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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE CITY KNOWN AS THE TOWN OF FRANKLIN TO ESTABLISH A LOCAL AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION

     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
     SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding section 8L of chapter 40 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city known as the town of Franklin may establish a local agricultural commission to be known as the Franklin agricultural commission.
     (b) The Franklin agricultural commission shall promote, develop and foster agricultural resources in the city known as the town of Franklin. The commission may: (i) educate the public on agricultural issues; (ii) advocate for farmers and farm interests; (iii) coordinate agricultural-related activities with other governmental bodies or unofficial local groups or organizations that promote agriculture; and (iv) assist farmers in resolving municipal problems or conflicts related to farms through education and communication.
     (c)(1) The Franklin agricultural commission shall consist of 5 members who shall be residents of the city known as the town of Franklin. Not less than 2 members shall be active farmers who shall be employed in an agriculture-related field or who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in agricultural practices or knowledge of related agricultural business. 
     (2) The Franklin agricultural commission shall be appointed by the town administrator, subject to ratification by the town council. Each member of the commission shall serve for a term of 3 years.
     (3) The commission shall annually appoint a chair, vice-chair, and a clerk.
     (d) The Franklin agricultural commission shall keep accurate and timely records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report with the clerk of the city known as the town of Franklin. The commission's annual report shall be posted on the town’s public website and shall be printed in the annual town report.
     SECTION 2. Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of section 1 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the initial appointments to the Franklin agricultural commission shall be for terms of 1, 2 or 3 years so arranged by the town administrator so that the terms of approximately 1/3 of the commission’s members shall expire each year.
     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, December 13, 2017.