Business Briefs: Pine Island Farm named Dairy Farm of the Year; nonprofit benefits survey; emergency preparedness seminar; Native Habitat Restoration receives Patriot Award; talent development workshop

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By Friday, Sep 22 Trade and Commerce
Holly Aragi, left, and Louis Aragi Jr. of Pine Island Farm in Sheffield receive their award for Massachusetts Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year from Masoud Hashemi, right, of UMass Cooperative Extension at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield on Sept. 15.

Pine Island Farm named Massachusetts Dairy Farm of the Year

Springfield — The winners of the 2017 New England Green Pastures Award were recognized at the Eastern States Exposition on Sept. 15. Honored as Massachusetts Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year was Pine Island Farm of Sheffield, managed by the Aragi family.

Pine Island Farm is a partnership dairy operation jointly owned by Louis T. Aragi Sr. and Louis T. Aragi Jr. and containing approximately 1,600 head of Holstein dairy cows. With the installation of a methane digester, the farm has been able to address environmental issues and create by-products used on and off the farm. The anaerobic digester generates electricity that is used to support the electric needs of the farm while also being provided to the electric grid through net metering. Heat is also captured for re-use at the farm and the use of a heat exchanger has allowed the farm to heat water that is used in the milk house and to feed calves on milk replacer.

The Green Pasture Award is given every year to one outstanding dairy farm in each of the New England states, with winners evaluated on production records; herd, pasture and crop management; environmental practices; contributions to agriculture and the local community; and overall excellence in dairying.

–E.E.

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Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, Nash Insights offering nonprofit benefits survey

Mary Nash. Photo courtesy Nash Insights

Great Barrington — Berkshire nonprofit organizations interested in knowing more about what other nonprofits offer in terms of benefits are encouraged to fill out a brief online survey by Tuesday, Oct. 3.

By studying the results from the survey, nonprofits will be able to design packages to help them attract and retain employees who can help them carry out their missions and take their organizations to the next level. The results of the survey will be presented in a written report on an aggregate basis only; individual responses for each organization will not be disclosed.

Liana Toscanini of the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires and Mary Nash of Nash Insights engaged a team of nonprofit and HR professionals from Berkshire United Way, High Peak Partners, Norman Rockwell Museum, Northern Berkshire United Way, and Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires to create and distribute the survey. Survey participants will receive a free copy of the report at the end of the project.

–E.E.

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Salisbury Bank to hold seminar on emergency preparedness

Millerton, N.Y. — On Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Salisbury Bank will offer a seminar at its Millerton location about how to prepare for different types of emergencies.

The program will provide participants with information about tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, as well as how to respond accordingly and recover quickly to pre-disaster conditions. The course will provide an introduction on how to respond to a natural or man-made disaster. Participants will be advised on how to properly prepare for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies.

The workshop will be presented by Cpt. Brett White, an instructor for the New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps. He joined the program in March 2015 and has helped with or instructed over 150 events. White is a logistics officer and has served in the New York Army National Guard for over eight years. He is currently the company commander of the Forward Support Company, 204th Engineer Battalion in Binghamton.

Reservations are suggested but not required. To reserve a place, contact Kevin Norton at (860) 453-3497 or email knorton@salisburybank.com and type “Prepare” in the subject line.

–E.E.

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Jess Toro, left, and Sari Hoy, right, of Native Habitat Restoration in Stockbridge with Bill Hebert, center, area chair of the Massachusetts Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, (RET) Command Sgts. Maj., who presented them with the Patriot Award in a ceremony at Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington on Sept. 13. The award is given to employers who go above and beyond in their support of employees in the National Guard. Photo courtesy Native Habitat Restoration

–E.E.

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‘How to Attract, Hold and Develop Talent in the Berkshires’

Great Barrington — High Peak Partners will hold a free, early-morning workshop for human resource and talent development professionals and small to medium-sized business owners titled “How to Attract, Hold and Develop Talent in the Berkshires” on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Fairfield Inn & Suites. Andi Fenster, Jay Wolf and Mike Mimnaugh of High Peak Partners will offer up fresh perspectives and new hiring trends so that workshop participants can walk away with tips on how to gain and maintain employees. A continental breakfast will be included. Space is limited and interested professionals should contact Mike Mimnaugh at (203) 613-0228 or mike@highpeakpartners.com for more information or to register.

–E.E.


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