Northeast Harvest Agricultural Conference

Questions? Call 978-887-5000 or email

Click here to Register and Pay for the Conference! Click here to Download Registration Form

Farm Spotlight

Brooksby Farm
54 Felton StreetPeabody MA 09160
(978) 531-7456


9:00AM - 9:50AM

“Worker Protection Standards”

Laurie will review the new 2017 Worker Protection Standards (WPS) along with what to expect when having an audit inspection. She will also discuss the new Respirator Requirements and Best Practices.

Laurie Rocco is an Inspector of Pesticides for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and a Public Fire and Life Safety Educator for the Palmer Fire Department.


9:50AM - 10:15AM

“Our New Look – Northeast Harvest Website”

Mike Sperling will present the “New Look” for the Northeast Harvest website. Farm information will be updated and marketed.

Mike Sperling is the Founder and Director of Sperling Interactive. Mike’s extensive technology skills and innovative marketing ideas make Mike a leader in the website design, search engine optimization and social medial fields.

10:15AM - 10:30AM


10:30AM - 11:20AM

“Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)”

Frank Martinez Nocito will present on the Healthy Incentives Program, which beginning April 1, 2017, will offer a dollar-for-dollar incentive when SNAP customers spend their benefits on fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and through CSA shares—statewide. There will also be a drop-in information session where you can get your farm, farm stand or farmers market authorized for SNAP and receive your USDA FNS number the very same day.

Frank Martinez Nocito is the Project Director of the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. He has devoted his career to advocating for public health. Over the past decade, he has consistently and successfully brought local food into the conversation about healthy eating and food access.

11:20AM - 12:00PM

“Market Your Farmers’ Market”

Panel of Market Managers will discuss the successes and challenges of farmers’ markets, how to increase your attendance, and how to attract farmers and other related vendors to the market.

The Panel of Market Managers will consist of area markets managers.

12:00PM - 12:45PM

Lunch – Slideshow Presentation/Table Presentation

12:45PM - 1:35PM

“Review of the 2016 Growing Season – Pest & Weather Issues in Fruits & Vegetables”

George Hamilton will present trends and observations he observed in the last year for fruit and vegetable growers to keep an eye on future growing seasons. Weather observations for the 2016 growing season will also be included. The weather affected both positively and negatively the insect pests and different issues throughout the 2016 growing season.

George Hamilton is the Extension Educator for Agricultural Resources at the University of New Hampshire. He joined the UNH Cooperative Extension in 1989. He has direct responsibilities for working with commercial farm operations in the areas of vegetables, fruit, field crops, livestock and farm business management. He received both his Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Education from The Pennsylvania State University.


1:35PM - 2:25PM

“Supporting Pollinators in the Farm Landscape”

Amy Papineau will discuss the many types of bees that are at work in the New England landscape, the roles of these insects on and off the farm, and how you can support bees through creation and preservation of forage and nesting habitat.

Amy Papineau is a UNH Cooperative Extension Educator in Food and Agriculture, working with fruit and vegetable farmers, green house and nursery growers, garden centers, landscapers, and other agricultural businesses and organizations.


Wrap Up

“Wrap Up” with James O’Brien, Northeast Harvest Executive Director

James P. O’Brien is the Executive Director of Northeast Harvest, a buy local organization which serves Essex and Middlesex counties. James is also currently the General Manager of the Topsfield Fair, the oldest continuously operating county fair in America. He is a Board Member of the Essex County Farm Bureau, Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association, Essex County Fruit Growers, Essex National Heritage Commission, Topsfield Agricultural Commission, Essex Technical High School Board, the North of Boston CVB, and the Lynn VNA. Always focused on community service, James serves as the Vice-President of Development for the Spirit of Adventure Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He holds a degree in Forestry and Business Management from the University of Maine at Orono and is a Certified Fair Executive with a degree in Fair Management from the IAFE.