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NH Farm Bureau 102nd Annual Meeting Recap

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.

 

Bartletts Recognized with NHFB Profile Award

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.

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NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award Goes to Jeff Moore

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.

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Bruce & Rebecca Stevens Win NHFB Excellence in Agriculture Award

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.

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Glen Putnam Takes Home Animal Husbandry Award

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.

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Amelia Aznive Wins Young Farmer Discussion Meet

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.

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NHFB Holds 101st Annual Meeting

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.

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County Annual Meeting Season

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.

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Holmes Receives NHFB President’s Award

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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.

Farm Bureau Hands Out Prestigious Profile Award at Annual Meeting

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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 Wins Young Farmer Discussion Meet

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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.

Matarozzos Win Animal Husbandry Award

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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

Pedemonti Earns Young Farmer Excellence In Agriculture Award

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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.  

Hardys Take Home Young Farmer Achievement Award

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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.

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