Tag Archives: NH agriculture

New Hampshire Farm Bureau Celebrates 103rd Annual Meeting. Policy, Officers, and Awards Announced.

New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation (NHFB) held its 103rd Annual Meeting on November 15th and 16th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lebanon, NH. As part of the multi-day event hosted by Grafton County Farm Bureau, attendees toured local agricultural operations Tullando Dairy Farm in Orford and Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon. “It’s inspiring to see the diversity of agriculture around the state,” said NHFB President Denis Ward. “Our members enjoyed learning about the robotic milking machines at Tullando Farm and the hard cider operation at Poverty Lane Orchards.” Workshops, speakers, and competitions covering production techniques, advocacy, and the future of agriculture took place throughout the day in support of the theme “Reflection, Innovation, and Diversification.”

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 16th to adopt nearly forty new policies on issues such as dairy production, climate change, and UNH Cooperative Extension. Those policies, along with established NHFB positions, will guide NHFB’s work in the coming year. The House of Delegates is also tasked with electing a slate of officers each year. The elected slate of officers for 2020 is as follows: President – Denis Ward of Monroe, 1st Vice President – Joyce Brady of Columbia, 2nd Vice President – Tom McElroy of Newton, 2nd Vice President – Leandra Pritchard of Pembroke, and Treasurer – Howard Pearl of Loudon.

  • NHFB members visit Tullando Farm in Orford for a tour provided by Nate Tullar (right) during the 103rd NHFB Annual Meeting.

The Annual Meeting Banquet, held the evening of November 15th, recognized outstanding achievements and contributions to agriculture from NHFB members. The following is a list of awards given out that evening:

Scott Mason, 2019 NHFB President’s Award winner.

NHFB President’s Award

NHFB President Denis Ward recognized the 2019 NHFB President’s Award winner Scott Mason of North Stratford at the 103rd Annual Meeting of New Hampshire Farm Bureau. Scott has been actively involved at every level of Farm Bureau with a focus on policy and advocacy. Through serving on the state Policy Development Committee and testifying on agricultural issues at the New Hampshire State House, Scott has contributed to the success of numerous NHFB initiatives. Scott also represented the northeast this year as part of the American Farm Bureau Federation Federal Milk Marketing Order Work Group. The President’s award is handed out annually to acknowledge an individual for their outstanding service to New Hampshire Farm Bureau.

2019 NHFB Kenneth R. Marshall Memorial Award winner Dr. Christina Murdock, DVM (right) receives her award from NHFB Executive Director Diane Clary.

Kenneth R. Marshall
Memorial Award

The Kenneth R. Marshall Memorial Award was created in honor of long time Farm Bureau member and employee Ken Marshall to recognize current Farm Bureau members who exemplify not only dedication and service to the agricultural community, but those who do it with kindness, generosity, and selflessness. This year’s recipient is Dr. Christina Murdock, DVM of Dunbarton. Dr. Murdock operates a mobile large animal veterinary practice that serves farmers across the state. She has shown a dedication to NHFB through her work serving on the NHFB Young Farmer Committee, at the county level through her annual Merrimack County Farm Bureau Veterinary Clinic providing affordable animal vaccinations, and to her greater community through volunteering and mentorship of FFA and Alvirne High School students.

2019 NHFB Young Farmer Animal Husbandry Award winner Peter Glines is presented his award by Dr. Christina Murdock.

Young Farmer Animal Husbandry Award

Peter Glines of Sloping Acres Farm in Canterbury, NH is the recipient of this year’s NHFB Young Farmer Animal Husbandry Award. Peter operates the farm along with his brother. They milk 140 cows, producing a rolling herd average of 23,500 pounds, and raise an additional 110 head of replacement  calves/heifers. The farm also grows 110 acres of corn for silage along with 60 acres of corn for snaplage and 160 acres of hay crops that they use for their own feed.

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.

Also nominated this year was Erik Fredrickson of Top of the Hill Farm in Wolfeboro.

Young Farmer Discussion Meet

Caroline Crouch of Loudon, NH was named the winner of the 2019 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.

  • Caroline Crouch of Loudon (right) is presented with her award for winning the 2019 NHFB Young Farmer Discussion Meet by NHFB Young Farmer Committee Co-Chair Amelia Aznive.

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.

Caroline will go on to represent New Hampshire at the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet competition in Austin, Texas this January.

Ammy Rice of Milford, Joe Garcia of Strafford and Olivia Pittman of Deerfield also participated in this year’s competition.

2019 NHFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award winner Nicole Glines accepts her award from State Representative Barbara Comtois.

Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award

The 2019 NHFB Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award was given to Nicole Glines of Canterbury, 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.

Nicole grew up in Milton, NH and her first agricultural passion was in equestrian sports, where she competed and gave riding lessons. After being introduced to dairy cattle at the University of New Hampshire, she changed course and eventually completed a master’s degree in Dairy Nutrition. She went on to be the herd manager for the UNH Organic Dairy Farm and currently works as a dairy nutrition and forage consultant for Agri-King Nutrition. Nicole has also served as Vice-Chair of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee.

Nicole will move on to compete with other Excellence in Agriculture Award winners from across the country at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas.

A panel of judges consisting of State Representative and Barbara Comtois, NHFB President Denis Ward, and John Scarponi from American National Insurance selected Nicole from among four nominees. Also nominated for the award were Ammy Rice of Milford, Morgan Mewkill of Chichester, and Zachary Mason of North Stratford.

2019 NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award winners Jay & Leandra Pritchard accept their award from Grafton County Farm Bureau President Kristen May and State Representative Howard Pearl.

Young Farmer
Achievement Award

 This year’s NHFB Young Farmer Achievement Award winners are Jay & Leandra Pritchard of Pritchard Farms in Pembroke, 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.

Jay & Leandra Pritchard were nominated by Merrimack County Farm Bureau. They are first generation farmers who own and operate Pritchard Farms in Pembroke, NH. They raise dairy replacement heifers and own a beef herd and laying hens. They farm over 300 acres of corn and grassland. They love living the lifestyle of a family farm along with their two kids, Millie & Walt, and are very passionate about the agricultural industry. They are both active members on the Merrimack County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and have been active members of the Young Farmer Committee.

As part of the award, the Pritchards will receive the use of a new Kubota tractor for six months or 250 hours from Pinnacleview Equipment in Walpole. They will also move on to compete in the national Achievement Award competition at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin, Texas this January.

State Representative Howard Pearl, Cheshire County Farm Bureau President Beth Hodge of Hinsdale, and Farm Service Agency State Director Jeff Holmes of Langdon conducted the judging for this award.

2019 NHFB Profile Award winner John Hodsdon of Meredith accepts his award from past NHFB President Jeff Holmes.

Profile Award

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.

This year’s Profile Award winner is John Hodsdon of Meredith, NH. John grew up on the farm in Meredith that his family has owned since 1804, today known as Picnic Rock Farm. John had many responsibilities as a youth and kept up with his farm chores, but he also showed promise as an excellent student, especially in mathematics. His education took him all over the world, eventually earning a PhD in Biochemistry from University of California Berkley.

From the time he returned from out west in the late 70s until 2005 John operated the family farm growing vegetables, small fruit and Christmas trees. The farm also sold local products and baked goods he made on the premises himself. In 2008 John’s nephew Ward Bird took over operation of the farm to be the 7th generation to continue the tradition.

John has been a NH Farm Bureau member since the 1980s and served at both the county and state level receiving the President’s Award in 2006. He served as Belknap County Farm Bureau’s voting delegate to the NHFB House of Delegates Meeting every year from 1988 – 2017 as well as serving as the Chairman of their Policy Development Committee for many of those years. At the state level, John was a member of the State Policy Development Committee for most of his years as a Farm Bureau member and most notably contributed to the issues of water quality standards, Current Use Law, and GMO legislation.

In addition to Farm Bureau, John has also been active in the Belknap County Conservation District. Following in his father’s footsteps (John’s father Marshall founded BCCD), he became a Supervisor of the BCCD in 1982 and served as Chairman for over 32 years. More recently he stepped back to serve as Associate Supervisor. John became the BCCD representative on the North Country Resource Conservation & Development Council in 1980, which he continues to be today. In 2016 John represented the Hodsdon family as the National Association of Conservation Districts recognized the family for their “decades of commitment to conservation.”

New Hampshire Has Seat at the Table for Federal Milk Marketing Order Talks

American Farm Bureau Federation Federal  Milk Marketing Order Work Group Update

By Scott Mason, Coos County Farm Bureau

Scott Mason runs Northwinds Farm in North Stratford, N.H. and is one of three dairy farmer representatives from the Northeast region on the American Farm Bureau Federal Milk Marketing Order Work Group.

June is National Dairy Month and what better time to begin a discussion on amending the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO).  American Farm Bureau Federation has put together a work group to study the FMMO to suggest potential policy changes.  There are three dairy farmers from each of the four AFBF regions of the country serving on this committee.

The question before us: Do nothing, tinker with the system a bit, or build a new system of price discovery.

Currently less than 10% of milk solids are used to price all of the milk.  Most milk products do not qualify to be used in the pricing formula, especially the value-added products.  Is there a better price discovery system?  A no vote on an amendment to a FMMO does away with the federal order. Processors are calling for larger make allowances.  There are many dairymen calling for some type of a supply management system.  Are there too many classes of milk?  Has America become the balancing plant for the world’s milk supply?  European Union price is up and ours is down after they did away with supply management. We supply China with 14% of their dairy needs, but only 5% of their total dairy value. Do farmers and processors share price risk?

Members of the American Farm Bureau Federation Milk Marketing Order Work Group meet at AFBF headquarters in Washington, D.C. NH Farm Bureau member from Coos County Scott Mason, who runs Northwinds Farm in North Stratford is one of three dairy farmers representing the Northeast region. (Photo Credit: AFBF)

We will be meeting through conference calls throughout the summer to look at these issues and others impacting the Federal Orders.  The NHFB Dairy Committee will be meeting to discuss the issue of FMMO as well.  I plan to reach out to the other New England Dairy Committees for similar conversations.  You can follow our progress on the AFBF website: AFBF Federal Milk Marketing Order Reform OverviewLatest research from AFBF

The work group will get back together in September to write a white paper for the AFBF board and policy discussion.

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.

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Senator Shaheen Hears Farmers’ Concerns Amid Shutdown Fears

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.”

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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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NH Young Farmers Recognized with ‘Most Innovative Award’

  • 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.

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!”

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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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Young Farmers Raise and Donate 295 Pounds of Beef to NH Food Pantries

  • Thanks to everyone at The Local Butcher in Barnstead, NH for donating the full cost of processing and packaging 295 pounds of ground beef to be donated to NH Food Pantries!

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee donated 295 pounds of ground beef to several food pantries and soup kitchens across the state on Monday, May 16th. As part of the Harvest For All Campaign, a partnership with American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Program and Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, the Young Farmers annually organize the collection and donation of fresh produce from New Hampshire Farms to help fight hunger. Last year they collected and donated over 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to soup kitchens and food pantries across the state. Expanding on their traditional efforts, the Young Farmers decided to raise a beef cow as part of this year’s Harvest For All Campaign.

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Young Farmer Achievement Award Presented At Annual Meeting


John and Heather Fernald, along with their two children, are presented the Young Farmer Achievement Award by Dave Babson at the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Annual Meeting on Friday, November 13th.

CONCORD, NH – John T. and Heather Fernald, III of Nottingham were awarded the Young Farmer Achievement Award at New Hampshire Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting on Friday, November 13th. 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. Candidates for the Achievement Award must be involved in production agriculture with the majority of their income subject to normal production risk.

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Coos County Hosts 2015 Young Farmer Summer Games

  • Coos County Farm Bureau President, Joyce Brady, explains the rules of the obstacle course to competitors 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.

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The Buzz on Pollinators in New Hampshire

  • While some estimate New Hampshire to have up to 250 species of native bees, the honey bee is still the most widely utilized pollinator in agricultural production.

Although the honey bee is typically what comes to mind when thinking about pollinators, there are lots of native insects doing their part to produce our food as well. Bumble bees, carpenter bees, leaf cutter bees, and mason bees are just some of New Hampshire’s native bees. Distinct from social bees like the honey bee, carpenter and mason bees are two examples of solitary bees that don’t form colonies. Instead, they form individual nests utilizing wood or mud and water respectively. UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist George Hamilton works extensively with Hillsborough County growers. “They rely on [native pollinators] more than they even know.” Hamilton said. Specifically, Hamilton says, the squash bee is one of the, “unsung and unseen heroes” pollinating cucurbits like squash and pumpkins. UNH assistant professor and researcher Sandra Rehan estimates that there could be up to 250 bee species in New Hampshire. She and a team at the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at UNH are conducting research monitoring native bee populations and their habitat with hopes of informing farmers and policy makers with how best to promote health and productivity of native pollinators. There they have constructed a ‘Bee Hotel’ with different features to attract specific bees. You will also find butterflies, moths, beetles, and even flies pollinating crops here in New Hampshire.

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Sullivan County Farm Bureau Serves Dinner and Discussion on Key Issues with New Hampshire Legislators

  • Seth Wilner, UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist for Sullivan County, addresses the crowd at the Sullivan County Farm Bureau Legislative Dinner.

NEWPORT, NH – May 11th 2015 – Sullivan County Farm Bureau hosted a dinner at the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center (SRVRTC) in Newport on May, 11th inviting members from the New Hampshire House of Representatives Environment and Agriculture Committee and Sullivan County as their honorable guests. The event was an occasion for Sullivan County Farm Bureau to open a dialogue with their representatives and other state legislators to discuss the important role agriculture continues to play in the county and across the state. New Hampshire Farm Bureau President, Jeff Holmes, and NHFBF Staff were also present taking the opportunity to share concerns and positions on current and future legislation.

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Achievement Award Prize Arrives for Young Farmer


Adam Crete sits with his Young Farmer Achievement Award prize, a Kubota M110GX tractor, thanks to Pinnacleview Equipment of Walpole and Kubota.

Boscawen, NH – Last November Adam and Patricia Crete of Highway View Farm in Boscawen received the Young Farmer Achievement Award at the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation 99th annual meeting. In early April, Adam received a big reminder of just how much that honor means when a Kubota M110GX tractor arrived at the farm. Along with a prize from Poulin Grain and the opportunity to represent New Hampshire at the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego this past January, the Cretes received the use of the Kubota tractor for six months or 250 hours.

Since 1992, through a partnership with Kubota Tractor Corporation and Pinnacleview Equipment of Walpole, the Young Farmer Achievement Award recipient has been given the use of a tractor through the Kubota Young Farmer Program.  Kubota has a proud history of supporting Farm Bureau, at the state and federal level, and it’s Young Farmer Award.

Adam has been busy at the farm and is certainly getting use out of the tractor. He says this time of year calls for spreading manure, tilling under cover crops, and planting corn and that the use of the new tractor is helping on all accounts. He has been very pleased with the tractor’s versatility as he moves from the field to the yard saying, “The bucket is coming in handy”.

To be eligible for the Achievement Award, contestants must be between the ages of 18-35 and members in good standing with their county Farm Bureaus. They must be actively engaged in farming with a majority of their income coming from production agriculture.

Farmers Represent NH at National Convention


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