by Mike Gioscia
Do you have a minute and nineteen seconds to spare? That’s how long it took me to sign up for the BRAND NEW Massachusetts ‘Choose Fresh & Local’ license plate. Sporting this colorful plate on your vehicle will identify you as someone who cares about our local food system, and shows your support for farmers and artisans, while backing the work of food-based organizations.
Eight or nine years ago, the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, based in Lowell, had the idea to release an agricultural license plate in support of their farming programs. They soon realized the Massachusetts State Department of Agriculture already had similar plans underway, so they shelved the idea. When the State’s plans didn’t materialize, New Entry picked up where they left off, and the license plate is ready for launch…well, almost ready! Before production can begin, New Entry needs to gather the names of 1,500 residents who are committed to purchasing a plate.
“It only costs $20 more per year than your regular license plate, and renews just like your old one, every two years. It’s an easy way to support local farms and local food,” said Jennifer Hashley, Director of New Entry. “This plate is launching a program that will support our work for years to come,” she added.
New Entry started in 1998 as a program to assist immigrants and refugees with farming backgrounds to find agricultural work in Massachusetts. Today, New Entry teaches farm business planning courses (online & onsite), runs farmer trainings, coordinates an ‘incubator’ program which matches new farmers with landowners, organizes initiatives that help low-income residents gain access to food, and more.
All proceeds from the ‘Choose Fresh & Local’ license plate program will be split between New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Mass Farmers Markets, and Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts.
Have a “greenie” on your holiday list ?
Spend a minute signing them up !
Then check them off your list!
To sign up right now:
Beginner Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN/Mass)
Mass Farmers Markets
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
155 Merrimack Street, 3rd Floor
Lowell, MA 01850
Mike Gioscia is a filmmaker, writer, blogger, DJ, chicken wrangler, drummer, and sustainability consultant. He is also a Board Member at The Soule Homestead in Middleborough. He runs a sustainable consulting business called the GreenDad.com.