Meet Our Members | March 2020
Name and Occupation: John E. Carroll, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Conservation, University of New Hampshire
How long have you been a member of NOFA-NH? About 30 years or so
Why did you become a member of NOFA-NH? Deep academic interest in ecological agriculture; authorship of four books in local sustainable agriculture with emphasis on New England (particularly northern New England); attendance at MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair every year since the late 1980s; membership in the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association since the late 1980s; academic interest in the theory and practice of organic agriculture since the 1970s; teaching of the social aspects of organic agriculture at UNH since the early 1980s; prolific reader of and teacher of organic principles for a very long time; the personal influence of Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson on my life (I have known both personally); the natural movement of my strong nearly lifelong interests in ecology and nature into farming and agricultural sciences; a long-term interest in local food production in all forms.
How has NOFA-NH impacted your business? The principles of organic agriculture have had a very long-term and very profound influence on all of my ecological thinking and therefore all of my teaching in that area through many different courses, undergraduate and graduate, at UNH. It is the way I see the world and the way I experience the world. Thus, ecological and organic agriculture and the systems around them have had a profound influence on everything I research, everything I teach, and literally everything I do. It is in fact, the only way I experience the world. Additionally, I also had the honor of being NOFA-NH’s Winter Conference Keynote Speaker a few years back.
What’s your number one priority for NOFA-NH this year? My number one priority for NOFA this year is to continue the many and varied workshops that NOFA-NH hosts at the annual Winter Conference. These include practical and applied workshops and, as well, policy and philosophically-oriented workshops. I see this as the heart of your important educational effort - the more the better. And to offer such workshops at other venues through our state and in all seasons. The more New Hampshire people who can experience these workshops, the better. I would also like to see a major NOFA-NH effort in the direction of the critically important Green New Deal, a direction which merges ecological science, environmental conservation and science issues with farming, gardening and social justice. They are all one, and organizations like NOFA-NH have an important role to play. (In fact, the mixture of subjects exhibited in NOFA-NH’s annual Winter Conference works in this direction of pooling important and seemingly diverse topics, including "hands-on" and "minds-on," in the same way that MOFGA has always done at the annual Common Ground Country Fair (with, for example, its "political tent" and "social justice tent" standing next to its "farm animals tent" and its "fruit and vegetables tent." It's all one, and that's what the Green New Deal teaches. In fact, it is the lesson of the Green New Deal.
How could NOFA-NH better help your business grow? By maintaining a good relationship and as close a relationship as possible with UNH, and particularly with UNH's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (and more specifically with UNH's Department of Natural Resources and Environment and its new Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems).
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming a NOFA-NH member? Being a NOFA-NH member is a great way of serving your state of New Hampshire and making the Granite State be an even a better place to live - and on a healthy diet!
Does your business have any upcoming activities or events you would like to share with the NOFA-NH community? On upcoming activities at UNH: try to be aware of the wealth of UNH and particularly COLSA activities, in teaching, in research, and in public service, that relate to NOFA-NH's mission and interests. And look for ways to partner with UNH in more joint efforts, anywhere and everywhere across New Hampshire. And taking an interest in what's going on at the many UNH farms in Durham, Lee and Madbury, particularly those focused on organic research, teaching, and other activities, would be a good idea.
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