New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Holds
102nd Annual Meeting. New Slate of Officers and
Award Winners Announced
New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation (NHFB) held its 102nd Annual Meeting on November 2nd and 3rd at the Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield, NH. The event, hosted by Coos County Farm Bureau, offered tours of local agricultural operations Fuller’s Sugarhouse and Forbes Dairy Farm, workshops, and competitions all in support of the theme “A Harvest of Farming History”
The culmination of NHFB’s grassroots policy development process occurs during the Meeting of the House of Delegates as part of each year’s Annual Meeting. Delegates, elected by their county Farm Bureau, met the morning of November 3rd to vote on the policies that will guide NHFB’s work in the coming year and to elect a slate of officers for 2019. The elected slate of officers is as follows: Denis Ward of Monroe – President, Joyce Brady of Columbia – 1st Vice President, Matt Scruton of Rochester – 2nd Vice President, Rebecca Stevens of Epsom – 2nd Vice President, Howard Pearl of Loudon – Treasurer.
The Annual Meeting Banquet, held the evening of November 2nd, recognized outstanding achievements and contributions to agriculture from NHFB members. To view the full list of awards given out that evening, click here.
The 102nd Annual Meeting of New Hampshire Farm Bureau started off with a farm tour of Fuller's Sugarhouse. Here owner David Fuller explains how sap flows throughout the facility while Stan Knecht looks on.
The next stop on the tour was Forbes Dairy Farm in Lancaster. The multi-generation farm is the largest dairy farm in the state.
Johnna Miller from American Farm Bureau Federation hosted a workshop on Advocacy Through Social Media during the afternoon sessions.
The next workshop was titled, "Preparing for Farm Emergencies" and featured insightful tips on how to work with local first responders to protect your property in the unfortunate event of an emergency.
Between workshops, former NHFB Staff Maureen Duffy-Bertolone congratulated retiring UNH Extension Field Agent Steve Turaj.
Past NHFB President Lawrence Underhill (Left) and past Cheshire County Farm Bureau President Bob Moore caught up before the Annual Meeting Banquet Dinner.
(Left to right) Dean of UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture Jon Wraith, Scott Mason, NH Commissioner of Agriculture Shawn Jasper, and Chris Brady enjoy a break in the weather outside at the beautiful Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield.
(left to right) Steve and Lora Goss chat with NHFB First Lady Jeanne Ward and NHFB President Denis Ward during the Annual Meeting Banquet Dinner.
(Right to left) Governor Chris Sununu joins NH Commissioner of Agriculture Shawn Jasper and Dan Hicks, owner of Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry, to mark the official start of apple season in New Hampshire.
Thursday, September 6th marked the beginning of apple season in New Hampshire as Governor Chris Sununu made the ceremonial first pick at Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry alongside Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food Shawn Jasper, Sunnycrest owner Dan Hicks, and UNH Cooperative Extension Fruit & Vegetable Production Field Specialist George Hamilton. Also on hand were members of the New England Apple Association and New Hampshire Fruit Growers Association.
Throughout the month of August, New Hampshire Farm Bureau (NHFB) joins with 70+ partners throughout the state to highlight New Hampshire Eat Local Month — a month-long celebration of local food and New Hampshire farmers and producers.
“New Hampshire residents, and visitors alike, are showing unprecedented interest in local food, and this month-long celebration offers a great opportunity to feature New Hampshire grown foods and farms,” said Gail McWilliam Jellie from the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food.
With 70+ partners working together to bring you great NH Eat Local Month festivities, it won’t be hard for you to find a way to get involved!
Editor’s Note: March 4 – 10 is Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week (ASAP). ASAP was created to bring awareness to safety and health issues facing the agriculture industry. The following article can also be found in the March/April Issue of ‘The Communicator’
Reflecting on his chosen profession, Chichester farmer and past Merrimack County Farm Bureau President, Steve MacCleery, paused before declaring, “The biggest thing I can say about farming is that it’s difficult, but I enjoy it.” Steve explained that he and his wife Holly didn’t get rich pursuing agriculture, but they agreed that it was a great way to raise their children and to enjoy earning a living. “Having said that, you have to try to be safe.”
Bill & Heidi Bartlett of Bartlett’s Blueberry Farm in Newport were presented with the prestigious NHFB Profile Award by Seth Wilner at the NHFB 101st Annual Meeting.
Each year, NHFB has the honor of presenting the Profile Award to recognize a New Hampshire person or persons for distinguished service to agriculture and rural life. Nominations for this award come from County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and are judged by a panel of past Profile Award winners.
The 2017 Profile Award was presented to Bill & Heidi Bartlett of Bartlett Blueberry Farm in Newport, NH. Bill & Heidi Bartlett purchased what is now Bartlett’s Blueberry Farm in Newport in 1985 and have continued its growth as a successful farm and business for over 30 years. Beyond that, their contributions to the community have been just as important as their dedication to agriculture.
Jeff Moore was presented with the NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award by Gail McWilliam Jellie at the NHFB 101st Annual Meeting.
This year’s NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award went to Jeff Moore of Windswept Maples Farm in Loudon, NH.
The NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award competition recognizes 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 award is an individual or couple involved in production agriculture with the majority of their income subject to normal production risk.
State Representative Howard Pearl (center) presents the NHFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award to Bruce & Rebecca Stevens of Epsom at the NHFB 101st Annual Meeting
The 2017 NHFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award was given to Bruce & Rebecca Stevens of Epsom, NH. The award acknowledges 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.
Bruce & Rebecca Stevens have a small farm in Epsom raising beef cattle and hay. Rebecca became involved with FFA while attending Coe-Brown Northwood Academy winning numerous awards and serving as chapter Vice-President. She was instrumental in the formation of the school’s FFA Alumni Chapter and served two terms as President. Bruce gained experience in agriculture working for local dairy farms and eventually started working for Dairy Farmers of America as a milk truck driver. He now owns his own commercial trucking company. Rebecca has served on the Merrimack County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for many years and is currently serving her first term as President.
Glen Putnam was awarded the 2017 NHFB Young Farmer Animal Husbandry Award by NHFB Executive Director Diane Clary at the organization’s 101st Annual Meeting.
Glen Putnam was awarded this year’s NHFB Young Farmer Animal Husbandry Award. He owns and operates Winsome Farm Organics in Piermont, NH producing organic milk, beef, and more as a sixth generation farmer.
Amelia Aznive won the 2017 NHFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet at the organization’s 101st Annual Meeting. She will move on to compete nationally in Nashville, Tennessee in January.
Amelia Aznive of Concord, NH was named the winner of the 2017 NHFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet. Competitors in the Discussion Meet prepare thoughts and opinions on various subjects facing agriculture and cooperatively work towards a solution.
The goal of the Discussion Meet is to develop leaders for effective problem solving through group discussion, similar to the organization’s grassroots policy development process. The competition provides 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.
Attendees of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation 101st Annual Meeting in Keene engaged in workshops presented by American Farm Bureau Federation staff.
New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation (NHFB) held its 101st Annual Meeting on November 10th and 11th in Keene, NH. The event, hosted by Cheshire County Farm Bureau, offered farm tours, workshops, and competitions along with a chance to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of NHFB members.
The second day of the meeting focused on the grassroots policy development process where NHFB members craft the policy that guides the organization. The House of Delegates also voted to reelect the current slate of officers as follows: Denis Ward of Monroe – President, Joyce Brady of Columbia – 1st Vice President, Matt Scruton – 2nd Vice President, Thomas McElroy – 2nd Vice President, Howard Pearl – Treasurer, Ruth Scruton – Associated Women of NHFB President, Alicia Pedemonti – Young Farmer Committee Chair.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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