GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Commissioner of Agriculture Greg Watson will be the speaker for the 2013 annual meeting of the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires on Friday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend the talk at First Congregational Church at 251 Main St.
Tickets are $5 or five BerkShares, available at the door. Admission is free to members of the Community Land Trust; those attending are welcome to become members or renew their membership at the event.
The Community Land Trust brings together citizens concerned about affordable housing, preservation of farmland, and open space conservation into a non-profit corporation with the goal of balancing human needs with those of the land. Membership in the CLT is $10 or 10 BerkShares.
Watson has long been a strong proponent of agriculture in Massachusetts. He also was agriculture commissioner under governors Dukakis and Weld in the early 1990s. In the late 1970s, he was on the leading edge of community-based agriculture, working to develop a network of neighborhood farmers' markets in Boston. He was a founding member of the Massachusetts Federation of Farmers' Markets and served as executive director of the groundbreaking New Alchemy Institute in Falmouth, an applied research farm known for its innovative approaches.
Watson also was executive director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, which made urban agriculture a cornerstone of community revitalization; was the senior adviser for Clean Energy Technology within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; and serves on the boards of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Ocean Arks International.
Watson's talk will follow a brief annual business meeting of the Community Land Trust, conducted by Billie Best, president of the organization, and executive director of Project Native in Great Barrington.
The event is sponsored by Schumacher Center for a New Economics, Project Native, BerkShares, Community Development Corp. of South Berkshire, Berkshire Grown, Sheffield Land Trust, Egremont Land Trust and the Great Barrington Land Conservancy.
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