Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Massachusetts Farm-to-School Month

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https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H2782

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Massachusetts Farm-to-School Month

BOSTON – October 26, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today celebrated October as “Massachusetts Farm-to-School Month,” by inviting students, teachers and farm-to-school champions to the State House. The gathering also provided the Administration with the opportunity to commend the Massachusetts public schools participating in farm-to-school programs.

“Massachusetts Farm-to-School Month is a great opportunity to thank and recognize all school food service staff, as well as the farms that grow high-quality food for our students to enjoy throughout the school year,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to supporting our local agricultural industry, as well as increasing access to fresh, healthy food for all Massachusetts residents.”

“Farm-to-school efforts support improved nutrition and academic achievement for students, and provide potential markets for local farmers,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These programs enrich children’s experience and connection to their communities through locally-produced, fresh food.”

Recently passed legislation designates each October as Massachusetts Farm-to-School Month to coincide with National Farm to School Month in recognition of the vital role agriculture plays in the culture, heritage and economy of the Commonwealth. Additionally, the month serves as an opportunity to commend the farm-to-school programs which support improved nutrition and academic achievement among the student population and represent potential markets for local farmers, growers, and food producers in school settings.

“Bringing locally sourced food and agriculture education to schools is a great way to empower children and their families to make informed food choices,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We commend the Massachusetts Farm-to-School Program for strengthening the collaborative effort among the schools and farms across the Commonwealth.”

According to the 2015 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm-to-School Census, approximately 828 Massachusetts schools with an estimated 422,072 students participate in farm to school programs. Last year, Massachusetts school districts invested $10,262,200 in local food, with the average school district spending 21 percent of their budget on local products. Approximately 114 farms across the state provide food to school cafeterias.

“Increasing the amount of locally grown food in school meals is a win for both students and Massachusetts farmers,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. “School food service directors can improve the nutritional value and taste of school meals while also supporting the local economy.”

“I’m grateful to all the farmers and the school nutrition workers who have worked so well together for the benefit of Massachusetts students,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. “It’s a pleasure to see the fresh and healthy offerings available in so many schools.”

There are 7,755 farms in Massachusetts working on over 523,000 acres to produce $492 million in agricultural products. The average farm produces $63,470 of agricultural products on just 68 acres. Massachusetts farms provide employment to nearly 28,000 workers in the Commonwealth. While nationally the U.S. witnessed a decline in agriculture from 2007 to 2012, Massachusetts was one of the few states that experienced a 1 percent growth in both number of farms and acres in farmland.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity to work with students from Martha’s Vineyard and across the Commonwealth to recognize and promote the importance of locally grown food and farm to school programs,” said State Representative Timothy Madden (D-Nantucket). “The students have been there every step of the way, from proposing the idea and testifying, to being part of the bill signing. They were able to see their efforts come to fruition, which speaks highly of the students and highly of the legislative process. It’s been terrific working with everyone involved and I thank the students, teachers, community members, legislature and Governor for their continuous advocacy and support.”

“We are grateful to Governor Baker and Representative Madden for recognizing the importance of healthy, locally grown food in school meals, garden-based learning, and food education for all of the children in the Commonwealth,” said Island Grown Schools Program Leader Noli Taylor. “We are excited to continue working with students and partners in the State House to continue building support for farm to school programs in the years to come.”

Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe Tells Its Story With New Cultural District

Tourists, including the First Family, flock to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. But they don’t always make it out to the western end of the island to see the historic Gay Head Light and glowing red clay cliffs.

Even if they did, they might not know the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe has lived on the land for more than 10,000 years. But now people from the tribe and the town of Aquinnah are working together to tell that story — and to boost the local economy — with a new, state-designated “cultural district.”

A recent visit reveals what they’ve been doing, and why.

‘A Very Unique Story’

www.wbur.org/artery/2016/08/09/aquinnah-wampanoag-cultural-district

 

 

 

MARTHA’S VINEYARD LICENSE PLATES HAVE ARRIVED!

MV Plate 1

The first 1,000 plates have been printed and are available at participating MA RMV branches. Don’t wait!
http://www.mvlicenseplate.com/

West Falmouth Library Bill Signed by Governor Baker

West Falmouth Library

BOSTON- On July 8, 2016, legislation filed by Representatives Tim Madden, David Vieira and Senator Vinny deMacedo at the request of the Town of Falmouth was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker, approving a land swap between the Town of Falmouth and the West Falmouth Library that will facilitate an important expansion and enhancement of the library. This initiative has been a work in progress for the past few years thanks to the diligent efforts of the West Falmouth Library Board and the Falmouth Board of Selectmen. It was also unanimously approved at Town Meeting.

“I am excited to know that the addition will be able to move forward as a result of this legislation being signed by the Governor and that it will create more accessibility for the visitors of the historic West Falmouth Library,” said Rep. Tim Madden (D-Nantucket). “I would like to thank the Library Board and Bob Ament for all their assistance with this legislation.”

“The West Falmouth Library plays a vital role in the West Falmouth community as a hub of learning, historic preservation, and community enrichment,” said Senator deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “I am thrilled to have played a role in helping this valuable institution continue this important work in the coming years.”

Governor Charlie Baker visits Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Joint Base Cape Cod

baker visit 2

BOSTON – June 28th, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker joined by Representative Tim Madden, Representative Randy Hunt,  and Representative David Vieira, gave remarks concerning ocean-related research and development at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Iselin Marine Facility followed by a visit to Joint Base Cape Cod.

Baker Visit

Holly Harney was honored by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as a 2016 Unsung Heroine

Holly Harney

BOSTON- On Wednesday, June 22, Falmouth lawyer and advocate Holly Harney was honored by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as a 2016 Unsung Heroine. The Unsung Heroines are women who don’t make the news, but make the difference. They are women who use their time, talent and passion to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns.

Holly was nominated by State Representative Tim Madden for her tireless efforts to improve the lives of those in her community. She is an associate at Wilkens, DeYoung and Carter Attorneys at Law in Hyannis. In 2011, she became involved with the Family Law Project, a program of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association that provides free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence. She is a Legal Volunteer at We-Can (Empowering Women) in collaboration with the Falmouth Service Center in which she is a contributor of the Community Fund. She also serves as the Vice President of Cape Cod Center for Women, providing services for battered women and their children, and runs in the Falmouth Road Race to support the Dana-Farber Foundation. Holly is very active in the community of Falmouth and throughout Cape Cod and goes above and beyond to help women and victims of domestic violence.

“I was honored to nominate Holly for her commitment to helping empower women in her community. She is someone who I know does important work but never seeks fanfare. Her being recognized is long overdue,” said Representative Tim Madden. He added, “and what a terrific day we had at the State House. She seemed to be taken aback to be included in such a wonderful group of women, but she certainly belongs there.”

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was created to advance the women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. This year marks the organization’s thirteenth annual Unsung Heroines celebration where extraordinary women from across the Commonwealth are recognized for their contributions to their communities.

 

Massachusetts Officials to Provide $2 Million to Test for Lead in Drinking Water at Public Schools

Massachusetts Officials to Provide $2 Million to Test for Lead in Drinking Water at Public Schools

Funds Will Pay for Technical Assistance, Lab Analysis of Water Fountain and Tap Samples

BOSTON In a continued effort to ensure safe drinking water in schools around the Commonwealth, Governor Charlie Baker and State Treasurer Deb Goldberg today announced $2 million from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (MCWT) to fund cooperative efforts to assist Massachusetts public schools test for lead in drinking water. The funds, to be used by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will provide technical assistance to ensure that public school districts can sample the taps and water fountains in their schools, and to identify any results that show lead contamination over the federal action level.

“Protecting the health of our children is a top priority,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By proactively offering this critical assistance, we can ensure that all students and parents across the Commonwealth are in a safe environment where they can learn and grow.”

“Parents are right to be vigilant when the health and safety of their children is at stake, and the Clean Water Trust partners are proud to make this funding available so that we can ensure that all water utilized at school is of the highest quality,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

For full Press release:

http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-releases/fy2016/officials-2m-to-test-school-drinking-water-for-lead.html