Massachusetts has a growing and vibrant agricultural economy. Current financial projections indicate that this business sector will continue to realize further market growth.
That's what Massachusetts Ag Resources Commissioner Scott Soares told the North Shore Chamber of Commerce at Salem, Mass., on Thursday. And he added, "Massachusetts agriculture is being positively impacted by changing consumer values, market demands, competition and the need for environmental services."
Over the decades, agriculture has traditionally focused on food production. But in many respects, today's farms are more diverse businesses – fueled by technology. Citing a few examples, he noted the expanding use of solar panels and other alternative energy sources plus computer-controlled water irrigation systems. These technologies are bringing on new, diverse agricultural businesses.
This will continue into the future, he predicted, providing an array of new goods and services – and new sources of income. "It also encourages more young people to either remain on the farm or start a farming business, pursue innovative enterprises, and practice land and conservation stewardship that have been the hallmark of agriculture."
"Agriculture's economic growth is making significant contributions to the local and regional economies," says Massachusetts Ag Commissioner Scott Soares. "Job creation, reinvestment into the local economy and revenue generation continues to provide extensive and direct economic benefits for local cities and towns, in addition to improving quality of life."