by Diana Mendes
Farmers don’t usually take a break in the middle of the summer season, but when it’s the Bristol County Farm Bureau Summer Picnic they are willing — for a few hours, that is. Fifty or so local members gathered to celebrate old friends and introduce new friends over delicious local food prepared by Chamberlain Farm and Pavilion in Berkley, MA.
“This is the fourth annual picnic the Bristol County Farm Bureau has had,” stated Peggy Lopes, secretary. “We started the picnic to see if we could get new members interested in the Farm Bureau. We invite local legislatures to come.”
The picturesque venue, Chamberlain Farm and Pavilion, offered the bureau the ideal place. “We wanted to have it at a member’s farm,” Lopes said. “Robert and Jacqueline Chamberlain are the best and offered their pavilion.”
As farmers and friends enjoyed their meals they discussed weeds, weather and legislation. State Rep. Keiko Orrall broke bread with a table full of young members discussing how farming, education, the farm bill and food assistance is affecting how we choose food.
Orrall stated, “I am committed in my position as a legislator to do as much as I can to support the Farm Bureau and solving real problems in agriculture.”
Fred Dabney, a Farm Bureau Member and Legislative Committee member with Massachusetts Farm Bureau, had the ear of State Senator Michael Rodrigues, discussing food safety issues.
Rodrigues said, “I think of farmers and agriculture as business people. We need to provide the same services for agriculture as we do for other businesses. Farmers are important to the local economy. People need to support them.”
Mendes said the picnic gave members a chance to talk to other farmers about what’s going on in the fields, share ideas, introduce new friends and talk to legislatures about concerns.
The afternoon was well received by all who attended. Lopes said, “I tell everyone that didn’t come that they missed some great food and good company.”
Bending a few ears
by Diana Mendes