State legislators visit Shelburne Falls farm to discuss importance of local agriculture

Franklin County

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – State legislators spent their day at a Franklin County Apple Orchard Tuesday.

State Representative Natalie Blais of Sunderland was determined to point out to her colleagues the importance of local farms to the lifeblood of the western Massachusetts economy and to give these farms all the help legislators can give.

“That’s why we do that as much as I can, we’re building a relationship across our Commonwealth and understanding how important agriculture is for the economy and for tourism,” said State Rep. Blais.

For his part, Apex Apple Orchard owner Tim Smith welcomes their interest in local agriculture. He’s been seeing the good state government can do for people during a crisis as severe as the the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Certainly coming off the COVID-19 virus, the government’s been tremendously important. They did a good job during this pandemic,” said Smith.

Since the Apex crops are still in the apple blossom stage, the legislators will have to return in September for some serious apple picking. But as a result of Representative Blais initiative, the seeds have been planted for closer ties between western Massachusetts farmers and their legislators.

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