The Agricultural Advisory Commission was created in 2001 by a town by-law to in part engage in projects and activities to promote the business of farming, farming activities and traditions, and farmland protection in town.
The Art of Farming Mural Project
The public art project, “The Art of Farming,” began in 2005 as a collaboration between the Agricultural Advisory Commission and students at Smith Academy, under the direction of art teacher Julie Muellejans. With major funding from the Hatfield Cultural Council, the support of community businesses and the Szawlowski Farms Agricultural Foundation, art students at Smith Academy have created large murals to display on major thoroughfares through town: tobacco barns on Elm and Main streets and Route 5, a dairy farm on Depot Road, and along the side of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts warehouse building on North Hatfield Road. The murals honor Hatfield’s agricultural heritage and promote the availability of local farm products. Students design and paint the 32-foot wide, eight-foot tall murals during the school year. The project has helped the town’s youth develop their conceptual, artistic and planning skills, while promoting collaboration and fostering an appreciation of art and Hatfield’s agricultural heritage. The murals are seen throughout the seasons by residents and visitors to town, inspiring civic pride and heightening awareness of Hatfield’s array of farm products. In addition to murals permanently on display on Depot Road, Main Street, Route 5, and North Hatfield Road, the first mural in the series and the 2012 mural can be seen at the Mary Lou and Robert Cutler Farm Museum on Billings Way.