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Tue October 22, 2013
NH Department Of Agriculture Celebrates 100 Years
The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Steve Taylor, who served as agriculture commissioner for 25 year before retiring in 2008, says the department's actually expanded its duties over the years.
And he says the small-scale local food movement is changing its role yet again.
"That means farmer's markets, farm stands, value-added kinds of agriculture, where there's a role for the department to help the producers do a better job of presenting and marketing their crops, informing consumers about the availability of the crops that are coming off of New Hampshire farms," he explains. "The department has really stepped up its work in that."
Recent statistics show New Hampshire is a leader among the states when it comes to the percentage of farms that market their food directly to consumers, via farm stands and pick your own.
State agriculture officials say they expect that to continue.
Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated the number of people working on New Hampshire farms. There are more than 4000 farms in New Hampshire according the most recent U..S Census of Agriculture.