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Home » From the Commissioner

More Local Milk Options

New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (January 19, 2012)

The Bartlett Farm, one of Concord’s two working dairy farms, has contracted with a small processor in Maine to pasteurize and bottle some of their herd’s production for sale under their own label. Short on land for any expansion of their herd, the Bartletts—Alan and Dencie and sons Scott and Craig—are expanding their marketing channels instead. Growing their business in this way is allowing them to bring a second son, Craig, into the business. Craig returns to the farm business with extensive experience in the beverage distribution and sales industry. While he focuses on marketing and distributing the milk, Scott and Alan can concentrate on caring for the cows and growing the crops.

The Bartletts are the third farm in the state to contract with Smiling Hill Farm in Maine to pasteurize and bottle milk for distribution and sale at markets and restaurants around the state. The Sherman Farm in Conway was first, with Justin and Julie Hussey now owning the cows, and the milk bottled with the Sherman Farm label for sale at the Sherman Farm stand and through a number of retail markets on the eastern side of the state. Last year Jamie and Heather Robertson of Bohanan Farm in Contoocook began having some of their farm’s milk bottled under their Contoocook Creamery label.

The growing demand for local food has clearly made it easier to get local milk into supermarkets and restaurants. The Robertsons and Bartletts report that many retailers are eager to carry their locally produced dairy products. The story was different 20 years ago when the McNamara family of Plainfield decided to build a small on-farm processing plant. They had to really pound the pavement and enlist help from friends and neighbors to get store managers to talk to them about carrying their glass-bottled milk.

The Bartlett Farm’s new venture will be featured on WMUR’s New Hampshire Chronicle show on Thursday January 19.

The 2nd Annual Macaroni & Cheese Bake-Off presented by Granite State Dairy Promotion created a lot of excitement last Saturday. Amy Hall, GSDP executive director, estimated the crowd at 600-650 people lining up to sample all the different variations on the comfort food classic. The Mac & Cheese fest was reportedly one of WMUR’s most-viewed online stories of the day, was picked up by the Associated Press, and made the front page of the State/Local section of the Sunday Concord Monitor.

Farm cooks continue to shine in this competition. This year a team of two dairy farmer sisters took that coveted prize. Deb Erb of Springvale Farms in Landaff and Doreen Morris of Gamblin’ Farm in Haverhill took first place in the NH Made category.  This award gets their recipe on the menu at Manchester’s renowned Cotton restaurant, featuring the New Hampshire products that Deb and Doreen used to make their ‘Northern Comfort’ mac and cheese—the Erbs’ own Landaff cheese, Cabot Creamery Cooperative butter, and half-and-half from Hatchland Farm dairy in North Haverhill. The Erbs make their Landaff Creamery cheese based on a traditional Welsh recipe.

David Hall and the Tilton/Northfield Firefighters took the grand prize with their ‘Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.’ Find all the winners and their recipes on the GSDP website:  www.nhdairypromo.org.

* * * * * *

It’s time to get orders to Jeff Holmes for the affordably priced PTO shields being sold by Sullivan County Farm Bureau to protect people working with or around tractors and equipment. He will be ordering the first shipment by the end of this month. Contact Jeff at 603-445-7033.

Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner           

(reprinted from Weekly Market Bulletin, Jan. 18,  2011)

SUBSCRIPTION NOTE:

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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