The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

Take Action!

Want to contact your state or federal legislators? Click here to find out who they are and how you can get in touch 

For more info on any of our action campaigns, please contact our Policy Director, Marty Dagoberto, marty@nofamass.org

CURRENT ACTION ALERTS

UPDATE , 4/1/20, RE: COVID-19 

The legislative priorities we’ve been working on since January 2019 are essentially in a holding pattern right now. As of March 31, the state legislature is still technically operating, though legislators have zero capacity to address anything not directly COVID19-related. It’s highly unlikely that any of our priority bills will get any attention before late May or June (formal session ends July 31st, 2020). We are not asking our networks to contact legislators on anything other than COVID-19 issues in coming weeks. If/when anything changes on that front, we’ll let you our members know with a dedicated action alert (sign up here.)

NOFA/Mass COVID-19 Resources Page: http://nofamass.org/covid19

Rather than duplicate efforts, we are primarily holding up resources curated by our allies, including CISA, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and the Mass. Food System Collaborative. 

 

Active Action Alerts (as of 5/1/20)

(click to go to relevent section)

1. Keep Supporting Local Farms during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

2. Food Workers are Not Disposable, Tell Congress: #ProtectAllWorkers

 

3. Stop the Trump administration from lowering farm worker wages during COVID-19

 

4. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Solidarity Support

 

5. Join the CPR local pesticide and pollinator organizing network

 

 

1. Keep Supporting Local Farms

Right now, the #1 thing for anyone/everyone to do (which so many people are already doing) is to continue supporting our local farmers by buying directly from them. Some farms, which rely on institutional contracts (ie. schools and restaurants), are really hurting right now. For obvious reasons, we need to make sure as many farms as possible make it through this!

 

Take advantage of the NOFA/Mass Organic Food Guide which includes listings of not only farms but farmstands and CSAs. 

 

Our good friends and allies at CISA are also keeping a list of new sales outlets for local food (including online ordering and new delivery sites) and closures.

 

 

 

2. Food Workers are Not Disposable, Tell Congress: #ProtectAllWorkers

 

“Food workers from farm workers to processing, warehouse, and retail are still on the job providing essential services even as COVID-19 spreads. Yet, employers are still refusing to provide workers with basic protections, putting workers' lives at risk every day.

 

“It is unconscionable that OSHA has refused to issue mandatory health and safety standards for employers that require companies to protect frontline food chain workers and other workers at risk. Without these requirements, companies can continue to evade responsibility for worker deaths and exposure to illness.

 

Please sign this petition from the Food Chain Workers Alliance calling on Congress to protect workers and compel OSHA to act: bit.ly/ProtectFoodWorkersNow As always, for maximum impact, pick up the phone and call your members of Congress about this issue after you sign the petition.

 

Please also visit the website of the Food Chain Workers Alliance for more information about their work and to support them with a donation. 

 

 

 

3. Stop the Trump administration from lowering farm worker wages during COVID-19

“The Trump administration is trying to cut minimum wages for the essential farm workers keeping our domestic food supply functioning. Within hours of this story breaking, Kamala Harris took to Twitter to condemn it as "inexcusable"  and said "They deserve a raise -- not a pay cut." Elizabeth Warren tweeted: "This is shameful. Make no mistake: We will fight for farmworkers with everything we've got." Join us and let's fight with everything we've got.”

Please sign this petition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi from United Farm Workers and then consider calling your member of Congress to underscore your message. 

 

 

 

4. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Solidarity Support

The Mashpee Wampanoag people are the people that welcomed the first white settlers. They have inhabited their land for over 12,000 years. They only have 321 acres left to call home and the Bureau of Indian Affairs wants to take it away. We have a responsibility to stop this.

On Friday, March 27 at 4 pm they received a call saying that their tribe was to be disestablished and their land taken out of the trust. On this same day, the U.S reached 100,000 COVID-19 cases. The tribe is struggling to take care of their people during this crisis and now they must fight for their home on top of it. In the middle of all of this, their very existence is being threatened.

We at NOFA/Mass share the view of the Mashpee Wampanoag that “Land is sacred,” and we recognize the indigenous roots of the agroecological/sustainability movements. We all have an ethical responsibility to stand together to protect the land/culture of the “People of the First Light.”

This is a link that will bring you to a letter from the Mashpee Wampanoag chairman describing this assault. https://mashpeewampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/april-2020-chairmans-column

This link will bring you to their petition. Please sign so they can reach their goal of 300,000 signatures to send to the Senate and the House of Representatives in support of HR.312, a bill that will reaffirm their reservation. https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/stand-with-the-mashpee

 

 

 

 

 

5. Join the Community Pesticides Reduction (CPR) local pesticide and pollinator organizing network!

 

NOFA/Mass envisions a commonwealth of people working together to create healthy landscapes that feed our communities and restore our environment. The use of toxic and persistent chemicals on landscapes, be they schools, playgrounds, municipal properties, community gardens or farms, is not compatible with that vision.

We are excited to now be joining forces with other organizations across the commonwealth at this critical moment of heightened awareness of the dangers presented by our society’s over-reliance and abuse of synthetic biocides like glyphosate and neonicotinoids (biocide is the most general term for a poisonous substance, and also means “the destruction of life” - appropriate!).

Communities across the country are deciding to take action against biocides and the dangers they pose to humans and wildlife. By using tools like local municipal ordinances and resolutions, cities and towns can create policies to promote organic landcare practices, limit pesticide use, and protect pollinators.

The process of enacting city or town policies usually starts with a handful of passionate citizen activists who want to create a safer, healthier community. Some are motivated to protect pollinators from systemic pesticides, others become active when they learn that their children are exposed to pesticides on school and town property.

Want to activate your community? We want to help. NOFA/Mass and Toxics Action Center are hosting ongoing monthly “local leaders teleconferences,” to help connect and activate local residents on “All ‘Cides.” (All biocides, get it?...)

This initiative is all about equipping local activists with the tools they need to pass town resolutions to reduce pesticides and protect pollinators in their communities. Our monthly calls will help you connect with experts, share resources, successes and ideas, and pair up mentor/mentee relationships with groups across the state. As a network, we can leverage our collective genius and coordinate our efforts.

We are continuing to build a clearinghouse of organizing and educational resources, including these constantly-updated “news streams” that you can pull from in order to educate your networks on the importance of promoting organic landcare and reducing synthetic pesticide use:

Finally, check out this interactive map of previous victories won across the state and the country (achieved in several cases with the help of NOFA members like you). We have so much good work to build upon with a new sense of momentum.

Ready to get plugged in? Add your town to the map of more than two dozen communities across the commonwealth where local residents are taking action on all biocides and sign up for our next monthly call. Please sign up to get involved, today!

 

 

 

 

Tell Us Your Policy Priorities

Our Policy team is here to represent you, the farmers, gardeners, and organic advocates of Massachusetts. If there is an issue that you want our policy team to investigate or advocate for, please contact our Policy Director, Marty Dagoberto, marty@nofamass.org

 

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