Dairy Farmers Task Force to meet Tuesday

By on Oct 25, 2016 in Stories | 0 comments

The Dairy Farmers Task Force will meet for the first time this morning. House Speaker Shawn Jasper announced Friday that he and Senate President Chuck Morse are creating a joint task force to address the “devastating impact on New Hampshire dairy farmers” due to severe drought conditions. The Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund Board recommended in its recent report that the Legislature approve a one-time grant for $3.6 million to help dairy farmers across the state, plus further measures to prevent future challenges. In addition to the drought causing significant feed losses, milk producers have been struggling with low milk prices for the last two years. Numerous elected officials have called attention to the issue after state Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill said 19 of 120 dairies have stopped dairy operations since Jan. 1. Gov. Maggie Hassan proposed $2 million be...

Highland Riders Make a Difference

By on Oct 19, 2016 in Carole's Corner, Stories | 0 comments

How do you wean a calf? With love, compassion and hard work. In the Spring the Highland Riders 4-H hosted here at Miles Smith Farm decided to work with young calves for their 2016 project. Each day at least one member of the Highland Riders took the temperature of each of six calves, they checked body weight, checked for scours and recorded the data collected. The calves were regularly weighed and a note was made about how much each was eating. The 4Her’s learned to observe the calves and predict their behavior. It was hard work. They spent hours each week socializing, cleaning and collecting data. The Highland Riders got to show the fruits of their hard work where they were judged at the Deerfield Fair in October. They placed in almost every class and were courteous to the judge and other competitors. In their barn they helped each other and their neighbors. They worked hard,...

Joan O’Connor: Worm wrangler and local food facilitator

By on Feb 22, 2016 in Stories | 0 comments

As far as she knows, Joan O’Connor is the only worm wrangler in town. “How many worm farmers do you know in New Hampshire?” she asked Thursday. O’Connor, a 64-year-old Henniker resident and businesswoman behind “Joan’s Famous Composting Worms,” has been selling crawlers for two decades. It all began when she bought her first worms in 1992 at Shaker Village’s Herb Day after researching better ways to recycle food scraps during New England winters. “I was growing frustrated with the outdoor frozen compost piles,” O’Connor said. She was thrilled with the prospect of an indoor composting system, and went for it. Over the years, O’Connor has learned all the tricks. She explained as she poured out a bucket of worms, newspaper and dirt onto a plastic sheet in her living room Thursday. “You want them to be happy, fed and having sex,” O’Connor explained. She pointed out proof that this was the...