Senator Warren, Rep. McGovern visit local farms impacted by heavy rainfall in western Mass.

Flooding continues to impact agriculture across our area. State legislators made their way to western Massachusetts to check out the damage firsthand.
Published: Jul. 15, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - State legislators made their way to western Massachusetts to see this week’s flooding damage impacting local farms and food.

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman James McGovern stopped at local farms, including McKinstry’s Market Garden in Hadley on Saturday. During their visit, we learned what is being done to help local farms and checked in with the local business.

All this corn looks good enough to eat but the crops grown in this field at McKinstry’s Market Garden in Hadley won’t be sold to customers.

Due to this week’s rain and the flooding that followed, the businesses corn crop is unusable. Head grower Will McKinstry said they saw high water levels in their fields.

“It’s farming so you just roll with it, and we try to plan accordingly when we get in the field at the right time a lot of it has to do with timing, and we just try our best there’s a lot of things out of our control,” said McKinstry.

He told Western Mass News this isn’t the first-time weather has impacted this field.

“Hurricane Irene is the latest really bad one, and last year up here was a drought and now this year way too much water—so two tough years back-to-back,” expressed McKinstry.

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman James McGovern checking out the damage for themselves. McGovern emphasized efforts are underway on a state and federal level to support local farms.

“Agriculture is an important part of our economy, sometimes people in the big cities don’t always appreciate that but it is we want to make these farmers whole, so we want to help,” explained Rep. McGovern.

Warren added that they and the farmers are looking at the bigger picture and will keep an eye on potential issues in the long run.

“We’re hearing about the immediate impact—about you know, water up to your shoulder,” added Senator Warren.

But they’re worried about the long-term consequences as well, the bacteria getting in the soil, whether we’re going to have mold, so this is a crisis continues to unfold and the damage from it is something we have to address today right now.

Warren and McGovern also made a stop at Ciesluk Farm in Deerfield to assess damage there.