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Thu June 19, 2014
The State Of Farming In N.H.
New Hampshire’s farm legacy extends to the very beginning of our state’s history, when farmers from over-crowded areas in southern New England started to move north in search of more open land. While the soil in New Hampshire was not as fertile as they’d hoped, farmers did take root in the state and are still here. And while the country overall has seen a trend toward fewer, bigger farms, new data from show the reverse in New Hampshire and New England: over the past five years, the state’s number of farms has grown 5%, for a total 30% increase over the past decade. But while there may be more of them, their average size, as well as total earnings, have continued to decline. And while some new farmers are young, in general the state’s agriculture workers are aging, in line with the national trend.
- Lorraine Merrill – commissioner for New Hampshire’s Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food. Her family also owns a dairy operation in Stratham
- Ned Porter – has worked in farm policy for nearly 20 years. Currently assists the New England Farmers Union on issues related to the Farm Bill. He also served as Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture from 2001-2011.
- Janet Wilkinson – executive director of Northeast Organic Farming Association – New Hampshire
- Ryan Hvizda– beginning farmer in Boscawen. She and her husband started a full-time pastured meat operation in 2010, only to find that they had to take on other jobs to make ends meet. They are currently taking a year-long hiatus to work in real estate and collect capital for a new farming endeavor to begin a year from now.
- New England Farmer Union's most recent newsletter