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
Foreign agricultural workers can apply for H-2A Visas which allow them to work seasonally in the United States on farms and other agricultural operations. Many farmers in New Hampshire count on this H-2A labor to fill seasonal positions on their farms. In the past few years, employers here in New Hampshire and across the country have had to deal with costly delays in the process of getting these laborers to their farms on time. As frustrating as the process is, the alternative could mean having no workers at all
An old menu from the Marshall’s restaurant at the Stone Porch Lodge and Poultry Farm in Boscawen. The farm hosted summer boarders and featured the restaurant as part of what would now be called agritourism.
Since a New Hampshire Supreme Court Ruling last summer saying that agritourism is not defined as agriculture in the current RSA (RSA 21:34-a), New Hampshire Farm Bureau members and staff have been working closely with political leaders in both the New Hampshire Senate and House of Representatives to come up with legislation to clarify the RSA regarding agriculture here in New Hampshire and to unambiguously lay out the connection between agritourism and agriculture, keeping in mind the rights of towns and their planners to have local controls.
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.
Coos County Farm Bureau President, Joyce Brady, explains the rules of the obstacle course to competitors at the 2015 NHFBF Young Farmer Summer Games.
Participants watch and wait for their turn at the skillet toss, one of seven events at the 2015 NHFBF Young Farmer Summer Games
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.