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County Annual Meeting Season: The Meaning of Grassroots!
By Diane Clary; NHFB Executive Director
New Hampshire Farm Bureau Executive Director, Diane Clary
NHFB, The Voice of Agriculture, is a “Grassroots” organization. That means everything we do originates from the individual member. Each voting member has an equal voice and that voice steers Farm Bureau. If you don’t add your “voice,” our message is diminished. New Hampshire Farm Bureau demonstrates its strength through membership and member participation. We are nothing without our members and our member’s voices. “How can I add my voice to our message?” you ask. Attend your County and State Annual Meetings. Not only will you enjoy great fellowship with great people but you will have the opportunity to have YOUR VOICE heard. County and State staff work very hard to make these events worthwhile for attendees and your attendance would show appreciation of these efforts. Change starts with the individual member, share your concerns with the county and begin the process of grassroots policy development. Get your voice heard and make a difference. If you would rather have a more supportive roll and less vocal roll; attend the meeting so that you will be informed on the issues and make your decision of support based on all of the information.
Mike Snide of Pinnacleview Equipment in Walpole (left) presents Tyler and Madison Hardy with a new Kubota M5-111 Tractor at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis. The couple was awarded the use of the new Kubota tractor for 6 months or 250 hours for winning the 2016 New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmer Achievement Award.
Hollis, NH – Tyler and Madison Hardy of Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, NH, winners of the 2016 New Hampshire Farm Bureau (NHFB) Young Farmer Achievement Award, were pleased to accept their grand prize on Wednesday, April 26th. Each year, the Achievement Award winner(s) receive the use of a brand new Kubota Tractor courtesy of Kubota Tractor Corporation and Pinnacleview Equipment in Walpole, NH, for 6 months or 250 hours. The couple was excited to watch as a new Kubota M5-111 narrow tractor rolled into the yard.
Glen Putnam, Grafton County Farm Bureau President, was recently elected Chair of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Veterans in Agriculture Committee.
Concord, NH – Glen Putnam has been elected Chair of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation (NHFB) Veterans in Agriculture Committee. The Veterans in Agriculture Committee was approved by the NHFB Board of Directors in December and held its first meeting in March. The stated mission of the committee is to recruit, educate, support, and promote veterans and their families in agriculture.
“Growing up I was surrounded by both farmers and veterans,” Putnam said, “I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to be, so I did both. Now to be working with Farm Bureau to bring the two together is both an honor and a privilege.”
Putnam, who is also President of Grafton County Farm Bureau, currently serves in the United States Navy Reserve and is the owner/operator of Winsome Farm Organics in Piermont.
(editor’s note: March 5-11 is Ag Safety Awareness Program Week. Each day of the week is focused on raising awareness of different, avoidable hazards on the farm. One of those hazards involves Equipment Operator Space. Using equipment on the farm helps get the job done more quickly and efficiently but can also present a number of hazards. In the article below, past NHFB President, Jeff Holmes, discusses how you can minimize risk by using PTO shields.)
Farming can be a dangerous business. Why not do what you can to help minimize the risks your operation presents? Missing or damaged PTO (power take-off) shields present a serious hazard for equipment operators. Not all hazards can be addressed cheaply but PTO shield issues are an exception. Continue reading →
The Harvest for All Most Innovative Award is given annually to Young Farmer Programs
with a Harvest for All project that is new, unique, impactful, productive and can be
easily replicated in other states seeking to have a greater impact on hunger relief in
their communities. The NHFB Young Farmers were one of three states to be recognized in 2017.
NHFB Young Farmer Coordinator Leandra Pritchard (left) and Young Farmer Committee Chair Amy Matarozzo pose for a picture in Pittsburgh, PA at the 2017 AFBF FUSION Conference.
Past New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer Committee Chair, Amy Matarozzo accepts the 2017 Harvest For All Most Innovative Award from American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall
Zippy Duvall at the 2017 AFBF FUSION Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
NHFB Young Farmer Committee Chair Amy Matarozzo after accepting the 2017 Harvest for All Most Innovative award on behalf of the NHFB Young Farmers.
The NHFB Young Farmers raised and donated approximately 300 pounds of fresh ground beef to five foot pantries and soup kitchens across the state. (left to right) Friendly Kitchen Director Jennifer Lombardo, Young Farmer Committee Chair Amy Matarozzo, Young Farmer Coordinator Leandra Pritchard, and Young Farmer Committee Vice-Chair Christina Murdock at the Friendly Kitchen in Concord, NH.
(left to right) Young Farmer Coordinator Leandra Pritchard, Nashua Soup Kitchen Staff Rich Walker, Young Farmer Committee Chair Amy Matarozzo, and Young Farmer Committee Vice-Chair Christina Murdock ouside the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter in Nashua, NH.
Concord, NH February 14, 2017 – The New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers were recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation with the 2017 Harvest For All Most Innovative Award at the 2017 AFBF FUSION Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The award is given annually to Young Farmer Programs with a Harvest for All project that is new, unique, impactful, productive and can be easily replicated in other states seeking to have a greater impact on hunger relief in their communities. With support from Nationwide Insurance, the award also provides funds for future Harvest For All projects.
In 2016, the NHFB Young Farmers donated 300 pounds of fresh ground beef to five New Hampshire food pantries & soup kitchens as part of the Harvest For All campaign. The Angus-Holstein calf was donated by Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill and raised by NHFB Young Farmer Chair, Amy Matarozzo, and her husband Brian at their farm, LorrenJoyce Farm, in Center Barnstead for a full year.
Matarozzo accepted the award from AFBF President Zippy Duvall at the FUSION conference. “It is a true honor to accept national recognition for our hard work to provide fresh beef to our hungry community. We look forward to continuing to make a difference in the community,” Matarozzo said, “Thank you to all of our sponsors and contributors to the project!”
Christina Murdock, DVM, owns and operates LAVender Mobile Veterinary Services based out of central New Hampshire. As a special service to Farm Bureau Members, she offers Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) and Rabies Vaccinations at the Merrimack County Farm Bureau Vet Clinic each year prior to show season (pictured above). Christina is also the Vice-Chair of the NHFB Young Farmers Committee.
By Christina Murdock, DVM
The FDA policy known as the Veterinary Feed Directive came into effect on January 1, 2017. It was passed to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials that affect both human and animal health, but I understand there will be frustration among the agricultural community. I just want everyone to understand why it came about and what this new policy entails.
Back in 2015 the White House issued its National Action Plan For Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. It may seem like common sense, but what the public health officials want people to understand is that Antimicrobial Resistance is a scary concept: “The Right Antibiotic at the Right Time at the Right Dose for the Right Duration.” The FDA is responsible for regulating animal drugs, feeds, devices, and most animal health products. They want veterinarians to oversee the use of medicines that may have an effect on the human population who consume animals that may have undergone treatment. Under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD and C), the FDA has the broad mandate to assure safety and effectiveness of drugs, devices, and the safety of the food supply. Continue reading →
CONCORD, NH – Jeff Holmes was presented with the 2016 New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation President’s Award by NHFB President Denis Ward at the organization’s 100th Annual Meeting on Friday, November 11th. Holmes is familiar with the award, having previously handed it out to deserving recipients as NHFB President from 2007-2015.
Holmes and his family operate Holmes Dairy Farm in Langdon, NH, milking Jersey cows and producing maple syrup. The award not only recognizes Holmes’ commitment to agriculture, but his dedication to Farm Bureau as he continues to volunteer his time and energy in advocating for agriculture.
Bobby Drown (right) is presented with the 2016 New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Profile Award by past Profile Award winner John Porter.
Concord, NH – New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation has the honor of presenting the Profile Award each year to recognize a New Hampshire person or persons for distinguished service to agriculture and rural life. Nominations come from each county Farm Bureau Board of Directors and are judged by a panel of past Profile Award winners.
The 2016 Profile Award was given to Robert “Bobby” Drown of Great Ash Farm in Webster, NH. Bobby is a third generation farm manager at his family’s dairy farm and raises thanksgiving turkeys as well. He has been involved with and a supporter of 4-H since the 1960’s and has worked closely with the Merrimack County Conservation District, earning Merrimack County District Cooperator of the year in 2000.
As a Farm Bureau member for 49 years, Bobby has held several leadership roles including Merrimack County Farm Bureau President and currently sits on the MCFB Board of Directors. He is well known for his commitment to growing Farm Bureau membership.
Ryan Cox (left) is presented a certificate and check for winning the 2016 New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmer’s Discussion Meet by past Discussion Meet winner Alicia Pedemonti.
Concord, NH – The goal of the NHFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet is to develop leaders for effective problem solving through group discussion, similar to the organization’s grass-roots Policy Development process. The Discussion Meet gives an opportunity for Young Farmers to build basic discussion skills, give and receive criticism in a helpful manner, develop an understanding of important issues, explore and pool knowledge to reach consensus, and solve problems. The three contestants who participated in this year’s competition were Christina Murdock, DVM, of Dunbarton, Tyler Matteson of Contoocook, and the winner, Ryan Cox of Derry.
Ryan is a freshman at Plymouth State University, a past Vice-President of the Granite State Association of FFA, and a former Farm Bureau intern. Ryan will be moving on to compete this January at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
Amy (center) & Brian Matarozzo of LorrenJoyce Farm in Ctr. Barnstead are presented with the Young Farmer Animal Husbandry Award by Rep. Alexis Simpson.
Concord, NH – The Animal Husbandry Award has been developed by the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer program to promote sound animal husbandry and to recognize individuals who have implemented exceptional livestock welfare practices on their farm. Candidates for this award are nominated by their fellow Young Farmers and the judging is based on a set of criteria, including best management practices. A panel of judges consisting of Representative Alexis Simpson of Exeter, Christina Murdock, DVM of Dunbarton, and UNH Professor Emeritus John Porter of Boscawen selected Amy & Brian Matarozzo of LorrenJoyce Farm in Center Barnstead as this year’s winners.
Amy & Brian currently raise Hereford beef cattle and milk registered jersey cows to sell raw milk and USDA certified beef direct to consumers. In addition to cows, they also have 180 laying hens for egg production. Amy and Brian have both been involved heavily with the Young Farmers Committee. Amy presently serves as the committee’s Chairperson.
Also nominated for this award were Jeff Moore of Windswept Maples Farm in Loudon and Adam Crete of Highway View Farm in Boscawen
Alicia Pedemonti (right) receives the Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award from USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Bruce Cilley.
Concord, NH – To acknowledge the efforts of Young Farmers who do not derive the majority of their income from farming, but are actively contributing to agriculture and to their community, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation annually conducts the Excellence in Agriculture Award competition. The winner of the New Hampshire competition moves on to compete nationally in Phoenix, Arizona this January. A panel of judges consisting of Representative Bob Haefner, Chair of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee; Bruce Cilley, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency; and Ruth Scruton, President of the NHFB Associated Women selected Alicia Pedemonti as the 2016 Winner.
Alicia graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with her Bachelors in Animal Science and after taking a year off, started working on a Master of Public Health from the University of New England which she completed in 2015. She now works as a Veterinary Technician for the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food and has held that position for almost five years. Her primary responsibility is overseeing the tuberculosis and brucellosis surveillance program in cattle and goats. This means she gets to spend the bulk of her year going to cattle farms in NH. She also works part time as the Executive Director of the Northeast Pork Association. In May of 2016 Alicia was appointed to the National Pork Board by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Also nominated for the award were Brian Matarozzo of Center Barnstead, Dalton Thayer of North Haverhill, and Erik Fredrickson of Wolfboro.
Tyler (right) & Madison (center) Hardy are presented with the 2016 Young Farmer Achievement Award from past Achievement Award winner Don Ross.
Concord, NH – The Young Farmer Achievement Award competition is designed to recognize young people between the ages of 18 to 35 who have excelled in their farming operation and have shown leadership abilities through Farm Bureau and in their community. The ideal candidate for the Achievement Award is an individual or couple involved in production agriculture with the majority of their income subject to normal production risk. The winner receives the use of a new Kubota tractor for six months or 250 hours from Pinnacleview Equipment in Walpole and will move on to the national competition in Phoenix, Arizona this January. A panel of judges consisting of Representative Tara Sad of Walpole, Samantha Stoddard from Farm Credit East in Bedford, and Don Ross of Rossview Farm in Concord selected Tyler & Madison Hardy of Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis as this year’s winners.
Tyler Hardy is a 6th generation farmer at Brookdale Fruit Farm. His family farms fruit and vegetables and has won national recognition for its stewardship and conservation practices. He enjoys all aspects of the fruit and vegetable industry, but his true passion is tree fruit, including different training systems and pruning.
Tyler’s wife, Madison, also works at Brookdale Fruit Farm. They met while Tyler was delivering produce to Moulton Farm in Meredith, NH where Madison formerly worked. Madison now manages the greenhouses and special vegetable operations at Brookdale. She worked at Moulton Farm for 12 years and has worked at Brookdale for 4 years. They also enjoy downhill skiing, their dog Pilot, golf, and snowmobiling.
Also nominated for the award were Glen Putnam of Piermont, Jeff Moore or Loudon, and Ray & Jenny Sprague of Plainfield.
The 2016 growing season has brought its fair share of trials and troubles to the Granite State. We have all been experiencing, either first hand or through the countless news stories on television and on-line, the effects of a prolonged and fierce drought. The dairy industry may have been hit the worst as the unique combination of weather and low milk prices has led to twice as many New Hampshire dairy farms closing up shop this year than the previous four years combined. While no one can legislate enough rain to pull us out of the drought, our farmers have begun calling for legislative remedies to the dairy crisis looming over the state. As more and more folks speak up and challenge our elected officials to find a way to help, those officials have been forced to listen.
Politicians have been visiting farms and holding meetings to gather information. They are reaching out to lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and saying all the right things. But so far no action has been taken. Although a Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund was established in New Hampshire in 2008, it has never been funded. The assurances and platitudes have borne no fruit.
While our legislators have had no choice but to pay heed to the challenges facing agriculture, moving forward it is up to us as individuals to hold them to their campaign promises. Listen to what your local and regional leaders are saying about how they will help agriculture. Get involved by calling or writing your Representatives and Senators. But don’t stop after you cast your vote in November. As an industry we must be sure the promises made in an election year are followed through when we need them most.
As a grassroots organization, Farm Bureau’s best gift to you is the confidence that thousands of other farmers, conservationists, and land owners stand behind you, but it is the power of individuals getting involved that makes the biggest difference. This time of year you have the opportunity to help write the policy that guides our organization by attending your County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. Policies adopted at those meetings move along to the Policy Development Committee and finally the delegate session at NH Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting in November. Through this policy development process, Farm Bureau’s members plot the course of action we will take as the voice of agriculture in New Hampshire.
-Josh Marshall, NH Farm Bureau Communications Director
The NH Young Farmers are grateful to all the farms who participated in August's Harvest for All donation. Chip Hardy (far right) and the crew at Brookdale Fruit Farm poses here alongside their donation of 3 pallets of tomatoes!
Jackie Johnson and Justin Roberts, Granite State FFA State Officers, helped collect produce from the seacoast region to contribute towards the 7,855 total pounds of food donated on August 15th.
Young Farmers unload fresh produce at the NH Food Bank in Manchester. WMUR was there to capture one of the many truckloads of fruits and veggies brought in that day.
Young Farmer Committee Chair Amy Matarozzo (left) and Vice-Chair Christina Murdock could not be happier seeing the generosity of local farms contributing to the Harvest for All program.
Theo Mongeau (right) and NH Food Bank staff work to unload donations at the NH Food Bank in Manchester.
Concord, NH – Over 7,800 pounds of fruits and vegetables were donated to the Friendly Kitchen in Concord and the NH Food Bank in Manchester thanks to volunteers from the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee and the generosity of local farms. The Young Farmers, with some help from two Granite State FFA Officers, spent Monday August 15th travelling across the state visiting 11 farms to pick up produce donations for the Harvest for All program.