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Rutland Heights 2018

Encouraging Agriculture

Rutland has retained its historic agricultural character. Its legacy as a farming community is reflected in its strong informal network of farmers, who contribute to the town’s economy and sense of place With over 20 named farms and 110 parcels used for agriculture, Rutland farmland constitutes more than 2,800 acres.  

 

Recognizing the importance and economic potential of agriculture in Town, in 2020, the Town of Rutland began exploring opportunities for agricultural economic development. In partnership with the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, the Town began developing a Rutland Agricultural Economic Development Strategy. 

 

Working with Rutland Agricultural Commission and the Rutland Planning and Community Development Department, in 2020 the Town convened two focus groups for agricultural stakeholders. The sessions sought to compile information about local agricultural businesses and to identify the biggest opportunities and obstacles for the agricultural sector in Rutland. Additionally, the project team developed a working Landscape Inventory to identify and map farms and other working landscapes in Rutland. This information will help inform the economic development goals and strategies of the updated Master Plan.  

Study Takeaways:

Community

Rutland has a strong identity as an agricultural community and an informal network of farmers.

Geography

Rutland is situated between Boston and Western Massachusetts, providing easy access to both rural and urban areas.

Quality of Land

Between development pressures and non-farmable wetland, shrubland or wooded areas in the town, there is limited land available for farming.

Loss of KNowledge

Farmers are concerned that future generations aren't learning the tools necessary to keep farming alive in Rutland.