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Home » From the Commissioner

Jersey Breeders Convene in North Conway

New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (July 13, 2012)

The national convention of the American Jersey Cattle Association drew hundreds of Jersey breeders, youth, and associated dairy industry people to North Conway recently. Tours to farms and regional attractions spanned the three northern New England states.  The jam-packed schedule included educational seminars, business meetings and youth activities and competitions.

The week was capped by record-breaking prices at the 55th National Heifer Sale, with a highest-ever average selling-price of $4,684 on 44 heifers. Buttercrest Impress Satin-ET topped the sale at a record $27,100. Six other heifers brought $7,500 or higher. Much of the money raised from the sale goes to the AJCA Scholarship Fund and to support Jersey youth activities

Reflecting the latest technology, all consigned heifers were genotyped and genomically evaluated. The sale was live-streamed by Jersey Auction Live, with online bidding from anywhere. Holmes Farm in Langdon and Crescent Farm in Walpole sent heifers to this prestigious sale.

That same week saw a changing of the guard for Eastern States Exposition (ESE), when Wayne McCary retired June 26 after 21 years at the helm of the West Springfield, Mass. institution.  Eugene J. Cassidy became the seventh Chief Executive Officer of the 95 year-old exposition on June 27. Cassidy joined ESE as director of finance in 1993 and was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in March, 2011. The West Springfield native says his goals are to preserve and advance the programs, the facilities and the mission of Eastern States Exposition, and to promote the aspect of stewardship upon which the organization was founded.  ESE is home of The Big E, the 8th largest fair in North America, which takes place September 14-30, 2012, and another120 year-round shows and events, Storrowton Village and Storrowton Tavern.

Heifer International ( has received an $8.5-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for project work on the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project. The grant will support existing projects in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda and explore possibilities for expansion in Ethiopia and Tanzania between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.

EADD began in 2008 as a four-year, $42.8 million project funded by the Gates Foundation to help about 179,000 smallholder dairy farmer families to double their household income, create, connect and expand dairy market infrastructure, and sustainably increase dairy productivity and efficiency.  Currently in its final year of the pilot phase, EADD has grown to be one of the leading market-oriented agro-livestock development initiatives in East Africa, earning the farming families more than $35 million.

Those who have heard former Commissioner Steve Taylor’s talk on ‘Cows and Communities: How the Lowly Bovine Has Nurtured New Hampshire Through Four Centuries,’ will recall the case he makes for the vital role of cattle in the early colonists’ survival—and the continuing development and prosperity of our state through modern times.

Heifer International and the Gates Foundation are working to foster those benefits for families and communities in East Africa. W.D. Hoard, founder of Hoard’s Dairyman magazine and visionary governor of Wisconsin in the 1890s, wrote eloquently of the relationship between cows and humans. “The cow is a foster mother of the human race. The thoughts of men turn to this kindly and beneficent creature as one of the chief sustaining forces of human life.”

Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner                                                                        

(reprinted from the Weekly Market Bulletin, July 11, 2012)

The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food Division of Agricultural Development compiles market information and publishes the Weekly Market Bulletin for the agriculture community. The Bulletin is the department’s ‘publication of record’ and includes appropriate industry notices, announcements, seasonal information and market survey data. Subscribers may advertise in the popular agricultural classified advertising at no charge. One-year subscriptions are $28 for delivery by U.S. Postal Service, or $22 for delivery by secure internet. Sign up for the Weekly Market Bulletin by calling the office at 271-2505 and providing a credit card for payment; or visit the office at 25 Capitol St., Concord; or mail in your request with a check. Be sure to provide your address, phone number, and if you are requesting an online subscription, an email address.


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