The Annual Meeting of the Berkshire Community Land Trust and the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires will feature a talk entitled "Growing an Agricultural Economy" by Sarah Waring, Executive Director of the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) based in Hardwick, Vermont and Matthew Derr, CAE board member and the president of nearby Sterling College, a liberal arts college specializing in environmental stewardship. The event will take place on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 7PM at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington.

Hardwick, Vermont presents an example of how farmers, entrepreneurs, citizens, town officials, and educators can work together to effectively build a vibrant local economy that respects the region's unique landscape and environment. With the participation of citizen consumers and the cooperation of local officials in furthering the concept, the development of agricultural-related businesses is possible in the Berkshires as well.

The Center for Agricultural Economy facilitated the launch of High Mowing Organic Seeds, the Cellars at Jasper Hill, which provides aging, sales, and marketing services to local dairy and cheese producers, and Vermont Natural Coatings, a non-toxic wood coating made from whey. Other enterprises incubated at CAE include a soybean operation for tofu processing, an organic compost company, a food processing facility that prepares vegetables for sale to local schools and other institutions, several farm to table restaurants, a bakery, maple products and more.

For more information including entry fee and to RSVP: Email: office@berkshirecommunitylandtrust.org or call:  (413) 528-4472.

Berkshire Community Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) education nonprofit founded in 2015 by Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires (founded 1983) to serve all of Berkshire County with programs that increase public awareness of the interconnectedness of land values, social diversity, food security and economic opportunity. The CLT manages community-owned land to ensure permanent access, control, affordability and stewardship of the land for homes, farms and businesses, now and for future generations.

(press release sent to WSBS from the Berkshire Community Land Trust for online and on-air use)