GREATER SPRINGFIELD- Senator Eric Lesser visited four farms on Monday as a part of an initiative to bring Western Massachusetts agriculture to the up-and-coming Boston Public Market. After spending the morning at Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow, Senator Lesser visited Austin Brothers Valley Farm in Belchertown, Red Fire Farm in Granby, and ended the day at Randall’s Farm & Greenhouse in Ludlow. Sen. Lesser organized the tour with Boston Public Market managers and buyers in an effort to build a lasting connection between Western Massachusetts agriculture and the prosperous business of this new market.
Boston Public Market opened in July 2015 and drew half a million visitors in its first three months. Located just above Haymarket station in Boston, the market offers thirty-nine vendors a chance to sell their locally produced foods and grow their brand. According to CEO Cheryl Cronin, the Market’s top priority is the higher quality and value of locally-grown food. While visiting Western Massachusetts’ farms with Senator Lesser, Cronin was enthusiastic about bringing in goods from all four of these family-owned farms.
The farms that Senator Lesser visited sell their products to local food stores, Big Y, Wegman’s, and local farmer’s markets. Collaboration with the Boston Public Market could increase their sales and help connect Western Massachusetts agriculture to markets in Greater Boston.
Senator Lesser has championed local agriculture during his time in office. He voted in May for funding for agricultural education, pest management and land preservation, allowing licensed farmers to distribute raw milk off their premises, and more. Sen. Lesser also voted in May to support a budget amendment creating a property tax exemption for farmers’ markets, and is a supporter of the Commonwealth’s Go Local programming. With this Boston Public Market initiative, the Senator hopes to continue promoting Western Massachusetts’ family farms across the state.