A group of Island farmers and aquaculturists has formed the Martha's Vineyard Farm Bureau, joining 11 other counties in the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. 

Farm bureaus are non-governmental organizations that support and lobby for local agriculture and aquaculture. At the national level, they are represented by the American Farm Bureau Federation, whose president Zippy Duvall issued a statement welcoming the Martha's Vineyard bureau.

The new bureau will cover all of Dukes County and is the state's first new farm bureau in 40 years, according to an announcement from the newly-established association. Previously, the closest bureau available to Island farmers was the Cape and Islands Farm Bureau, which holds its meetings on the mainland.

The Vineyard bureau's first officers are Dan Martino, president; Lynne Daniels, vice-president; Greg Martino, treasurer-secretary; Brian Athearn and Asa Baer, directors.

The Martinos operate Cottage City Oysters in Oak Bluffs, where they raise the bivalves in Vineyard Sound. Ms. Daniels' family farm is Old Town Gardens in Edgartown. Mr. Athearn is president of the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society. Mr. Baer is livestock manager at the Grey Barn and Farm.