DUKES CO., Mass. — The Martha’s Vineyard Farm Bureau (MVFB), which encompasses all of Dukes County, has formed its own County Farm Bureau, the first new County Farm Bureau in almost 40 years. Following the Farm Bureau structure, MVFB joined 11 other counties as a member of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF).
“We are excited to be one of the first state Farm Bureaus to add a County Farm Bureau in almost 40 years,” said MFBF President Mark Amato. “When MFBF staff began discussing this opportunity, I found myself thinking about the possibilities that this new county holds. As Dukes County looks towards being self-sustaining and producing more of its own food, the interest in the local food movement should bode well for this county.”
Previously, MFBF members on the Vineyard and in Dukes County had been members of the Cape and Islands Farm Bureau.
“It is tough to have farmers take the ferry for meetings on the mainland,” Martino said, who was also elected president of the MVFB. “But that is not the only reason for forming a new county. Farmers on Martha’s Vineyard and the other islands that make up Dukes County face diverse and unique challenges and opportunities. Examples include the variety of agricultural practices, geographic isolation, elevated real estate values, finite agricultural lands, the seasonal population influx from tourism and the community desire for agricultural self-sufficiency. For these reasons, the time was right to begin a new chapter, leveraging our strong agricultural community, with focused plans and defined solutions.”
The first annual meeting of this county was held last night [Sept. 24th] via Zoom. The county had a set of bylaws in place and the officers include the following:
President – Dan Martino
Vice-President – Lynne Daniels
Treasurer/Secretary – Greg Martino
Director – Brian Athearn
Director – Asa Baer
“Farm Bureau continues to grow, and we proudly welcome the Martha’s Vineyard Farm Bureau to the Federation family,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This newly formed county Farm Bureau represents the values that make our organization so strong; individual farm families expressing viewpoints and challenges to find common solutions and create a unified voice for agriculture.
“Martha’s Vineyard enjoys diverse agricultural operations, yet we all share the common goal of sustainably stocking America’s pantry. We at AFBF look forward to the contributions of Martha’s Vineyard Farm Bureau as we work together with our network of 2,800 county Farm Bureaus to ensure family farms continue to thrive.”
For more information about MFBF, please visit: www.mfbf.net.
–Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation
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