Tag Archives: agriculture

NH Farm Bureau Members Featured on New HISTORY Series

(Left to Right) Si, Bram, Heather, Jamie, and Nate Robertson. The Robertsons own and operate Bohanan Farm & Contoocook Creamery in Hopkinton, NH. The family are featured in the new HISTORY series ‘The American Farm’ which debuts Thursday, April 4 at 10 PM. Photo courtesy of HISTORY/The American Farm

To be a successful farmer you have to be a jack of all trades. Some days you are an electrician, other days you may be a plumber, and sometimes –on a good day- you get to farm too! The Robertson family from Hopkinton, NH spent the last year adding yet another job title to that list: Television stars.

Jaime and Heather Robertson and their three sons Si, Nate, and Bram, who operate Bohanan Farm & Contoocook Creamery in Hopkinton, are one of five farms from across the country being featured on a new HISTORY series called ‘The American Farm’. HISTORY bills the show as, “an authentic portrait of the fight to go from seed to stalk, and from farm to fork. The series presents an up-close look at one full year of family farming.” A film crew spent most of last year documenting the lives of the Robertsons from the fields to the dinner table.

Considering what a small segment of the country is actually involved in production agriculture, the Robertsons are hoping ‘The American Farm’ will help educate the general public on what is really happening on family farms. Nate, the middle child who focuses on herd management, wants people to be more aware of the hard-work and care that goes into putting the steak on their plate or the cheese on their pizza. “I was so excited to tell people what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and why we think we’re doing it the right way,” he said.

The family was a bit surprised, according to Nate, when they found out they would be featured. After all, “Who would want to watch you do stupid stuff with your brothers?” he joked. While the day-to-day chores the Robertsons undertake may seem like ‘just working’ to them, it’s an unknown world for 98% of the population.

The show’s producers, Thom Beers, Jeff Conroy, and Sarah Bernard of BoBCat Studios, wanted to go deeper than just the hows and whats of farming to provide, “an honest tale of risk, reward, hard work, and innovation centered on the lives of five family farms across America,” according to the show’s website. This is something the Robertsons found evident in the dedication of the crew. “His [Thom’s] heart is really in it,” Nate said. “He’s conscious of the food system today and how things affect agriculture.”

To learn more about the show, click here. Be sure to tune in to HISTORY on Thursday, April 4th at 10:00 PM to catch the series premiere of ‘The American Farm’

NH Eat Local Month 2018

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!

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Agriculture and America’s Pastime

Over the previous three years, over seven million households, on average, have tuned in to watch the Major League Baseball All-Star game and Tuesday night’s game should be no exception. Marking the mid-way point of the season, the All-Star Game pits the best players from the American League versus their National League counterparts for bragging rights at the highest level of America’s pastime.

This year, the midsummer classic is being hosted at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., just a few miles away from the American Farm Bureau Federation headquarters. So, AFBF is swinging for the fences and placing an ad in the MLB All-Star Game Program.

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Dairy Farm Tour Workshop Prepares Farmers to Connect with Consumers

Sharing your story, connecting with the public, and educating new generations on the benefits of agriculture along with the quality of farmers' products and practices are key ways to strengthen the connection between producers and consumers. Why not accomplish all three and never leave your property?

In late March, Jessica Ziehm of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC), Laura Hardie of New England Dairy Promotion Board (NEDPB), and Emily Getty of Stonyfield led a farm tour workshop for dairy farmers and stakeholders at Stonewall Farm in Keene. The goal of the workshop was to prepare farmers with the tools and resources they need to host their own farm tours.

Farm Bureau members and staff were there to participate and document the event. You can read more about the workshop here, watch the recap video produced by NHFB below, and download useful resources for hosting your own farm tours at the bottom of this page.

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NHFB Young Farmers Receive $40,000 Grant from Hannaford Supermarkets

The New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmers received a $40,000 dollar grant from Hannaford Supermarkets for their Harvest for All program. (left to right) Theo Mongeau, Young Farmer Committee Chair Amy Matarozzo, Leandra Pritchard, Young Farmer Coordinator Josh Marshall, Madison Hardy, and Tyler Hardy accept the check at a presentation held at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis.

Concord, NH – Hannaford Supermarkets announced the donation of $40,000 dollars to the New Hampshire Farm Bureau (NHFB) Young Farmers Committee Harvest for All program on Monday, September 25th as well as donations to other groups and organizations in New England serving those at risk of going hungry. The donations, part of the Hannaford Helps initiative, were announced at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, where the NHFB Young Farmers were picking up farm fresh produce to deliver to the New Hampshire Food Bank.

Each year, as part of the Harvest for All program, the Young Farmers organize the collection and donation of healthful, nutritious, and locally raised produce and meat to food banks and soup kitchens across the state. In 2015 & 2016, the group transported over 13,000 pounds of food from NHFB member farms to the NH Food Bank and other local agencies. That dedication was noticed by Hannaford Supermarkets and their grant will help the project continue and expand.

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Understanding the Veterinary Feed Directive

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.
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Holding Politicians Accountable Through Policy and Persistence

_mg_1232The 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

Young Farmers’ Harvest for All Collects 7,855 Pounds From NH Farms for NH Food Banks

  • 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!

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.

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H-2A Labor Challenges

DSC_9533Foreign 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

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Celebrate National Ag Day!

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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.

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Farmers Represent NH at National Convention

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New Hampshire farmers can be assured they will be represented at the 96th American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention. Twelve members of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation (NHFBF) will be traveling to San Diego, California to take part in the nation’s largest farm organization’s conference this weekend, January 10 – 12. Continue reading

Concord Votes to Approve USDA Poultry Processor

crop_Dollarphotoclub_22720422Concord, N.H. – December 18, 2014 – The saga of the Fournier Foods major site plan application came to a conclusion last night as the Concord Planning Board moved to approve the proposal. Fournier Foods is planning on building a 5,500-square-foot USDA inspected facility that would enable New Hampshire’s poultry meat industry to grow. Continue reading

E&A Committee Deliberates – Four Bills Considered in Executive Session

DSC_0084There was much to be discussed during the New Hampshire House of Representatives Environment and Agriculture Committee executive session. The meeting was held for the legislative committee to make recommendations on whether the proposed legislation should proceed. On Tuesday, October 21, the Environment and Agriculture Committee reported on their research and findings on the following proposed legislation: Continue reading

More Permits and Paperwork for Farmers?

The EPA broadens jurisdiction with its proposed rule, “Waters of the U.S.” impacting farmers across the country and New Hampshire.
 Puddle on the field.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has carefully analyzed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s proposed rule, “Waters of the U.S.” and is concerned with the intention of the proposal. Simply put, the rule attempts to regulate virtually all water, including puddles, ponds and ditches, making farming more difficult. Continue reading

NH Women Break Statistical Records

Tracie Smith of Fitzwilliam is one of the 1,358 principal women operators in the Granite State.

Tracie Smith of Fitzwilliam is one of the 1,358 principal women farm operators in the Granite State.

A male dominated industry is typically how agriculture is perceived.  Men continue to be the main operators however, the newly released results of the USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service indicate some interesting findings when it comes to women.   Continue reading