NOFA-NH E-Newsletter: October 2021

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Dear Friend of NOFA-NH,

 

Earlier this week, Indigenous People’s Day was celebrated in parts of New Hampshire and our country, honoring the original inhabitants of this land, their histories and cultures. It is important to acknowledge and honor the people who for generations have stewarded N’dakinna, the traditional ancestral homeland of the Abenaki, Pennacook and Wabanaki Peoples past and present. Watch this talk on the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective’s YouTube channel to learn more about the Indigenous Peoples of New Hampshire. 

 

October is Farm to School Month and NOFA-NH, the NH Farm to School Network, and state legislators are introducing legislation in the state house that will strengthen the links between NH's farming community and the feeding and education of our children. You can learn more about the bill below. 

 

Our upcoming Winter Conference (held virtually from February 6-12, 2022) will underscore the importance of working together, and individually, to build a more resilient local food system right here in the Granite State. Please save the date to join in future conversations, or consider sharing your expertise by submitting a presentation proposal.

 

Thank you to our community for helping us close out our September Membership Drive month with 400 members! You can support our work any time by joining NOFA-NH, or make a tax-deductible contribution today. 

 

In Solidarity,    

Team NOFA-NH

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Seeking Presenters for NOFA-NH's Winter Conference 

Our 20th Annual Winter Conference will be held virtually, February 6-12, 2022. “Collaboration & Self-Reliance: Building a Stronger NH Food System” is the theme for this year’s conference, and workshops will broadly address this topic.

 

The goal of this conference is to educate and empower farmers, gardeners, and eaters to work collaboratively and individually to build a stronger NH food system. We are seeking speakers from diverse backgrounds to share their knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. 

 

Have an idea for a workshop? Submit a proposal by November 8th.

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It's Farm to School Month!

October is Farm to School Month! NOFA-NH is pleased to celebrate this important national and state program. It’s one that emerges out of a recognition that how we obtain food is a foundational skill and knowledge base that all our children deserve to learn. NOFA-NH is a partner of both the national Farm to School Network and the New Hampshire Farm to School Network. Follow the links to their respective websites for additional information.

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New Farm to School Legislation in the State House 

NOFA-NH is glad to be the forward-facing organization for the new Local Food for Local Schools bill, which Rep. Alexis Simpson and others will soon be introducing in the New Hampshire legislature.

 

To learn more about this excellent effort and its function, as well as Farm to School endeavors in New Hampshire in general, listen to the NH Food Alliance’s Farm to School Network Café from October 3rd. Nikki Kolb, NOFA-NH Operations Manager, describes the benefits this legislation could bring to New Hampshire students (as they enjoy increased access to healthy, fresh, locally-produced food and learn about how it’s grown and cooked), and to the farmers of NH as they provide more food for new markets in their own communities.

 

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Honoring Indigenous Peoples

There is much written about the misguided credit given to Christopher Columbus for “discovering America.” His fleet most likely landed first on one of the islands we now refer to as the Bahamas and subsequently on another voyage the island of Hispaniola, or now Haiti and Dominican Republic. It was there that he established a more permanent presence for the purposes of exploiting gold reserves found on the island.

 

So rather than celebrating the arrival of Columbus and his forces, there is a stronger movement to honor the people, the Taino as well as West Africans, who suffered due to the invasion of their lands, resulting in disease, disturbance of foodways and traditions, and ultimately death. One way we have become accustomed to honoring culture is to prepare traditional meals so as to keep hold of a past that is worthy of acknowledgement.

 

Here is a link to a recipe with a lengthy and interesting explanation of the geographic reach of the Taino culture.

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Changes to NH Organic Certification Services for Processors/Handlers and Livestock Operations 

The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food will no longer offer certification services to processors/handlers and livestock producers. Impacted farms and operations will be required to contract with a new certifier to maintain their certification. If your farm or operation is impacted by the changes and you need further assistance identifying a new certifier, please reach out. Get in touch with us here.

 

The situation is continuing to evolve, and we will update you as news unfolds. 

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Northeast Organic Dairies' Cancelled Contracts - An Update

At the end of August, Danone announced it would terminate contracts with eighty-nine Northeastern dairies who have been providing milk for its Horizon Organic milk brand. This would take effect by August 31, 2022, at the latest. Danone’s announcement continues to send shock waves throughout the regional food system. Read our initial eblast, which contains a collection of excellent articles providing some background to the events.

 

While Stonyfield Organic (owned by Lactalis, the largest dairy multinational in the world) has announced it will offer milk purchasing contracts to at least “a high single digit” number of the dairies dropped by Danone, organic dairies in the Northeast continue to struggle.

 

Responses are being developed to this situation and NOFA-NH is participating directly in some of these efforts. We will continue to bring you the news as it unfolds.

 

You (and your friends and family) can help by continuing to buy local and regionally-produced organic milk and by signing the following petitions:

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Greenlighting and Greenwashing CAFOs with Tax Dollars

Federal and state subsidies are enabling ever-larger, environmentally devastating, and inhumane Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to become increasingly “profitable.” This phenomenon, occurring in both the organic and conventional realms, is allowing such facilities to outcompete and displace responsible, small-scale dairies and meat producers. Such cruel CAFOs are threatening the very existence (let alone expansion!) of a flourishing and resilient regional food system here in the Northeast. The Danone / Horizon milk contract cancellations are direct expressions of this phenomenon. 

 

Some of these misallocations of public funds are now being touted as climate-friendly, even though such claims are dubious. Tax breaks and the financialization of CAFO pollution, through publicly supported biogas production for off-site sale, and Carbon Offset Markets (markets that generate speculative, private profits) are accelerating industrialized agriculture’s ability to dominate markets. Furthermore, this is happening at the expense of rural communities and to the detriment of urban, often BIPOC, communities living next to the polluting industries that buy the carbon offsets. 

 

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Drought Impacts Bee Communities 

Which affects bee communities more? Habitat loss and fragmentation or climate change? A recent study found that drought has a greater impact than habitat fragmentation on the community composition of wild, native bees. While both affected the bee communities in this study, drought had three times more impact on community composition.  

 

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Why Isn’t the US Supporting Europe’s Efforts to Expand Organic Production?

As the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference (COP26) conference in Glasgow approaches, October 31 – November 12, an unsettling article in Civil Eats details the USDA’s recent efforts to derail the European Union’s plan for a transition to truly climate positive, regenerative, organic food production in Europe. 

 

Read More 

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North Country Farming Podcast Discussion

This year, UNH Extension Specialists interviewed six NH farmers to understand what it takes to succeed as a farmer in the North Country. The five interviews are featured as individual episodes of the North Country Fruit & Vegetable Farmer podcast, and there will be live panel discussions on Zoom from October 20th to 28th. Topics include: beekeeping, on-farm alternative energy, mushrooms, alternative berry crops, and building a farm.

 

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New Mutual Bank Funds Local Food & Agriculture 

A new type of bank is coming to Concord: Walden Mutual, a bank focused on supporting local, sustainable food and agriculture. CEO Charley Cummings previously established Walden Local, which distributes sustainable, locally raised me in New England and New York. It was there that he saw a need for an institution actively participating in the local food movement and investing in building a more sustainable food system.

 

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Dignity Tour: Migrant Justice Shares Successes in October

Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based group organizing for economic justice and human rights, particularly in the dairy industry, is traveling around New England through October 24th to share the success of the Milk With Dignity program. The group also continues its call on Hannaford to join the Milk with Dignity program and take responsibility for the rights and well-being of the farmworkers behind Hannaford-brand milk.

 

Click here to find an event near you or join the virtual presentation on October 22nd.

 

Read Migrant Justice’s Year 3 Report Update here.

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Job Opportunities

Farm Manager, Organization for Refugee & Immigrant Success (ORIS) & Fresh Start Farms 

 

Executive Director, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) 

 

Communications Coordinator, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) 

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Opportunities for Farmers

Free NH Specialty Crop Producers Business Planning Course — Offered through the Cheshire County Conservation District

 

USDA Micro Farm Insurance Policy Option – For producers with small farms who sell locally

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Microgrant for Queer Farmers: Applications Due October 27

LGBTQ+ farmers in the Northeast are encouraged to apply for the Northeast Queer Farmer Wellness Microgrant. Distributed in amounts of $100, $250, or $500, these funds can be used to support queer farmers in their mental health and wellness needs (broadly defined). Funds can be used however may support you right now including - but not limited to - therapy, childcare, a massage, compensating you for unpaid organizing work you already do, attending community events, etc.

 

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If you would rather apply over the phone, please call Bo Dennis at (617) 529-4904. Please direct any questions about this program to bdennis@mofga.org.

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Other Grant Opportunities

Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Program — For commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique.

 

USDA Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program — Accepting applications starting in October.  

 

Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Grant — For producers Underserved by Crop Insurance Grants.

 

NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food’s Agricultural Promotion Mini-Grant Program — Grants for promotional efforts designed to increase the demand for NH agricultural products in existing markets and to identify new markets and build product demand. Deadline to apply is February 22, 2022. 

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Join Our Policy Committee!

Our Policy Committee advocates and lobbies for laws, legal action and policies that promote the overall mission of NOFA-NH. The Committee works together with local, state and national organizations and governments to carry out its work.

 

We invite passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to join the Policy Committee or any of our seven other volunteer Board Committees. (Note: You do not have to be a Board Member to join.) Prospective members are welcome to attend a meeting. Contact us for more information!

 

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Meet Our Members: Introducing Sarah Gilliatt & Main Street Cheese

NOFA-NH's knowledgeable and passionate members make our organization great. That's why we offer our members with farms and farm-related businesses eligibility to be featured in the 'Meet Our Members' e-news column. Each month, we make our community a little closer by introducing you to someone new. Please contact us if you'd like to be featured!

 

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Welcome New & Renewing Members

   

Thank you to our NOFA-NH Members who became new members or renewed their memberships in September 2021.

   

New Members:

Diane Brown, Susan Felker-MartinFound Well Farm, Good Local Food, Scott Harris, Mink Meadow Farm, Mulberry Tree Farm, Melinda Nordell, Stone Wall Farm, Somebody's Homestead, Thunder Ridge Ranch, LLC, Wildwoods Maple Farm

 

Renewing Members:

Andrew Charbonneau, Elior Acres, Dara Gall, Good Earth FarmGrounding Stone Farm, Karl Johnson, Susan Reeder Moss, Rosaly's Garden, Jean Stimmell, Sequoia Sugar Maple Farm, Swampy Acres Farm, Terra Basics, The Awakenings Craft, LLC, Peggy Ueda

Classifieds

Wilton Farm Seeks Experienced Biodynamic Vegetable Grower (Wilton)

​The Temple-Wilton Community Farm, Wilton NH, seeks an experienced biodynamic vegetable grower to work cooperatively with the dairy farmer and the farm's Board. Starting date is negotiable. Send a letter of interest and a resumé or description of your farming experience (especially your biodynamic experience) to Brian Drayton, at drayton.be@gmail.com.

 

Micro-Dairy & Cheese Making Supplies & Equipment Online Auction Closes 10/27/21

Micro-Dairy & Cheese Making Supplies & Equipment Online Auction Closes 10/27/21 @ 10AM. Pasteurizers; Pipeline Washers; Heat Exchangers; Asst. Valves, Pumps & Motors; Temp-Control Units, Milking Equip., Lab. Equip. & MORE! Bob White Systems (By Order of the Bankruptcy Court) 461 Waterman Rd, South Royalton, VT. THCAuction.com 800-634-7653 (NH Lic.#3058)

NOFA-NH Members may post 1 free Classified per month on our Classifieds page and in this newsletter. Not yet members may post a Classified in the e-news and on our website for $45 per Classified per month. To inquire about this program and to share your Classified with our community, please contact info@nofanh.org.

 

Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in these classifieds are those of our members and sponsors, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NOFA-NH, its staff, or Board of Directors. We reserve the right to reject content deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for our readership and distribution.

NOFA-NH's Winter Conference Book Store

Hosted by Main Street Book Ends

MainStreet BookEnds of Warner is a family owned, independent bookstore serving NH since 1998. They share a strong commitment to community, local farmers, children, teachers, local artists and authors, and all who enjoy reading the printed word. MainStreet BookEnds is proud to once again be the bookseller for NOFA-NH’s Winter Conference.

 

Books by conference presenters and others are available through our Winter Conference Book List! When placing a book order, be sure to write "NOFA-NH" in the comments. As always, 20% of proceeds from book sales go back to support NOFA-NH throughout 2021!

Shop Now

Upcoming Events

October 20: North Country Farming Podcast Discussion: Beekeeping (UNH Extension)

 

October 21: North Country Farming Podcast Discussion: On-Farm Alternative Energy (UNH Extension)

 

October 22: Dignity Tour, Virtual Presentation (Migrant Justice) / Register

 

October 26: North Country Farming Podcast Discussion: A Journey to Build a Farm (UNH Extension)

 

October 27: North Country Farming Podcast Discussion: Alternative Berry Crops (UNH

Extension)

 

October 28: North Country Farming Podcast Discussion: Mushrooms! (UNH Extension)

 

November 1 & 8: 13th Annual NH Direct Marketing Conference (UNH Extension, NH Dept. of Ag)

 

November 2 & 4: Introduction to NH Soils (Merrimack County Conservation District)

 

December 7: NOFA-NH Volunteer Meeting

 

February 6-12: NOFA-NH's 20th Annual Winter Conference

Thank You, Sponsors!

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