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Retaining and Reviving Local Agriculture:
Strategies for preserving farmland and the activity of farming.

Saturday, May 9th, 9:00 am to 12:40 pm
Bristol County Agricultural High School
135 Center Street, Dighton, MA 02715

There is no registration or fee for the forum.
Breakfast and lunch are complementary.
Please RSVP to or (508) 828-1101

The forum is sponsored by
The Taunton River Watershed Alliance

in cooperation with the
Taunton River Watershed Campaign


The Trustees of Reservations
The Nature Conservancy
The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District
The Trust for Public Land
Mass Audubon
The Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Massachusetts
Save the Bay
Environmental League of Massachusetts
Green Futures
Jones River Watershed Association
Greater Fall River Land Conservancy

The theme of the 2009 forum is to explore ideas and options for preserving the watershed’s agricultural resources and for assuring its long-term viability. The forum is part of TRWA’s ongoing public education and municipal outreach efforts.

Retaining and Reviving Local Agriculture:
strategies for preserving farmland and the activity of farming.

Conference Schedule:

8:30-9:00 Registration and complementary Continental breakfast.
9:00-9:10 Introduction: Richard Shafer, President, Taunton River Watershed Alliance.
9:20-10:20 First workshop series.
10:30-11:30 Second workshop series.
11:40-12:40 Third workshop series.
12:40 Complementary lunch. Presentation of the awards to recipients of the 2009 Taunton River Watershed Campaign Mini-Grants.

9:20: First workshop series

1. “Permanently preserving family lands in conservation or farming.”
Panelists: Robb Johnson, SE Massachusetts Program Director, The Nature Conservancy. (Additional panelist to be announced) Moderator: Kelly Whitmore, Community Conservation Specialist, The Trustees of Reservations.

This workshop is for land-owning families that would like to preserve their property. The discussion will include tools for land protection, what timelines to expect, and potential funding sources. For non-landowners, this is a great workshop to learn the basics of land protection.

2. “The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program: what is it and what does it do?.” Panelist: Everose Schluter, Endangered Species Review Biologist, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Moderator: Priscilla Chapman, Taunton River Watershed Advocate, Mass Audubon.

Conserving rare species requires cooperation from local conservation commissions, land trusts and landowners. Land protection, habitat management and regulation at the local level are all essential tools. This workshop will explain how the Mass Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program works, including habitat mapping, the regulatory review process, and how local commissions and entities can help to assure positive conservation outcomes.

3. “The Community Preservation Act: getting it adopted and keeping it going in tough economic times.” Panelists: Elizabeth Gimson, CPA Field Organizer, Taunton River Watershed Campaign, and Kelly Whitmore, Community Conservation Specialist, The Trustees of Reservations. Moderator: (TBA)

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is one of the best tools in the state to protect land and preserve community character. During these tough economic times, CPA is a key funding source for land protection, historic preservation and affordable housing creation. Get inspired by area CPA projects and learn how you can bring CPA to your city or town.

10:30: Second workshop series

1. “Keeping farmland in active agricultural use.” Panelists: Robert Bernstein, Co-Director, Land for Good, Keene, NH, and Kathleen Cavanagh, Coordinator, Farms Forever, a program of SEMAP at UMASS Dartmouth. Moderator: (TBA)

While the number of long-time farmers is dwindling, many individuals in the region are interested in becoming farmers. However, there are land transfer issues that must be resolved to preserve working farms. Land for Good and Farms Forever will explain how they assist beginning farmers, exiting farmers and non-farming landowners in keeping farmland in active farming use.

2. “Starting and maintaining a successful farmers market.” Panelists: Barbara Anglin, Manager of the Plymouth, MA farmers’ market, and Paul Roselli, a founder of the Burrillville, RI, Farmers’ Market and president of the Burrillville Land Trust. Moderator: (TBA)

Farmers’ markets support local agriculture by giving local growers additional marketing outlets. This workshop will explore how to start a farmers’ market and, if a market exists in your community, what is required to assure that it is successful.

3. “Improving stormwater management in your community.” Panelists: Steven Pearlman, Coordinator, Watershed Action Alliance of SE Mass, and Fredrick Civian, Stormwater Coordinator, Mass DEP. Moderator: Kenneth Amaral, Member of the TRWA Board of Directors.

Non-point source pollution is the major cause of water quality problems in the Taunton River Watershed. Learn how your community can benefit from the MA Nonpoint Source Management Plan, which sets forth an integrated strategy and identifies programs to prevent, control and reduce pollution from nonpoint sources through partnerships and watershed-based solutions.

11:40: Third workshop series

1. “Getting your community to support local agriculture.” Panelists: Andrew Pollock, Silver Brook Farms, Dartmouth, MA; and Weston Lant, Lucky Fields Organic Farm, Rochester, MA. Moderator: David Purpura, Plato’s Harvest Organic Farm, Middleborough, MA

Community Supported Agriculture provides a way for residents to buy seasonal food directly from local farmers. CSA’s have become a major way of supporting local family farms. Learn how your community can support your local farms through CSA’s and other community-based efforts.

2. “Organic land care management: from the farm to the home.” Panelists: Rebecca Lipton, president, Organic Land Care Management, Plympton, MA, and Carl Brodeur, NOFA accredited organic land care professional, Mass Certified Arborist. Moderator: Marta Nover, Principal, Nover-Armstrong Assoc.

Organic land care adapts the principles and methods of organic farming to the care of lawns and landscapes. It helps to build a healthy watershed by focusing on building healthy soils, by using slow-release and organic fertilizers and by not using pesticides. This workshop will explain how the organic principles successful in agriculture can be adapted elsewhere.

3. “Wild and Scenic River designation: now that it’s law, what do we do next?.” Panelists: Jamie Fosburgh, Rivers Program Manager, National Park Service, NE Region; John Torgan, Narragansett BAYKEEPER, Save The Bay and Bill Napolitano, Environmental Planner, Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District. Moderator: Richard Shafer, President of the TRWA and Economic Development Director for the City of Taunton.

Now that the Taunton River has been designated a Wild and Scenic River, what happens next? This workshop will explore what recommendations in the Taunton River Stewardship Plan are the most logical first steps to be taken in getting the W&S concept a reality. Learn how you and your community can help shape the future of the Wild and Scenic Taunton River.

Lunch and TRWC Mini-Grant Awards

Following the third series of workshops, a complementary lunch will be served. Conference panelists will be available to continue the workshop discussions over lunch. During lunch, the Taunton River Watershed Campaign will present its Mini-Grant Awards to the 2009 recipients.

The Taunton River Watershed Alliance

The Taunton River Watershed Alliance is an organization of concerned residents, businesses, and organizations united to restore and properly manage water and related natural resources within the Taunton River Watershed.
The Alliance has worked for twenty years to protect the water and related natural resources within the Taunton River watershed in four ways: education, policy advocacy, citizen action, and water quality monitoring. Since our founding, we've sponsored many educational events and published informational newsletters and brochures, as well as a book about the Taunton River.
The TRWA has introduced hundreds of residents to the natural wonders of the Taunton, its tributaries and its wildlife through canoe races, leisurely floats downstream, and walks along its banks. We continue to advocate for the river in the public policy arena - when and wherever it is threatened by water diversions, poorly planned development and increased pollution.
The Alliance has mobilized residents to take action to protect and restore the river corridor through shoreline surveys and river cleanups. We continue with our River Action Focus Teams - flexible, user- friendly grassroots groups that allow people to use their skills, energy and interests to "do something real" to protect the Taunton River watershed - our watershed.
The TRWA is a member of the Taunton River Watershed Campaign, which is a partnership of organizations working to protect the unique natural resources of this watershed in Southeastern Massachusetts.


Directions to Bristol County Agricultural High School, 135 Center Street, Dighton, MA 02715

From the north

Proceed south on Route 24 to Exit 11, Padelford Street in Berkley. At the end of the ramp, take a right on to Padelford Street. Proceed straight for 3.2 miles to the Berkley Bridge. Cross the bridge and proceed .3 miles to the entrance to the Aggie School, which will be on the left.

From the south

Proceed north on Route 24 to Exit 10, North Main Street, Assonet, Dighton. At the end of the ramp, take a right on to North Main Street. Proceed straight for 2.4 miles to the end of the road. Take a left on to Elm Street and proceed 1.1 miles to the Berkley Bridge. Cross the bridge and proceed .3 miles to the entrance to the Aggie School, which will be on the left.

From the north via Route 138

Proceed south on Route 138 to the Dighton town line. Once in Dighton, proceed 1.3 miles to a set of traffic lights. Take a left at the lights and proceed .2 miles to the entrance of the Aggie School, which will be on the right.

508-828-1101 • TRWA, P.O. Box 1116, Taunton MA 02780   —   The TRWA River Center, Gertrude Boyden Refuge, 1298 Cohannet Street