Speakers & Workshops

Join us from Sunday, February 6 to Saturday, February 12, 2022 for NOFA-NH's 20th Annual Winter Conference focused on Collaboration & Self-Reliance: Building a Stronger NH Food System.
 

Keynote

Collaboration and Interdependence = Self-Reliance

Too often self-reliance is thought of as a solitary effort to protect “self”. But the truth is without collaboration and recognizing our interdependence our self reliance is virtually impossible. We’ll explore what effectively work together without fear of losing ourselves, our identity, and our uniqueness can look like in order to not only build a stronger food system but a stronger social fabric that holds and nurtures all of us together.

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Niaz Dorry

National Family Farm Coalition & North American Marine Alliance

Niaz has been a community organizer for over 30 years. In 1994 she began organizing fishing communities and immediately recognized the similarities between family farmers and community-based fishermen, each fighting to fix the broken sea- and land-based food system.

She’s been the coordinating director of the North American Marine Alliance since 2008, which led to NAMA joining the National Family Farm Coalition as its first non-farming member. The two organizations entered into an innovative shared leadership model in 2018, putting Niaz in the role of leading the work of both organizations and further cementing the relationship between land and sea.

Abenaki Seeds Project: Cultivating Native American Food Security

Hanna Flanders, Kearsarge Food Hub

Sherry Gould, Abenaki Trails Project

In 2021, Abenaki Trails Project partnered with Kearsarge food Hub to facilitate the Abenaki Seeds Project in the Kearsarge Area, connecting heritage seeds with local growers to produce food for the Abenaki Food Pantry. We will share an overview, lessons learned, and looking ahead at continuing this initiative!

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Hanna Flanders is a cofounder of the Kearsarge Food Hub and co-Director of Community Engagement. Her role in the food hub is to help the community connect with the local food system through communications, outreach, and dynamic storytelling. She is most interested in building a resilient community based in equitable food access and meaningful connection for all neighbors!

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Sherry Gould, MSHS, Tribal Genealogist enrolled in the Nulhegan Abenaki Band. Sherry lives in Warner and is Co-Founder of Abenaki Trails Project. She was appointed Genealogist by the NH Society of Genealogists to the NH Commission on Native American Affairs. Sherry provides consultation and lecture services on Abenaki culture.

Agroforestry: What it is and how it can revolutionize your life.

Erik Lehtinen, University of Missouri

Agroforestry is a practice that has been utilized for millennia by indigenous peoples worldwide, yet it remains a mysterious to commercial and hobby growers in the developed world.  Discover not only what Agroforestry is but how you can protect the environment, diversify your production and contribute to reducing climate change with a few adjustments to your current practices.

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Erik Lehtinen has been a volunteer environmental educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension's Agroforestry Center in Acra, NY. He currently lives in Coös County and is a graduate student at the University of Missouri working on an advanced degree in Agroforestry. He loves helping the public learn new ways to make their lives easier, protect wildlife, discover new routes to revenue and work to improve global health.

All About Bees

Janice Mercieri, White Mountain Apiary

Do you want to add a bee colony to your farm or garden to increase pollination? This presentation will explain what it takes to do it successfully.

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Janice Mercieri is the owner of White Mountain Apiary in Whitefield/Littleton, NH and NH Beekeeper of the Year.  She has kept bees for 11 years and has been educating others in the art of beekeeping for over 8 years. She enjoys growing bee colonies and queens for others as well as supplying bee equipment.

Co-Creating an Equitable Regional Food System that Benefits Us All, Northeast Food Security Panel #1

Thelma Gomez, Migrant Justice and the Milk with Dignity Program - Interpretation by Will Lambek

Elizabeth Henderson, Agricultural Justice Project & Disparity to Parity Project 

New Hampshire Queer Farmer Network 

Sarah Harpster, The Community Kitchen 

Rep. Alexis Simpson, Prime Sponsor, Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Bill - HB 1657

Nikki Kolb, NOFA-NH Staff (moderator)

How can the organic food movement, as one part of our diverse and intricate regional food web, become more equitable and inclusive? Panelists will highlight a range of food system equity issues, from farm and food worker justice to representation, hunger, and food security, and how we can better collaborate to build a food system that benefits all. 

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Migrant Justice is a grassroots organization founded and led by immigrant farmworkers. Over the last decade, Migrant Justice has been a powerful force transforming food systems to advance economic justice and farmworkers' human rights. Thelma Gómez is an immigrant mother, a former dairy worker and a spokesperson for Migrant Justice.

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Elizabeth Henderson farmed at Peacework Farm, Wayne County, NY, producing organically grown vegetables for one of the first CSAs. She co-chairs the NOFA-IC Policy Committee, represents NOFA on the Agricultural Justice Project and as delegate to IFOAM-OI. She serves as Honorary President of Urgenci, International CSA Network, and blogs at https://thepryingmantis.wordpress.com

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The NH Queer Farmer Network is growing and sustaining a community of queer-identified farmers. The network aims to cultivate a space wherein queer farmers can share resources, connect as a community, and provide a farming-centered, queer-inclusive space in the state. 

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Sarah Harpster is the Advocacy Coordinator and former Gleaner for The Community Kitchen in Keene. She has done academic work in environmental advocacy, ministry, and anthropology and volunteered in the Transition Town movement and congregation-based community organizing. She seeks to understand charitable food systems through a social justice lens.

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Alexis Simpson is the Executive Director of The Waysmeet Center in Durham, NH, and represents Exeter, Newfields, Newmarket, and Stratham in the State Legislature. For almost 15 years, she has lived in the Seacoast and supported the thriving local food system. 

Creating a Sustainable Food Economy for a More Resilient Community

April Jones, Pinehurst Farmers Market

April Jones founded the Pinehurst Farmers Market as a solution to food apartheid in her neighborhood, following the closing of two local grocery stores. She recognized the need to be involved in driving the change she wanted to see in her community, and she has established a market dedicated to food sovereignty, justice, and community action. This workshop is an opportunity to learn skills and strategies on the ways we can interconnect across different cultural, racial, political lines to create a more resilient and community-minded environment. 

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April Jones is the founder of the Pinehurst Farmers Market located in downtown Columbia, S.C., in the Pinehurst neighborhood. April advocates for her community as part of the food justice and food sovereignty movement. She is passionate about community, gardens, and farmer markets. She is a writer, photographer, blogger, YouTuber, recipe developer, book reviewer and more.

Farm to School Keeps Growing!

Stacey Purslow, NH Farm to School Program Coordinator

Jessica Munroe, Grow Nashua, Elementary Education Outreach Coordinator

Jameson Small, Fresh Start Farms Farm to School

Wendy Berkeley, Somersworth School District Farm to School Coordinator

Farm to school has taken root across the state. This session will feature a variety of ways farm to school is happening in communities and schools such as the robust composting program in Somersworth schools, the pizza project from Fresh Start Farms, connecting gardens and elementary educators in Nashua, and community building in the North Country. Be inspired and learn how to get involved.

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Stacey Purslow is the coordinator of the NH Farm to School program housed at the Sustainability Institute at the  University of New Hampshire.  She also coordinates the NH School and Youth Garden Network and the NH Farm to School network.  She also participates in the NH Food Alliance Network Leadership Team as well as the Northeast Farm to School Collaborative.

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Wendy Berkeley has served as Somersworth Farm to School Coordinator since 2016.  She has connected goals of improving local food access and increasing school gardens to larger sustainability-oriented goals school and city-wide.   Wendy has two children in Somersworth schools, and serves on the city Sustainability Committee and district Wellness Committee.

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Jess Munroe - Following her passions for gardening, environmental stewardship, and curriculum development, Jess joined Grow Nashua's Growing Education team in 2020. She strives to create immersive, hands-on experiences for Nashua’s students, enjoys the challenge of teaching outdoors, and brings 20 years of elementary teaching experience to the school garden classroom.

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Jameson Small is the Program Director of Fresh Start Farms at ORIS. Since 2019, he has worked to deliver technical assistance to New American producers and other hard-to-reach beginning and small farmer producers / local food processors in NH. He led the creation of ORIS's Fresh Start Food Hub which operates an online CSA, a SNAP & FINI accessible Mobile Market and retail store, a Healthy Corners convenience store initiative and a Farm to School Project. Jameson has worked in NH's agricultural system for more than a decade and has served as Project Director on USDA-funded projects including CFP, Farm to School, LFPP, HFFI and BFRD.

Farming and Solar Power: Partners for Resiliency

Beth McGuinn, Revision Energy

Farmers understand that the impacts of climate change are here. Renewable energy is part of the answer.  Learn how you can use solar energy on your farm, and how farming and solar can be used together to modify farm microclimates (Agrivoltaics).

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Beth McGuinn is a past NOFA NH Board Member with a background in land management and land conservation.  She is now an employee owner at Revision Energy working with landowners interested in using solar energy to mitigate climate change.  She has a special interest in Agrivoltaics.

From Seed to Harvest: Optimizing Your Seed Investment

Paul Feenan, High Mowing Organic Seeds

Join your Regional Commercial Grower Representative from High Mowing Organic Seeds for a discussion that will help you achieve the best possible results from your seeds.  We will explore best storage options once the seed is received to preserve quality prior to planting. We will then discuss how to achieve successful germination and growth for vegetable crops. Special attention will be given to best practices and things to avoid for those crops that can often prove most challenging. The presenter will share successful methods, strategies, and tricks of the trade they have gained through first-hand experience and from growers throughout the country.

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Paul Feenan has spent thirty years in the field of diversified agriculture and the past twenty teaching others about food and farming. Paul joined the team at High Mowing in 2018 after leading the farm program at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in Richmond, VT for many years. Paul recognizes that farming has challenges and that organic producers must employ a complex and unique combination of resources, information, methods, and tools to accomplish sustainable food production. He is committed to his work at High Mowing, which pairs him with growers to find the right seeds for their operations. 

How Can New Hampshire Scale Up Food Production Quickly and Sustainably? Northeast Food Security Panel #2

Erin Hale, NH Food Alliance

Amber Lambke, Maine Grains

Luke Mahoney, Brookford Farm

Bill Wardwell, NOFA-NH Board Member (moderator)

With the effects of climate change, natural disasters and a continued loss of farms and farmlands in NH and New England in general, local food security is increasingly at risk. This panel discussion will focus on solutions that contribute to the sustainable production of the foods we consume in New Hampshire while protecting and regenerating the land for future generations.

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Amber Lambke is founder and CEO of Maine Grains, Inc., carried by specialty food stores and used by bakeries, breweries and chefs throughout the Northeast. She is also the founding director of the non-profit Maine Grain Alliance whose flagship event, the Kneading Conference, draws hundreds of attendees rom around the world each year and has spawned countless similar conferences. A driving force behind Maine’s sustainable foods movement, Amber has worked with local business leaders and community members to successfully bring the cultivation and processing of grains back to the northeast. Her efforts have generated a broader understanding and appreciation of the flavor, nutrition, economic and environmental value of freshly milled, organic grains.

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Erin Hale works with the NH Food Alliance, a statewide food system network coordinated by the UNH Sustainability Institute.  She is also part of the New England Feeding New England six-state collaborative and a Food Solutions New England Network Team member.  In addition to food systems work, Erin teaches in the Sustainability Dual Major program at UNH. She lives in Durham with her family, tending to her furry and feathery creatures and aspiring to grow her garden year-round. 

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Luke Mahoney owns Brookford Farm in Canterbury with his wife Catarina where he is the General Farm Manager. Located along the banks of the Merrimack River, Brookford Farm is a 600-acre diversified farm with 35+ acres in certified organic vegetable production. The farm is also home to cattle, hogs, lambs and chickens, all rotated on pasture as the seasons allow. Brookford Farm’s products are distributed to a 250+ member year-round CSA, restaurants, retail stores, home delivery and farmers markets. 

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Bill Wardwell is the owner and operator of a diverse new organic farm growing fruits, nuts, mushrooms, vegetables and herbs as well as raising chickens and ducks.  He is an advocate for locally grown food and improving regional food security.

How to Create a Self-sustaining Edible Perennial Garden

Dani Baker, The Enchanted Edible Forest and Cross Island Farms

Learn about the application of permaculture principles in a perennial food forest garden, with many examples illustrated with photos. Topics covered will include maximizing water conservation and solar collection, building in plant nutrient sources, managing pests and disease, minimizing human labor going forward and integrating aesthetic appeal. 

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Dani Baker is a self-taught gardener and farmer who has planted and tended an edible forest garden based on permaculture principles for the last ten years. Her book titled: The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape will be published by Chelsea Green in Spring 2022.

How to Eat Something from Your Garden Every Day of the Year

Henry Homeyer, Garden Writer & Columnist

Learn the best techniques for storing, freezing and dehydrating garden produce so that you can enjoy the garden long after you have put it to bed.

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Henry Homeyer is a lifetime organic gardener and has been a UNH Master Gardener for over 20 years. He is the author of 4 gardening books, and writes a weekly gardening column for 12 newspapers.

No-Till Permanent Raised Beds and Weed Management

Jennifer Wilhelm, Fat Peach Farm​

No-till permanent raised beds can be an effective solution to passive weed management in organic production systems. In this workshop I will discuss how to establish and maintain a no-till permanent raised bed system. I will also share lessons learned over the last seven years working in this system.

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Jennifer Wilhelm is a small-scale fruit and vegetable grower at Fat Peach Farm in Madbury, NH. She enjoys experimenting with different processes and management strategies to increase efficiency in organic production systems.

Resources for NH Food & Farm Business Success! 

Nancy LaRowe, Vital Communities

Charlene Andersen, NH Community Loan Fund

Shemariah Blum-Evitts, Land For Good

Andy Pressman, National Center for Appropriate Technology

Seth Wilner, UNH Extension

Farm and food businesses feed us, help keep our environment healthy, can mitigate climate change, and support our regional economy—so we need them to be viable, thriving businesses. Business technical assistance ensures they can succeed. Learn about the resources available to NH food and farm businesses for financial planning, goal setting, land access, production planning, marketing, record keeping, access to capital, business planning, stress and mental health resources, and more with a panel of NH Agricultural Viability Alliance partners.

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Nancy LaRowe works to support a thriving local economy and resilient food system. She has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 30 years, most recently running a pasture-based livestock farm.

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Charlene Andersen is the Farm Food Lender at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. In addition to assisting with access to capital she facilitates key skill strengthening opportunities to advance borrowers’ profitability, job creation, and sustainable business development.  She participates in numerous action-oriented food system initiatives, such as NH Food Alliance Leadership Team.

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Shemariah Blum-Evitts serves as Program Director at Land For Good, leading their education and advising services across the region. She holds a Masters in Regional Planning, previously directed a training and land access opportunity for new American farmers, and raises a family and pastured poultry in Deerfield, MA.

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Andy Pressman is the Northeast Director for NCAT. NCAT is dedicated to helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources.  NCAT’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program is a trusted and impactful source of information about sustainable and regenerative agriculture, healthy food, and local climate solutions.

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Seth Wilner has worked for UNH Cooperative Extension for 21 years.  His focus is on farm business management.  He enjoys helping farmers with goals, systems, legal topics and financial records and analysis.  Seth runs multiple grant projects and will share about opportunities available to farmers. 

Saving Seeds for Self Sustainability and Community

Hari Adhikari, Hari's Farm

Sylvain Bukasa, Sylvain's Farm

Saving seeds is key for community resilience and food security. It has many benefits—from cost effectiveness and quality control to helping preserve genetic diversity. In this workshop, New American farmers Hari and Sylvain of Concord and Dunbarton will share their process of seed saving from start to finish, talk about the tools they use, and provide specific examples using crops they grow. 

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Hari Adhikari carries on her family’s tradition of farming and seed saving—in her home country of Nepal, many people grew their own food, including her grandparents. She has been farming in the United States since 2014 and in New Hampshire, with ORIS, for three growing seasons. 

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Sylvain Bukasa came to the United States as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. He started working with ORIS in 2011, learning to grow food for himself. His production has since expanded, and now he sells his produce through the Fresh Start Farms Food Hub. One year when his amaranth went to seed and grew back the following season, he realized he could be saving seeds and hasn’t stopped since. 

Taking Back Organic

Dave Chapman, Real Organic Project

In the past year, much has happened with the organic movement. Real Organic Project has certified 850 farms across the country. At the same time Industrial Ag continues to colonize the organic label. Horizon dropped 89 pasture based family farms in Vermont, NH, NY, and Maine. Hydroponic continues to expand in fruit and vegetable production. If we don't organize, we will lose organic, causing great harm to farmers and eaters. Come learn what you can do to protect the movement that we have worked so hard to build.

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Dave Chapman is a longtime organic farmer from Vermont. A founding member of the Vermont Organic Farmers, he still runs Long Wind Farm. He served on the USDA Hydroponic Organic Task Force. He has organized a number of rallies to protest the erosion of integrity in the National Organic Program. He was a cofounder of Keep The Soil In Organic and the Real Organic Project, where he is currently co-director.

Tree Forages and Browse for Livestock Year-round: Continued Learning at 3 Streams Farm

Shana Hanson, 3 Streams Farm

Climate concerns encourage integration of tree and shrub forages to feed livestock. We will take a quick look at historic European leaf, bud, twig and bark use in winter, then cover tree-species specific harvest-timing and browse choices updated by new cow and goat observations, and practical processing and storage methods. We will also explore optimal feeding logistics for land and farmer benefit including in-herding, winter woodland rotations (livestock under pollards), plantation browsing, brush-to-biochar, and brush-to-fencing rotation of young perennials and/or annual crops. This jam-packed photo-illustrated presentation will reserve a 20-minute question/answer and discussion time to tap our pooled knowledge.

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Shana Hanson of 3 Streams Farm studies how to best feed livestock the tree- and browse-matter that they crave year-round, at her farm and farms of others. She gets vicarious pleasure (and exquisite goats’and cow’s milk) from their leaf-munching.

Update on Food Safety Rules for Small Producers & Co-ops

Roger Noonan, New England Farmers Union

Suzette Snow-Cobb, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

Compliance with FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) food safety regulations presents a new challenge for small-scale and exempt farmers, value added producers, and farmer co-ops involved in aggregation and distribution. Learn how to comply with the federal rules and where to find the resources, education and training to minimize cost to your business. Bring your questions about available trainings, how to access them in your area or anything else specific to your farm operation.

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Roger Noonan is Board President of the New England Farmers Union and a farmer of a diversified, organic farm in New Hampshire.

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Suzette Snow-Cobb is the Sourcing Coordinator for the Neighboring Food Co-op Association. She has been working to build our co-operative economy since the '80s particularly in the area of food co-ops and regional food production.

Why New Hampshire Needs Food Hubs, Food Coops, and More Organic Growers! Northeast Food Security Panel #3

Lauren Howard, Kearsarge Food Hub

Allan Reetz, Hanover Co-op Food Stores

Katelyn Porter, NH Food Hub Network & Waking Web Farm

Gene Jonas, Hungry Bear Farm

Amy Antonucci, Living Land Permaculture Homestead (moderator)

Join representatives from New Hampshire’s local, organic agricultural communities to consider the hopes and fears that are shaping new food systems here in the state. From the desire for more convivial, ecologically sound, and economically resilient ways of living, to threats from collapsing biodiversity, climate, and unjust, unreliable, and monopolized global food chains: how can these challenges propel effective action? Learn more about the benefits of specific social structures such as food hubs and member-owned food coops, as well as why localized organic growing (and purchasing) can synergize regenerative goals.

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Lauren Howard is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Kearsarge Food Hub (KFH), a 501c3 nonprofit organization centered in the Kearsarge area of New Hampshire which seeks to inspire and reinvigorate rural communities by promoting and supporting a restorative local food system. Lauren received her Bachelors degree of Arts & Science from McGill University in the field of Cognitive Science. She has also received a professional certificate in Food Hub Management from the University of Vermont and Nonprofit Accounting Professional certificate from Fiscal Management Associates. Lauren has always loved to cook and eat delicious food. She first discovered her love of gardening and farming through the founding of KFH, which has brought a new degree of passion and gratitude in her life. Since then, she has continued to learn about and develop a better understanding of the depths and complexities of humanity’s connection to the Earth and each other by way of the food we eat. Beyond cooking and gardening, Lauren’s favorite hobbies are reading, watching films, hiking in the woods, cross-country skiing, and paddling around with her dog Sable.

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Allan Reetz is the Director of Public and Government Affairs at the Hanover Co-op Food Stores and Auto Service Centers of New Hampshire and Vermont. His work includes local and national advocacy for sustainable small-scale agriculture, affordable workforce housing, and equitable options for community transportation. 

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Katelyn Porter co-owns and operates Waking Web Farm: a no-till, chemical-free, small-scale CSA-based farm in Milton Mills and works for the NH Food Alliance where she coordinates the NH Food Hub Network: a group dedicated to create efficiencies and opportunities for NH’s food hub efforts.

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Gene Jonas has been farming in the Monadnock region since 2009 and together with his wife Marilyn, own and operate Hungry Bear Farm. They grow a wide variety of produce to organic standards and sell mainly to their CSA members for most of the year.

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Amy Antonucci began growing food on a Seacoast NH organic farm in 1995. She later became a certified permaculture designer and transitioned to homesteading and teaching others at Living Land Permaculture Homestead in Barrington NH. She is Seacoast Permaculture's main organizer, has spoken at libraries, schools, garden clubs and the NOFA-NH winter conference.

You’re ready to form a business – everything you need to know

Amy Manzelli, BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC

Whether you’re a farmer, a producer, or perform any sort of service in the agricultural industry, forming a business can be an intimidating prospect. This workshop is designed to walk you through the process of writing an operating agreement, filing with the Secretary of State, and other important information so that you can protect your resources and your customers. We want to give you the tools to create and run your own small business with confidence.

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Amy Manzelli is an attorney and part owner of BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC, Amy practices environmental, conservation, and land law throughout New Hampshire. Based in Concord, Amy does both transactional work and appears at municipalities and municipal boards, state agencies, and courts, including arguing before the New Hampshire Supreme Court.