WESTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been a challenging year for farmers as weather conditions threaten crop supplies all over the Northeast.
Congressman McGovern visited 11 farms across the region to hear about the challenges that local farmers are facing and highlight the quality of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and more produced in the Second Congressional District, according to a news release from the office of Jim McGovern.
Farmers across the region are facing a slew of weather-related challenges and this past year included some extreme weather conditions. State data show that in late July at least 75 farms had been hurt by flooding with about 2,000 acres in crop losses, at a minimum value of $15 million.
He will also continue to learn about how he can support farmers as they recover from the historic rainfall and flooding we had recently.
McGovern stopped at the following farms reeling from crop losses:
- Mayval Farm Creamery, Westhampton
- Flat Rock Farm, Chesterfield
- Natural Roots, Conway
- Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain
- Our Family Farm, Leyden
- Fern Hill Farm, Buckland
“Normally, we’d pick about 40,000 bushel apples. I’m kind of estimating this year, maybe 15,000,” David Shearer Co-Owner at Pine Hill Orchard said.
“Back in February we had a hard, hard freeze it was less than negative twenty up here. Instantly you’re not going to have one peach in your orchard for the whole season, said Brady Shearer Co-Owner at Pine Hill Orchard.
Congressman Jim McGovern told 22News that aid is coming from the state and federal level, along with the private sector, “Farmers are good stewards of the environment, we need to be wind in their back and we need to do everything we can to support our local farms and that’s why I’m here.”
The Massachusetts Farm Resiliency Fund was created by the United Way of Central Massachusetts (UWCM) with the goal of responding to both the recent storm impact in western and central Massachusetts and having long-term potential to respond to how our climate is affecting our farms. Applications are open for the Massachusetts Farm Resiliency Fund.