It’s the time of year when cows head back out to pastures of plenty and green fields across the state sprout the familiar signs of summer. Appropriately enough, it’s also time to celebrate June as National Dairy Month.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, National Dairy Month began as National Milk Month way back in 1937 in hopes of promoting milk consumption during a period of surplus. Over the years National Dairy Month has evolved to spotlight all of the dairy industry’s contributions to society. From nutritious and tasty food products to open space conservation and economic activity, the dairy industry has a positive impact on our lives in many ways.
In coordination with National Dairy Month, the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee is again accepting the 10 Gallon Challenge and wants you to follow along as they do. Visit their Facebook page all June long to see Young Farmers crisscross the state purchasing 10 gallons of milk to support the dairy industry and donating it to food pantries and soup kitchens to help fight food insecurity. Last year they completed the challenge in every county in NH and inspired even more people to join in (check out the recap video of last year’s challenge below). This year they hope to triple their donations!
In other dairy-related news, New Hampshire Farm Bureau will have a seat at the table for American Farm Bureau’s Federal Milk Marketing Order Working Group. Coos County dairy farmer Scott Mason will head to Washington, D.C. this month as one of three farmers representing the Northeast Region.
So get a moo-ve on and start celebrating National Dairy Month. Raise a glass of your favorite milk, add an extra slice of cheese to that burger, or just thank your local dairy farmer!
(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.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen speaks with dairy farmer Jamie Robertson, who along with his family, operates Contoocook Creamery in Hopkinton.
Concord, NH. – New Hampshire’s senior Senator heard from a dozen or so NH farmers and agricultural specialists last Friday at the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation (NHFB) office in Concord. Senator Jeanne Shaheen wanted to know how or if the partial government shutdown, now in its third week, is weighing on farmers in the Granite State.
“Right now we aren’t hearing from our members about many problems due to the shutdown, but that could change,” Said NHFB President Denis Ward. Hopkinton dairy farmer Jaime Robertson echoed those sentiments and cautioned, “A lot of it depends on how long this drags out.”
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.
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.”
Concord, NH – Across the country, county and state Farm Bureaus are making safety a priority through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As part of ASAP, March 4-10 has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week. U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers will join Farm Bureau in promoting the week with its theme “No One Can Take Your Place.”
A different safety focus will be highlighted by New Hampshire Farm Bureau and U.S. Ag Centers each day of the week:
Monday, March 5 – Hearing Tuesday, March 6 – Respiratory Wednesday, March 7 – Impaired Driving Thursday, March 8 – Fire Friday, March 9 – General Health
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.
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.
John Deere now offers complimentary John Deere Rewards upgrade (Platinum 2 status) to members of New Hampshire Farm Bureau – which unlocks the best loyalty rewards including valuable equipment discounts. Register today, and explore all that Rewards has to offer.
It’s easy to become a rewards member too! Just sign up for John Deere Rewards program using a valid member ID and zip code for membership verification, and receive Platinum 2 level benefits by visiting www.JohnDeere.com/FarmBureau!
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.