Letter: Painful cuts
CISA appreciates the coverage in The Recorder regarding the impact of governor’s 9c budget cuts on the North Quabbin Coalition’s work to connect and help coordinate services among so many agencies. It is very challenging to receive this cut so late into the fiscal year. Unfortunately, CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) will also sustain a $50,000 cut due to these state funding cuts, as the entire line-item to promote local farms throughout Massachusetts was eliminated. Obviously, we are not the only worthy cause to be affected five months into the fiscal year. And it is a reminder that eliminating $225 million from the state budget cannot occur without causing a lot of pain and unforeseen consequences.
In western Massachusetts, there are 2,000 farms on 170,000 acres with sales of over $120 million. CISA’s “Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown” campaign is one of the most successful campaigns in the nation, and we have doubled the amount of food our farmers sell directly to all of us, as residents of western Massachusetts, from $4.5 million to $9 million.
Our farms are part of the answer to our current challenges, whether one cares about fresh and nutritious food, climate change, beautiful vistas and/or the resiliency of our local economy. We encourage you to support our efforts.
Learn more at www.buylocalfood.org.
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)