Commissioner Jasper returns to the Monadnock Region for a discussion with local farmers

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“Community Conversation with Shawn Jasper, NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food” 

Presented by Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 5:30pm – 7:30pm Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH

KEENE, NH (5/21/18) —A double blow -- prolonged low milk prices coupled with local drought has brought tough times to New Hampshire dairies. HR 1233 voted in last week by the NH Senate, preempts the use of fertilizers and seeds locally; bad news for organic farmers and others. 

The House of Representatives is developing and considering amendments to the 2018 Farm Bill including: eliminating the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, cutting funding for new farmer programs, eliminating the Conservation Stewardship program, and making major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which will affect our nation’s hungry and food insecure families. 

Join the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC) in a discussion with Shawn Jasper, NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food, unpacking the issues affecting different types of farming businesses, and how state and federal policy can help to ensure a robust and sustainable future for farmers.

“We are in a pivotal time in the history of farming in New Hampshire. Dairy farms are struggling, some farmers are working second jobs to make ends meet, new farmers look to government-funded farming programs to help get them started, ” says Roe-Ann Tasoulas, Director of MFCC. “Commissioner Jasper is in a unique position to advocate for policy supportive of local farming, as are our State Representatives. We welcome the opportunity for farmers, elected officials, stakeholders and the Commissioner to come together to enjoy an evening of discussion, connection, and great local food.”

Commissioner Jasper grew up on his grandparent’s business, Jasper Poultry Farm and operated the farm from 1979-1983. Jasper previously served 12 terms in the House of Reps and had been Speaker of the House from 2014-17. 

Last month, the Cheshire County Farm Bureau hosted Commissioner Jasper. MFCC is bringing back Jasper to the area to hear more about his solutions to current issues affecting local and regional farmers, and to field questions from a panel of area farmers. 

A locally sourced, FREE dinner will be served compliments of Lucas Mediterranean Café and the Monadnock Food Coop. A community discussion/Q & A will follow dinner. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

Please RSVP! Email coordinator@mfccoalition.orgor online at http://www.mfcommunitycoalition.org

Cabot Creamery Joins Presenters at Farm Marketing Workshops

Cabot Creamery's NE Marketing & Community Relations Manager, Chris Pierson, joins other workshop presenters at next month's "Farm Marketing Workshops" forum, Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 9am - 12pm at Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH. 

Pierson is a branding and marketing expert and has worked with farm entrepreneurs throughout NE to help "tell their story" to customers. Pierson will be joined by Rose Gomez, Cabot Creamery's Marketing Manager Integrator. Together, they will offer tips and insight into successful marketing strategies. 

Workshop schedule:
8:30am                Registration and Reception

9am - 9:50am     "Marketing Your Farm Products", Chris Pierson, NE Marketing & Community Relations Manager, Cabot Creamery; Rose Gomez, Marketing Manager Integrator, Cabot Creamery

10am - 10:50am   "On-Farm Event Marketing", Nancy LaRowe, Valley Food & Farm Director, Vital Communities

11am - 11:50am      "Social Media: Best Practices", Jen Risley, Monadnock Buy Local

12pm                      Lunch provided by Lucas Mediterranean Cafe and the Monadnock Food Coop

*Snow date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

REGISTER NOW!  

 

Cabot Creamery Offers Marketing Workshop for Farmers

Cabot Creamery's NE Marketing & Community Relations Manager, Chris Pierson, joins other workshop presenters at next month's "Farm Marketing Workshops" forum, Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 9am - 12pm at Stonewall Farm, Keene, NH. 

Pierson is a branding and marketing expert and has worked with farm entrepreneurs throughout NE to help "tell their story" to customers. Pierson will be joined by Rose Gomez, Cabot Creamery's Marketing Manager Integrator. Together, they will offer tips and insight into successful marketing strategies. 

Workshop schedule:
8:30am                Registration and Reception

9am - 9:50am     "Marketing Your Farm Products", Chris Pierson, NE Marketing & Community Relations Manager, Cabot Creamery; Rose Gomez, Marketing Manager Integrator, Cabot Creamery

10am - 10:50am   "On-Farm Event Marketing", Nancy LaRowe, Valley Food & Farm Director, Vital Communities

11am - 11:50am      "Social Media: Best Practices", Jen Risley, Monadnock Buy Local

12pm                      Lunch provided by Lucas Mediterranean Cafe and the Monadnock Food Coop

*Snow date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

REGISTER NOW!  

 

Funds available for Monadnock Farmers!

The Cheshire County Conservation District is now accepting applications for the 2018 Farm Fund Grant cycle! There is $15,000 available for farmers looking to grown their production. 

Funds can be used for a range of needs including, but not limited to, the purchase of equipment or infrastructure, packaging and labeling, design needs, and technical assistance. 

Eligible applicants include farms in Cheshire County and abutting NH towns who would like to develop or expand their production for wholesale markets, including the Monadnock Food Coop or Monadnock Menus.

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2018. APPLY TODAY! 

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Meet a Real Life Babe at the 2017 Monadnock Farm Tour!

2017 Monadnock Farm Tour
Saturday, August 26, 2017, 2pm - 6pm
Farms throughout the Monadnock Region

Trained pigs, scavenger hunts for children, border collie sheepherding demonstrations and an antique tractor show, as well as other activities, are sure to entice both young and old to local farms throughout the region during the 2017 Monadnock Farm Tour, Saturday, August 26, 2017, 2pm – 6pm.  

Farmers are opening their barns, coops, hoop houses, and pastures to foster a better understanding of their day-to-day lives working to bring food to our tables, thanks in part to a grant from the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food. Organized by the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC) and Monadnock Travel Council, the goal of the Farm Tour is to provide rich experiences that are educational and fun for consumers while infusing much needed income into the pockets of local farmers.

“We live in a very rich, diverse, and somewhat undiscovered agricultural region in New England”, according to Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MFCC director. “You can spend the weekend at a farm stay and enjoy a home grown breakfast, go down the road for freshly made cheese, to pick berries, or enjoy a crafted beer. During the Tour, you can learn about cutting-edge growing technology or how to make cider. There is an abundance of opportunities to both buy fresh food and products, and to experience how they are grown and produced.”

The Monadnock Farm Tour offers an endless supply of activities for children to enjoy – egg collecting, make it & take it crafts, milking cows, visiting with miniature horses, goats, sheep, chickens, alpacas, and rescued draft horses, as well as numerous scavenger hunts. Connecting children with how food is grown nurtures an appreciation and respect that food is not indispensable and farms are vital to their future.

Cost for the Monadnock Farm Tour is $5/individual or $10/car. Buttons can be purchased at farms during Farm Tour hours only.  All proceeds go to pay for next year’s Monadnock Farm Tour.

TIPS:

·      Bring a cooler! You’ll be able to buy produce, eggs, cheese, meat and other farm products at most of the farms

·      Plan on visiting 3 to 4 farms, budgeting 1 hour for each

·      Please take time to use the hand sanitizer provided at each farm after petting an animal. Some farms may ask to disifect shoes to prevent farm-to-farm transmission of germs that might stick to shoes

·      Bring sunscreen, hats, bug dope, water and cash

RULES: No pets allowed, no visiting farms after hours, no entering farm homes.

Interactive map and downloadable brochure available at: www.mfcommunitycoalition.org/farmtour

MONADNOCK FARM AND COMMUNITY COALITION is a regional coalition of 73 member organizations who meet quarterly to cultivate community action and build collaborations supportive of a robust, sustainable local food system throughout the Monadnock Region. Learn more at www.mfcommunitycoalition.org

THE MONADNOCK TRAVEL COUNCIL was founded in 1990 to provide a comprehensive travel promotion program for the Monadnock Region tourism related businesses. The travel council provides a forum for communication in the Monadnock Region and to represent the region to other regions in New Hampshire, statewide, nationally and internationally. www.monadnocktravel.com

 

NH Senate approves NH Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund

Last week, NH State Senate passed a bill allocating $2 million in funding to NH dairy producers hurt by last year's drought and consistently low milk prices. This is great news for our local producers even though it is $1.5 million less in aid than the Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund board initially hoped to see. 

The House hasn't taken up the measure yet.