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New Agricultural Commissioners Megan Bantle, Natasha L. Bordeaux, Sonia McWhirt, Christina Satko and Loren Steins are sworn in by Town Clerk Haley Meczywor on Thursday night in Town Hall's Mahogany Room.

Revamped Adams Agricultural Commission Meets for First Time

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — After some time of inactivity, an entirely new board hopes to revitalize the town's Agricultural Commission. 


The five new members, Megan Bantle, Natasha L. Bordeaux, Sonia McWhirt, Christina Satko and Loren Steins, were sworn in by Town Clerk Haley Meczywor on Thursday night, who guided them through the process and rules for town boards. Selectman Joseph Nowak, a former commissioner, has worked to find volunteers to repopulate the board over the last several months. 


For its first actions, the commission named McWhirt its chair and Bordeaux its vice chair. Bantle will act as the commission recording secretary. 


The commission briefly discussed several topics during its first meeting, including grants, the town's right to farm bylaw, the Agricultural Preservation Program, and its mission statement as a commission. McWhirt read the Massachusetts Association of Agricultural Commissions' mission statement, saying it is a good starting point, which they can adapt for their needs.  


"Different ideas to stabilize or improve our farming future; I'd like to give a list of the farms and farm-related businesses in town," she said. 


Among the board's early goals is to update the commission's page on the town website, as well as other possible platforms, with resources for farmers and farming businesses. McWhirt highlighted Berkshire Grown, which seeks to support and promote local agriculture in the Berkshires, as a good resource. 


"The listing that they have in this Berkshire Grown is pretty big. Considering it tells you if they're on Facebook or any other social media, what their website is, address, phone number, if they go to any of the local farmer's markets," she said. 


Commissioner Loren Steins said the Northampton Agricultural Commission is inviting all the other commissions in the state to its meeting in February. She said some of the board could attend to get an idea of what other agricultural commissions are doing. 


"Basically, they invite all other ag commissions to come and it might be something to look to see what other people are getting together, and you can get some ideas and work off of other ag commissions, too," she said. 


The commission tentatively agreed to meet again on Feb. 8.

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Glen Campground Presentation Focuses on Economics, Community

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Shared Estates managing partner Daniel Dus speaks at Thursday's public forum on the Greylock Ecovillage plans. 
ADAMS, Mass. — The developer for the Greylock Glen campground pitched the plans on Thursday night as not only a economic driver that can bring the town millions in revenue but a project that will be built on accessibility, sustainability and community.
Daniel Dus, managing partner of Shared Estates, spoke to at least 150 people who packed into the former St. Mark's Church to learn about the proposal. 
"We at Shared Estates, we're not here to build a run-of-the-mill campground. We're not here to build a project that isn't top notch in every way. We're here to make this an absolutely outstanding stay option," he said. "When people come here, they're going go home and I'm going to say, I never stayed anywhere like that. That was so cool. It was so fun. It was absolutely breathtaking." 
Dus fielded a number of questions following a nearly 90-minute presentation as residents raised concerns about environmental issues, public safety, the mix of cabins and tents, Shared Estates' investment structure, and permitting. 
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