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.