New Hampshire Farm Women
Expect a warm welcome when you drive into the Haynes family Crazy H farmstead in Claremont, NH. There’s an enthusiastic greeting committee composed of Stella the pot-bellied pig and her wiggly brood, two happy Labrador retrievers, Zuzu, the Dachshund, and assorted terriers. In the surrounding barns and fields, many more delightful characters wait to make your acquaintance, but none more delightful than the young lady farmer of the Crazy H.
Sheila Fabrizio grew up happily immersed in the agricultural life. Her father worked for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, both parents ran the family’s Windy Ridge Orchard outside their career jobs, and all five Fabrizio kids were involved in 4-H. But it was her journey to a far-away country that made her realize she wanted to come home to the orchard life.
“I certainly didn’t go off to college thinking I would have a career in agriculture,” says Sheila. “Probably the seed was planted when I was a kid, but it was really when I was in the Peace Corps in Senegal that I realized this is where I wanted to be.”
This article is first in a series on women in agriculture, whether on a farm, at a desk, or both. It is in celebration of the Department of Agriculture, Markets, & Food Centenary year, 2013-2014
When Doris married Clifton Porter in 1946, the couple’s dream was to own their own farm. After renting Gile Farm, for about a year, the couple bought the farm, renamed it Cottage Hill Farm, and lived “in the hills behind Lebanon’s Riverside Restaurant where everything was uphill” for 35 years.
“I like living in the woods” says Donna Abair. “No one bothers me,” And, besides, my son has given me a calling here.” Son Raymond, when he was age seven, found the size of the …
Evandale Farm’s Ray Conner and Peter Dow are part of the growing small-scale, regenerative farming movement in New Hampshire and New England; part of a growing sect of first generation farmers who are rediscovering the challenges and rewards of running a small farm and business.
While Ray focuses on the production of organically-raised meats and produce, Pete is focused on generating on-farm energy in order to create closed-loop systems on their farm.
When Donald W. McLeod died in 1991, he left his seven acre apple orchard to his wife, Valerie, and two daughters, Kris and Becky. Valerie takes care of the books and works beside Kris everyday as together they share in the belief that they share in the stewardship of their family’s land. The in-laws and Becky work full-time off the farm, and although they still perform many vital farm tasks, it is on Kris and her mother’s shoulders that the majority of the hands-on farm work and management fall. And with the growth of the farm, Kris’s commitment to promoting the state’s agricultural activities has grown as well.