Today, March 15, 2016 is National Agriculture Day. National Ag Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture across the country. Every year, producers, agricultural associations like Farm Bureau, companies, schools, and government agencies join in with the public to recognize and applaud the contributions of agriculture in our lives.
Maple sugaring is a big part of agriculture in New Hampshire. As the state gets ready to celebrate Maple Weekend and Maple Month, New Hampshire Farm Bureau spent a day with the farmers at Windswept Maples Farm to get a taste of what goes into the sugaring process. You can learn all about sugaring in New Hampshire by visiting your local sugar house during the 21st Annual Maple Weekend (March 19th & 20th) or any other weekend during Maple Month! For more information on Maple Month visit nhmapleproducers.com
CONCORD, NH – Richard and Ann Fabrizio of North Haverhill were honored with the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Profile Award at the organization’s Annual Meeting Friday, November 13th. The award is presented each year to recognize a New Hampshire person or persons for their distinguished service to agriculture and rural life.
CONCORD, NH – Alicia Pedemonti of Unity won the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmer Discussion Meet at New Hampshire Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting on Friday, November 13th. The Discussion Meet is an event designed to simulate a committee or board meeting where cooperation and problem solving skills are most valuable. Alicia will move on to represent New Hampshire at the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet at their Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida in January.
CONCORD, NH – Alden Dill of Deerfield was presented the Excellence in Agriculture Award at New Hampshire Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting on Friday, November 13th. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes Young Farmers between the ages of 18 to 35 who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.
CONCORD, NH – John T. and Heather Fernald, III of Nottingham were awarded the Young Farmer Achievement Award at New Hampshire Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting on Friday, November 13th. 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. Candidates for the Achievement Award must be involved in production agriculture with the majority of their income subject to normal production risk.
September’s collection alone brought in 3,172 pounds of fruits and vegetables to the New Hampshire Food Bank. Combined with a collection in August of just over 1,900 pounds, New Hampshire farms have, in the last two months, provided over 4,200 meals to hungry New Hampshire residents according to Nancy Mellitt, New Hampshire Food Bank’s Director of Development. This goes a long way towards supporting the one in nine individuals who are statistically food insecure in our state.
For both collections, New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmer members and coordinators spent the day travelling to area farms picking up donations and transporting them to their destination. Young Farmer Co-chairs Amy Matarozzo and Valerie Drown and Young Farmer member Theodore Mongeau volunteered their time and transportation resources to make it all possible.
Ten farms contributed to this year’s donations by giving a wide range of produce including tomatoes, cabbage, apples, zucchini, peppers, corn, and winter squash. Autumn View Farm in Pittsfield, LaValley Farms in Hooksett, J+F Farms in Derry, Wilson Farms in Litchfield, Normanton Farm in Litchfield, Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, Marshall Pumpkin Farm in Boscawen, Apple Hill Farm in Concord, Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, and Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry all were glad to donate to such a worthy cause.
The New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmers have been collecting donations in conjunction with the Harvest For All campaign, a partnership with the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Program and Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, for over 5 years. They are currently raising a beef cow that will be donated for next year’s Harvest For All campaign.
To make donations towards the Harvest For All campaign visit www.nhfarmbureau.org and look for Harvest For All under the Young Farmer tab under Membership or contact Josh Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 224-1934.
Through the Harvest For All campaign, a partnership with American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Program and Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmers organized and collected the donation of over 1,900 pounds of fresh produce from six New Hampshire farms on Monday, August 3rd. NHFBF Young Farmer Co-Chair Amy Gowell Drogue and Co-Coordinators Leandra Pritchard and Josh Marshall picked up fresh vegetables from Autumn View Farm in Pittsfield, Lavalley Farm in Hooksett, J & F Farm in Derry, Wilson Farm and Steve Normanton Farm in Litchfield, and Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis delivering the donations to the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester and the Friendly Kitchen in Concord.
North Stratford, NH. The New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmers held their 2015 Summer Games on Saturday, July 11th. Competitors from around the state took some time off from their farms to spend a beautiful morning at The Mason’s Northwinds Dairy Farm in North Stratford, NH competing in a wide range of events.
Members of Coos County’s Young Farmers Committee took the reigns in organizing the Summer Games, planning the events which included calf roping, using a roping dummy; an obstacle course that involved each member of the team and required teammates to switch off wearing an oversized pair of overalls before attempting their leg of the course; and a water bucket relay, where teams raced to fill a water trough using a leaky bucket. “My favorite event was the dizzy bat,” said Leandra Pritchard, NHFB Young Farmer Co-Coordinator, “because I thought it was hilarious.” For that event, team members took turns spinning ten times around a baseball bat before attempting to run, disoriented, across the finish line.
Although the honey bee is typically what comes to mind when thinking about pollinators, there are lots of native insects doing their part to produce our food as well. Bumble bees, carpenter bees, leaf cutter bees, and mason bees are just some of New Hampshire’s native bees. Distinct from social bees like the honey bee, carpenter and mason bees are two examples of solitary bees that don’t form colonies. Instead, they form individual nests utilizing wood or mud and water respectively. UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist George Hamilton works extensively with Hillsborough County growers. “They rely on [native pollinators] more than they even know.” Hamilton said. Specifically, Hamilton says, the squash bee is one of the, “unsung and unseen heroes” pollinating cucurbits like squash and pumpkins. UNH assistant professor and researcher Sandra Rehan estimates that there could be up to 250 bee species in New Hampshire. She and a team at the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at UNH are conducting research monitoring native bee populations and their habitat with hopes of informing farmers and policy makers with how best to promote health and productivity of native pollinators. There they have constructed a ‘Bee Hotel’ with different features to attract specific bees. You will also find butterflies, moths, beetles, and even flies pollinating crops here in New Hampshire.
Fairy tales often start with a twist of fate. For Frank and Pauline Scruton, that twist came in the form of an October 1944 issue of Merrimack Monthly Messenger, a periodical published by the Merrimack Farmer’s Exchange. That particular issue featured a young Pauline Phelps on the cover. The story goes that Frank’s Mother saw the magazine and told him, “Go find that girl and marry her.” While Frank didn’t always listen to his mother, this time he did. Their first date was at the Rochester Fair in 1945 and in June of 1946 Frank and Pauline were married.
NEWPORT, NH – May 11th 2015 – Sullivan County Farm Bureau hosted a dinner at the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center (SRVRTC) in Newport on May, 11th inviting members from the New Hampshire House of Representatives Environment and Agriculture Committee and Sullivan County as their honorable guests. The event was an occasion for Sullivan County Farm Bureau to open a dialogue with their representatives and other state legislators to discuss the important role agriculture continues to play in the county and across the state. New Hampshire Farm Bureau President, Jeff Holmes, and NHFBF Staff were also present taking the opportunity to share concerns and positions on current and future legislation.
Boscawen, NH – Last November Adam and Patricia Crete of Highway View Farm in Boscawen received the Young Farmer Achievement Award at the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation 99th annual meeting. In early April, Adam received a big reminder of just how much that honor means when a Kubota M110GX tractor arrived at the farm. Along with a prize from Poulin Grain and the opportunity to represent New Hampshire at the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego this past January, the Cretes received the use of the Kubota tractor for six months or 250 hours.
Since 1992, through a partnership with Kubota Tractor Corporation and Pinnacleview Equipment of Walpole, the Young Farmer Achievement Award recipient has been given the use of a tractor through the Kubota Young Farmer Program. Kubota has a proud history of supporting Farm Bureau, at the state and federal level, and it’s Young Farmer Award.
Adam has been busy at the farm and is certainly getting use out of the tractor. He says this time of year calls for spreading manure, tilling under cover crops, and planting corn and that the use of the new tractor is helping on all accounts. He has been very pleased with the tractor’s versatility as he moves from the field to the yard saying, “The bucket is coming in handy”.
To be eligible for the Achievement Award, contestants must be between the ages of 18-35 and members in good standing with their county Farm Bureaus. They must be actively engaged in farming with a majority of their income coming from production agriculture.
We are fortunate to live in a country where food is abundant and affordable. This Wednesday, March 18, has been declared National Agriculture Day, a day for all citizens to take time to express their gratitude for all that agriculture provides them. Continue reading
Concord, N.H. – January 13, 2015 -Members of the farming community are disappointed with the recent announcement to end plans for the USDA poultry processing plant in Concord. Continue reading