Choose Fresh and Local with your wallet and your license plate

by Sarah Lambertson, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

The opening of the Boston Public Market is exciting for consumers and producers alike. It demonstrates our collective investment in supporting local agriculture in Massachusetts and New England. This commitment and support has developed over years of hard work by farmers and producers, dedicated consumers and organizations working to support farmers and connect them to consumers.

There are many ways to support local agriculture, either by shopping at the Boston Public Market, or taking your love of local food on the road by purchasing a new Massachusetts special license plate to benefit farmers, farmers’ markets, and the Commonwealth’s local food economy.

The new “Choose Fresh & Local” license plate isn’t just for show; proceeds will support core programs of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Mass Farmers Markets, and the Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts, nonprofits that provide training and assistance for beginning farmers, link farmers with farm service providers, and develop new market outlets to connect farmers with consumers.

The license plate initiative could provide a big boost to these programs, and we are very close to getting them on the road. In order for the plates to be printed, 1,500 vehicles must be registered. To be a part of the first rounds of plates and to get your desired number (100-1,600), sign up today and show your support for local agriculture in Massachusetts.

After the first registration, where $28 of the $40 goes to the farmers support organizations (the additional $12 covers the printing of the plates and RMV admin fees), upon the two-year renewal, 100% of the $40 payment goes towards supporting the programs above, and it is all tax-deductible. For more details, visit the license plate’s website: You can also follow the initiative’s progress and spread the word through its Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag: #mafoodplate – a great way to help the cause even if you don’t have a car! Let’s get this plate on the road to support local food, farmers, and markets!

Sarah Lambertson is the Community Food Projects Coordinator for the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. She coordinates a national program to support organizations working on community food security issues. She is a native of southeastern Massachusetts and loves eating fresh, local food.