to Despensas del Pueblo.”

A member of Riquezas del Campo
Riquezas del Campo co-op farm (Courtesy: Pioneer Valley Workers Center)

Congressman McGovern will be visiting the following farms:

Wednesday, August 26:

  • Riverland Farm 211 River Road in Sunderland
  • Riquezas Del Campo 17 Linseed Road in Hatfield
  • Mycoterra Farm 311 River Drive in Hadley

Thursday, August 27:

  • Still Life Farm 1643 Petersham Road in Hardwick
  • Lilac Hedge Farm 106 Bond Road in Jefferson
  • Tougas Farm 234 Ball Street in Northborough

On the MassGrown Exchange, Massachusetts food suppliers can advertise wholesale products they have for sale with a specific timeframe for how long the listing should last.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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