In The People's Blog

On Monday, June 10, District Director Elena Cohen and I were thrilled to welcome our State House-based staff to the district for a day filled with beautiful visits and important conversations on climate, agriculture, and economic development in our region. 

Read on to see who we met with and what we learned before we joined many of you at the People’s Town Hall! 


To start off the day, Chief of Staff Jared Freedman, Legislative Director Brian Rosman, Policy and Constituent Services Director Rachel Klein, District Director Elena Cohen, and Communications and Engagement Director Katelyn Billings met with UMass Food Science Laboratory faculty, including Dr. Lili He, Dr. Julian McClements, and Dr. Eric Decker. 

The discussion focused on the work currently underway within the Food Science Laboratory, as well as the opportunity for investment to create a Laboratory to support additional faculty, staff, students, and resources to better serve the agricultural community. 

While my team was at UMass, I visited Viability Day Habilitation Center Services in Greenfield. It was wonderful to participate in making some music with tambourines and to meet with program administrators and participants. 

After visiting the Center, I made my way over to the grand opening of the new Greenfield Fire Station, where I joined my colleagues Representatives Natalie Blais and Susannah Whipps. 

Photo credits to Greenfield Recorder and Paul Franz

While I was at the new fire station, the team was at Mt. Sugarloaf enjoying the beautiful view (and exquisite weather) and lunch from Cushman Market & Cafe. 

Jared, Brian, Rachel, Elena and Katelyn then toured MassWildlife’s fish hatchery in Sunderland to learn more about how three different species of trout are raised, and the remarkable care and expertise the team at MassWildlife brings to protect our ecosystems. 

Next, the staff met with Jim Thomas and Laurie Cuevas at Thomas Farm & Dairy about their work farming, raising goats, and making and distributing cheese. As Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, a co-Chair of the legislature’s Food System Caucus, and given my appointment to the statewide Food Policy Council, it’s so important that I hear from farmers about the state supports they need.

The highlight of the afternoon was getting to hold the baby goats at the farm. 

Then, we all met at Greenfield Community College for our first-ever in-person People’s Town Hall, where I discussed this legislative session and our work with about 150 of you. 

If you missed the town hall, you can find the recording here

If you have any follow up questions, or questions in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at or 617-722-1532. 

On Tuesday morning, we were back in the State House for an oversight hearing on hemp regulations…but that is a story of another day. 


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