Agricultural Resources

AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES

Below is a list of documents that may assist farmers. Please note some documents are reserved for MFBF members only as a perk of being a member. Please join here if you wish to access those documents.

Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program Survey Results

The Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program is a voluntary program which is intended to offer a non-development alternative to farmers and other owners of "prime" and "state important" agricultural land who are faced with a decision regarding future use of their farms. MFBF conducted a survey of APR landowners to provide an objective analysis of APR owners experiences and perceptions of the administration of the program.

 

Click here to read the survey results. 

Chapter 61, 61a and 61b

Chapter 61 is a voluntary current use program designed by the Massachusetts Legislature to tax real property in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at its timber resources value rather than its highest and best use value.

 

 

  • Click here for information on Chapter 61 (forestland).
  • Click here for information on Chapter 61a (agricultural land, including forestry).
  • Click here for information on Chapter 61b (recreational land).
Farm Plates & DOT

Farm plates are issued to allow the farmer to operate farm equipment on the roads, while moving the equipment from one part of the farm to another.

  • Click here for information on over-weight permits and Massachusetts Farm Plates.

The following pages require a membership in MFBF:

Livestock Regulations for Boards of Health (BOHs)

Beginning in the early 2000s, local agriculture began to grow in popularity both in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The interest in the “Buy Local” movement has spurred an increase in the number of farmers markets, commercial farms and backyard “hobby farms.” Massachusetts has seen an approximately 30% increase in the number of farms, many of them small-scale and farmed by folks who are new to agriculture. Many existing farms expanded. Many more homeowners took up gardening and keeping backyard chickens and other livestock. This phenomenon has led to livestock, or greater numbers of livestock, in suburban and other areas where they were previously uncommon. One of the results has been that Boards of Health (BOHs) have increasingly been faced with conflicts and issues with livestock – sometimes with farms, other times with non-commercial “backyard” operations.



 

  • Click here for background on BOH regulation of livestock (PDF).
  • Click here for Draft-Model Livestock Regulations for Boards of Health (PDF).
General Farm Help & Information

General farm information that can help most farmers.

 

  • Click here for download information on Right To Farm (PDF).
  • Click here for the MA Best Management Practices Guides. 
  • Click here for information on how to determine the right farm rental rate (PDF)
  • Click here for information on the UMass Soil Testing program.
  • Click here for Farmers Grace.
  • Click here for information on farming in the wetlands (PDF). *MFBF membership required
Equine Industry Help & Information

Massachusetts Laws for the Equine Industry

Click here for information. *MFBF Membership Required

 

Labor
  • Click here for fact sheets from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division on internships.
  • Click here for fact sheets from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division on employment relationships.