The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (MDAR) mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services – MDAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture’s role in energy conservation and production. The Department’s divisions are working to fulfill this mission via the 60+ programs and services it offers.
Due to its small size, Massachusetts’ agriculture industry is ranked 47th in total commodities, but is a producer of crops specialized to the eastern seaboard area. Massachusetts’ most valuable crops include greenhouse and nursery commodities, making up over one third of the state’s total agricultural production, followed by cranberries, sweet corn and apples. The most valuable livestock products of the Bay State are dairy products. Cattle and calves, and aquaculture also make up a large part of the Massachusetts agriculture industry.
Massachusetts has seen positive trending in the growth and sustainability of agriculture. The state currently ranks in the top ten nationally for number of farmers’ markets and direct sales of farm products to consumers.