Chrislar Horse Farm and Equestrian Center located in Rowley, Massachusetts, has been a loyal member of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) since 2012. This facility gives room to ride, the non-riders room to watch, and horses access to comfort and good health. Owners Chris and Lawrence use their philosophy of comfort, health, knowledge and convenience to create the Stable of Stars® that Chrislar is known for today. Started in 1978, it is enclosed with a cedar wood finished structure that’s both functional, safe and pleasing to the eye; surrounded with miles of state forest trails; and staffed with dedicated professionals. This dedication to the industry has allowed Chris Cassenti to become involved in Farm Bureau, including serving on the statewide equine advisory committee.
“We enjoy being a part of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation as people are more effective in groups,” Cassenti said.
With nearly 6,000 members, MFBF effectively advocates for policy that matters to the equine industry, including wetland protection. To educate farmers and equine stable operators, the organization created guidelines about wetland regulations.
“I think that the Farm Bureau tries to help our legislators understand that farmers care about the environment and care about the land,” Cassenti said. “They all want to see it open. We don’t want to see Chrislar Farms, for example, be turned into housing development.”
To make this happen, MFBF has always been there for Cassenti as a resource.
“When a horse person or a farmer needs assistance, Massachusetts Farm Bureau is right there to give assistance or to give advice or to give recommendation,” Cassenti said. “It’s real important for us to be a part of this organization.”
MFBF also realizes the importance of the equine industry to the Commonwealth, as it recently published an equine industry economic impact study. This report estimates that the state’s equine industry has a total annual economic impact of $386.6 million and employs more than 7,000 people in both full-time and part-time positions.
“The economic impact study is helpful in educating the legislator about the size and the importance of the equine industry,” said Lawrence Cassenti, Chrislar Farm senior executive. “The equine industry extends way beyond horses to include land use to feed to equipment to saddles and more.”
However, Farm Bureau is more than an advocacy organization, as it is the largest general farming organization in the Commonwealth. As such, networking and socialization are important aspectsMFBF
Speaking to this, Chris Cassenti said, “We canall learn things from one another in running our businesses and other things as well. So, I think it’sa good organization and its certainly well worth it for us to be members.”