Agricultural Commissioners Workshop with NH Commissioner, Lorraine Merrill

"Policy Advocate Workshop"
Thursday, September 28, 2017
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Stonewall Farm, 242 Chesterfield Rd., Keene, NH

Sixty-two policy advocates joined NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food, Lorraine Merrill, Rockingham & SW regional planners, and Durham Ag commissioners for a workshop designed for ag commissioners but open to all who are interested in becoming an advocate for farms and local food.  

Commissioners and regional planners shared resources, ideas, programming. and tools for best practices in advocating locally and regionally for farming businesses. 


- Regular educational meetings in cooperation with Master Gardeners and UNH Cooperative Extension to promote home gardening
- Tabling & booths at local events
- Community gardens
- Signs at town gateways stating city supports agriculture
- Community kitchen studies
- Promote Harvest of the Month at retail venues and in schools
- Barn tax easement support (in Boscawen)
- FSMA policy interpretation and farmer advocacy
- Legislative support of laws to help small farm equipment dealers
- Economic development of agricultural sector
- Foster green space and pollinator habitats
- Support of local coalitions/groups to educate residents on benefits of agriculture
- FFA and 4-H groups
- Support Farmers Markets


- Doing site visits for requests of agriculturally-related exceptions and variances
- Helping represent part-time farmers at zoning and planning board meetings
- Input into Master Plan
- Assisting in the interpretation of the effect of town policies on agriculture

The evening ended with a heartfelt thank you to Commissioner Merrill for her years of service supporting NH farmers and farming enterprises by advocating for policies supportive of a robust, resilient, and equitable agricultural system in New Hampshire. 

2017 Feast on This! Film Festival

November 10-12, 2017

MFCC and the Monadnock Food Coop presented 12 films over 3 days which offered venues and the time necessary to educate, spark conversation, and strengthen the understanding of the impact of our local food system in our daily lives.  

More than 360 community members participated in important conversations including: innovative farming practices, the economic, physical and social benefits of locally-produced food, and the delicate issues surrounding farm transfer. The Monadnock Conservancy, Land For Good, Farmer Johns Plot and Community Garden Connections highlighted their work addressing these issues and how they work to help build a robust, sustainable local food system.  

We humbly thank our generous sponsors for their support!
Main Festival Sponsors: Belletete's, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Monadnock Food Coop, Healthy Monadnock
Film Sponsors: Savings Bank of Walpole, Yankee Farm Credit, WS Badger, Stonewall Farm
Film Producers: NBT Bank, Edward Jones/Allen Mendelssohn, Archway Farm, The Works Cafe, John E. Hoffman, Tasoulas Realty, and David Lavigne.
Anonymous gift

Can You Dig This 6:30pm at Antioch University New England
South Central LA. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The last thing you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape.

Can You Dig This follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners as they discover what happens when they put their hands in the soil. This is not a story of science and economics. It’s the story of the Human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to pick up their shovels and “plant some @#%!”.

11/11 Saturday – Hannah Grimes Center, The Hive, Open bar and locally sourced hors d'oeuvres
Real Food Films Shorts Popup Film Festival, 7pm – 9pm

*Ten, 4-minute films tackle the following themes:
Food Heroes
Innovative Farming FEATURING the work of Farmer John's Plot, Dublin, NH

11/12 Sunday – Stonewall Farm

The Last Crop
5:30 Locally sourced hors d’oeuvres
6pm Screening followed by discussion led by the Monadnock Conservancy
Every week, 330 farm families leave their farms. The Last Crop is an intimate exploration into the lives of small family farmers Jeff and Annie Main of California’s Central Valley. Inextricably woven within these organic pioneers’ story is their ten-year pursuit to ensure that a farm need not be imperiled at the end of every generation.

In the last year, NH lost 16% of its dairy farms. What is happening in the Monadnock Region? What are MFCC member organizations doing to address the issues involved with farm transfer and planning? Community discussion followed film. 

MFCC member organizations bring the festival to life by leading discussions on local efforts working to address issues identified in films.  

Feast on This! Film Festival website
Facebook: /Feast on This Film Festival
Twitter: #MFCCoalition

Sept 2016 - "Agricultural Policy and its Effect on Dairy Producers"

Sept 2016 - "Agricultural Policy and its Effect on Dairy Producers"

“New Hampshire has lost 16 percent of its dairy farms in the last months” according to a blog published by the Concord Monitor (Ag & Eats, 8/30/16).  Prolonged low milk prices coupled with the drought have made for tough times for many dairy farmers. Others struggle to survive amidst the competition with baby kale and heirloom tomatoes.

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