UNH Extension radius 2017

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radius ISSUE T WO / 2017



Cultivating Success for the N.H. Economy

cultivating success, inspiring service contents 2

Heirloom New Hampshire


The Business of Beer


Field of Greens

8 Palm-Sized Trail Guide 9 Woodlot Wisdom 11 An Un-Common Garden 13 Greenhouse Detectives 16 In the Bag 18 Tapped In 20 Healthy Local Foods for All 22 Ahead of the Class 23 A Town Wants Visitor Feedback? There’s an App for That 25 Developing Success 26 Lessons in Leadership 28 Inquiring Minds 30 Student Success Opposite: Ken La Valley, dean and director of UNH Cooperative Extension, speaks with UNH President Mark Huddleston. On the cover: UNH Cooperative Extension specialist Ryan Dickson and Crysta Harris ’19 work in the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses.


Shortly after being named UNH president in 2007, Mark Huddleston joined Extension staff, state officials and citizen volunteers for a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee and a county conversation about our partnerships that protect the state’s lakes. In addition to learning about the success of the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program, they heard the president speak about the importance of UNH’s historic commitment to serving the public good. In fact, his primary interest in coming to New Hampshire, the president said, was the land, sea and space grant mission of UNH and its charge to give back to the citizens of our state. Giving back is at UNH Cooperative Extension’s core, from pursuing research that improves the quality of life for Granite Staters to inspiring more than 4,500 volunteers a year to join partnerships that support New Hampshire’s communities, natural resources and businesses. When he retires at the end of June 2018, Huddleston will have been the longest-serving president in UNH history. He will also be remembered as a steadfast advocate for UNH Cooperative Extension throughout his tenure. From testifying for public support in the state legislature to promoting UNH’s contributions to the economy, he has often cited Cooperative Extension as the quintessential example of a public land grant university at its very best.

One shining example is UNH Professional Development and Training, a new program of Cooperative Extension that helps the state’s workforce improve its skills and build businesses with workshops, certificate programs and conferences. Always innovating to meet new opportunities, it now offers a drone operator certificate course and training in Six Sigma management. Professional Development and Training also organized the inaugural New Hampshire Craft Brew Conference in November 2017. Efforts such as these reflect a commitment to giving back at Cooperative Extension and across UNH, and define a transformative era of unprecedented growth and success at the university these past 10 years. Thank you for your interest and support. And thank you, President Huddleston, for inspiring us in our shared mission to serve the greater good.

Kenneth J. La Valley Dean and Director UNH Cooperative Extension ken.lavalley@unh.edu



For Cynthia Siemon Wyatt,

Branch Hill Farm in Milton is a time machine. Looking out over the green pastures and wooded hills that border the farm, she thinks of her father, Carl Siemon, and the generations of family and friends who made the farm what it is now, acre by acre and tree by tree. What started as a three-acre homestead has become a 3,000-acre working tree and agricultural farm, an educational center and a showcase for land conservation. According to Cynthia, it’s inspiration from UNH Cooperative Extension that made her father’s vision for “an oasis of forests, fields, wildlife, recreation and clean water and air” real. “This place, this farm, this legacy would not exist if it hadn’t been for the influence of Extension,” she says. That legacy recalls New Hampshire’s past while setting a course for its future. A typical day at the farm might find workers harvesting hay and the farm’s consulting foresters, Charlie Moreno and Dan Stepanauskas, mapping out


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

sustainable forestry plans, all while neighbors and visitors walk the property’s trails and learn about local conservation efforts. “It’s important for people to know that even lands in conservation are still contributing to an important part of New Hampshire’s economy — the farming, forest, and the tourist economies,” Cynthia says. Branch Hill Farm’s story began in 1937, when Charles Knowles Tripp purchased a farmhouse and three acres of land on top of a rolling hill. For his grandson, Carl Siemon, summers spent on the farm were transformative. He worked the land and frolicked in the woods, rivers and fields. He lugged drinking water from the well to the house and helped neighbors fill their barns with hay. Even when he achieved great success over the years in the family business, Branch Hill remained in Carl’s heart. When he retired in the 1960s, he traded suits and ties for overalls and muck boots and returned to New Hampshire.



the business of beer The brewing industry grows larger with each pint of lager. In 2011, New Hampshire was home to fewer than 20 craft breweries. Today, more than 50 craft breweries call the state home. Extension’s role in supporting entrepreneurship includes connecting UNH alumni and others with industry experts. The recent New Hampshire Craft Brew Conference, hosted by UNH Professional Development & Training, tapped into the knowledge of craft beer professionals and shared it with

We want to get landowners out onto their property and become involved with managing their forests.

start-ups, veteran brewers and hobbyists.


“When he moved here, he had no knowledge of forestry. He learned through the educators at Cooperative Extension, and he fell in love with it,” Cynthia recalls. “He loved working in his woods. He embraced the concept of a working forest, of producing products from our land, but he wanted to do it in a sustainable way.”

Carl pictured Branch Hill Farm’s conservation lands joining with others to form greenways. Cynthia created Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) in 2000. Cynthia is also involved with Explore the Moose, a regional organization that promotes eco- and agrotourism in the area.

Carl’s partnership with Extension began in 1962. That year, he purchased an 18-acre lot behind the house. Recently clearcut, the land was in rough shape, and Carl turned to Extension forester Roger Leighton for advice. After walking the woods, Leighton suggested the property join the Tree Farm program. Carl agreed, and the farm was born.

“We’re doing our best to promote this area. There’s plenty of opportunity right here in Milton, with Branch Hill Farm’s hiking trails connecting to the New Hampshire Farm Museum and McKenzie’s Farm, forming a network of greenway trails,” Cynthia says.

When Leighton retired, Extension forester Don Black continued providing consultations and the two worked closely to realize a greater vision. Working in the forest nurtured Carl’s deep love of learning and land stewardship. That’s why on-site conservation and stewardship workshops are vital to Branch Hill’s mission, Cynthia says. “We want to get landowners out onto their property and become involved with managing their forests, because they usually form a connection like my father did. The hope is they’ll have a good stewardship ethic,” she says. That vision for Branch Hill Farm stretched beyond Milton. Inspired by the Bear Paw Regional Greenway in southern New Hampshire, 4

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Branch Hill Farm has grown, too. As a privately operated conservation and education foundation, the farm hosts workshops and classes, often led by Moreno and Stepanauskas, as well as Extension educators. The annual Woods Water and Wildlife Festival brings almost 700 participants to Branch Hill Farm and raises money for MMRG. “Branch Hill Farm is all about doing what’s right for the earth and the forest. That’s what matters most to them,” says Moreno. That attitude connects with his own philosophy of long-term management. “We’re not looking at next year or five years from now, but 50 years, 100 years,” he says. “That’s what’s wonderful about working with Branch Hill Farm.”  r



National craft beer sales in 2016


Average salary at N.H. craft breweries


Barrels of craft beer made in N.H. in 2016 — 3.1 gallons for each drinking-age adult (ranked 17th in USA)


Craft breweries in N.H. in 2016  — 5.4 breweries per 100,000 drinking-age adults (ranked 9th in USA)

Information from Brewers Association



Double cropping represents a great opportunity to reduce feeding costs and improve bottom lines for New Hampshire farmers.

field of greens Double-cropping trial proves viability of winter triticale in New Hampshire

Many New Hampshire farmers

resist the idea of trading their tried-and-true full-season silage corn variety for one with a shorter growing season. But Adam Crete, owner of his family’s Highway View Farm in Boscawen, jumped at the chance to try something new as part of a double-cropping research trial led by Cooperative Extension. Last year, Crete planted 60 acres of a corn variety that matured in 95 days. He harvested the corn in early September and then planted winter triticale (pronounced trit-ih-KAY-lee), a hardy hybrid of wheat and rye that is nutritious and easily digestible. A conservation and innovation grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps fund the project, which is led by Extension’s Carl Majewski, Daimon Meeh and Steve Turaj.


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Majewski says farmers like Crete should consider planting forage crops year round. Double-cropping helps prevent erosion, reduces nutrient loss and increases organic matter in the soil. It also may provide insurance for farmers. Long-season corn isn’t harvested until early fall, so it is vulnerable to frosts and unpredictable weather that could damage yields. It’s also harvested too late to establish a winter cover crop. Short-season corn is harvested before frosts, allowing farmers to then plant a cover crop, like triticale, which provides supplemental feed.

“The reputation of short-season corn [yielding less than long-season corn] was well-deserved a couple decades ago,” says Hale. “That isn’t true any longer. Shorter-season hybrids have been developed that are very competitive. From a cost-benefit perspective, short-season corn as a component of a year-round forage production system is a huge win.” That’s why in 2014, Majewski, Meeh and Turaj partnered with Hale in an effort to change farmers’ minds. Six farms in New Hampshire, including Highway View, agreed to implement a double-cropping system that coupled shortseason silage corn with fall-planted triticale. Last spring, Majewski, Meeh and Hale met with other New Hampshire farmers and staff from the USDA, NRCS, and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture at Highway View Farm, home to 220 hungry cows, to gauge the project’s success.

Crete is pleased with the results of the doublecropping system. His 95-day silage corn yield was comparable to the longer-maturing variety he used. On top of that, he expects to harvest about two tons of triticale per acre. After harvesting the triticale, he can drill in his corn seed without tilling — an added benefit. Buoyed by the research trial’s success, Majewski hopes more farms will adopt double-cropping. To help interested farmers, he provides one-onone support and harvesting recommendations. “Double cropping represents a great opportunity to reduce feeding costs and improve bottom lines for New Hampshire farmers, but making the transition isn’t without risk,” says Majewski. “That’s why the research and support Extension provides is so valuable. Helping our farmers be successful impacts their families, their farms, their employees, and, ultimately, the state.”  r

According to Iago Hale, assistant professor of specialty crop improvement at the University of New Hampshire’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and a researcher with the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station, many of the state’s farmers are still wary that doublecropping will result in feed shortages.



palm-sized trail guide Getting outside is easy. But figuring out the best place for hiking, biking, paddling and everything else? That can be a challenge. Maybe your favorite trail is closed for maintenance. Maybe you’re in an unfamiliar town. Or maybe you’re simply looking for something new. That’s where Trail Finder (trailfinder.info) comes in. Trail Finder makes discovering trails in New Hampshire and Vermont as easy as putting on your hiking boots. That’s important in New England, where outdoor recreation brings in $3.5 billion in state and local tax revenue annually, according to a 2017 study by the Outdoor Industry Alliance. “There are so many hidden gems and amazing places to hike that most people don’t know about,” says Emma Tutein, a natural resources and land conservation field specialist with Cooperative Extension. “We’re finding communities are particularly interested in leveraging their natural resources for the local economy.” Trail Finder brings together trail information, maps, and GPS data into one easily searchable, mobile-friendly website. Users can explore trails by activity, location and other categories. Looking for an easy, pet-friendly hike or a more intense trail run? Browse Trail Finder on your phone and you’re good to go.


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The site is a collaboration between Cooperative Extension, the Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA), the National Parks Service’s Rivers and Trails Program, the Center for Community GIS and Vermont Parks and Forests. Information comes straight from the agencies responsible for each trail. Lelia Mellen, the New Hampshire projects director for the NPS Rivers and Trails Program, says the site is vital for users and trail managers. “The trail managers provide the data, and users can see what’s being offered to them,” she says. “It’s good information.” Hundreds of trails are already on the site and more are added each week, giving hikers a wide range of choices. Additionally, it publicizes the work land trusts and other conservation groups are doing. “We know that trails have a major economic impact on their communities,” says Russell Hirschler, UVTA’s executive director. “People using the trails benefit from Trail Finder, communities benefit from it and businesses are benefiting from it.”  r

Woodlot isdom W “When we look at a forest, we are

looking 60 to 100 years into the future,” says Tim Fleury. Fleury is not a fortune-teller but rather an experienced Cooperative Extension forester who can “see” what a forest will look like far into the future based on a variety of factors such as soil type, plant growth and surrounding land use. “There is so much to address during a walk in the woods, and it all matters.”



“Extension foresters can help a landowner do the right thing.” — N ED THERRIEN

The good news for landowners is that Fleury and his fellow Cooperative Extension foresters are happy to share their insights. “For woodlots around 10 acres or more, we will walk the property with a landowner, ask them what they want and then help them make a plan to achieve their goal,” he says. For landowners for whom woodlot income is important, Fleury can provide general estimates for how much money a property could produce in timber sales and when those profits could be realized, and he can even suggest legal and tax approaches that will put the most money in the landowner’s pocket. The wisdom is free, which also helps the bottom line. The initial consultation with a Cooperative Extension forester is a smart first step for a landowner considering a timber harvest, and is typically followed by hiring a private consulting forester who can mark trees, finding

a logger and negotiating the timber sale. It is a good public-private relationship that fosters sound forest management and boosts New Hampshire’s economy. But timber harvesting is not the only reason to manage a forest. Fleury points out that “some people want wildlife habitat, others want to cut some firewood to heat their home. Every woodlot and woodlot owner is different. That’s why on-site consultations are a must.” Retired consulting forester and landowner Ned Therrien of Canterbury speaks highly of the work Fleury and his other Extension foresters do around the state. “I’ve known Tim probably 20 years, and I have a great deal of respect for him and Extension,” Therrien says. “I can depend on them to give me excellent information. Extension foresters can help a landowner do the right thing.”  r

un-common garden AN


According to a study by the North East State Foresters Association, the New Hampshire forest products industry contributes $1.4 billion annually to the state economy, employing 7,756 people and supporting forest-based recreation that adds an additional $1.4 billion. More than 66 percent of New Hampshire forests are owned by private landowners who can benefit from the consultation services of Cooperative Extension. The Cooperative Extension forestry program has proudly supported the forest products sector of the state economy for the last 92 years, providing consultation to landowners, professional development and referrals to private foresters and loggers, and education and outreach on behalf of the state Division of Forest and Lands. To work with a Cooperative Extension forester, contact the Forestry Information Center at 800-444-8978 or forest.info@unh.edu.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

On a sunny summer day, Pete Ferraro

works alongside other volunteers tending to a unique garden in Hampton — a plot of beachgrass that, with some help, will restore dunes along Hampton Beach. Though he doesn’t live on the ocean, Ferraro cares deeply about the coastline. “I started volunteering,” says Ferraro, “because I felt I wanted to do something to make a difference in the world.”

New Hampshire’s dunes are in decline, partly due to development and coastal erosion. A partnership between UNH Cooperative Extension and N.H. Sea Grant aims to shore up Granite State dunes using a beachgrass garden. Dunes were once more abundant — currently they cover just 16 percent of the coastal stretch they once occupied and make up about



10 percent of the state’s 18 miles of coastline. Dunes provide habitats for native species such as monarch butterflies and endangered piping plovers, protect oceanfront homes from storms and annually attract crowds of tourists searching for picturesque views. Restoring them is an environmental and economic win. “Larger, less fragmented dunes provide more protection from storm damage,” explains Alyson Eberhardt, a N.H. Sea Grant and Extension coastal ecosystems specialist. Eberhardt and UNH faculty members Gregg Moore and Dave Burdick put that idea into action when they formed the Coastal Habitat Restoration Team in 2014. They have since planted more than 120,000 stems of beachgrass onto public coastline in the state.

Property owners who want to help restore dunes should visit seagrant.unh.edu/crv or email alyson.eberhardt@unh.edu. Program to plant a garden of native dune plants near Hampton Beach State Park to share with landowners ready to restore their dunes.

Native plants like beachgrass act as anchors for dunes. Restoring these plants is the first step in restoring dune ecosystems. Doing so requires a team effort involving partnering organizations, volunteers, and private property owners, who own much of the land on which the dune ecosystem is located.


Community volunteers tend to and collect data on plant growth in the garden, now in its second year. Other partnering organizations include the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, the Seabrook Conservation Commission, and Seabrook Middle School. This project was funded in part by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, in conjunction with the N.H. Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program. “Those who have seen the garden really like it, both for how it looks, and for the potential it creates to naturally reinforce our dunes and other structures,” says Jay Diener, vice-president of the Hampton Conservation Commission and co-founder of the Seabrook-Hamptons Estuary Alliance. “It is a great place to start discussions with residents and visitors alike.”  r

That’s where the Common Garden comes in. The UNH Coastal Habitat Restoration Team, with assistance from N.H. Sea Grant and Extension’s Coastal Research Volunteer program, received a grant from the N.H. Coastal

The Coastal Habitat Restoration Team has planted more than 120,000 stems of beachgrass onto public coastline in N.H.

When Mill Gardens Farmstand

moved from Hanover to Orford five years ago, grower Robb Day noticed something was wrong with the nursery’s perennials. “The first water test we took was different. Our chlorides were higher, and we started seeing some burning on the leaves of the perennials,” he says. Day needed advice on how to keep his plants healthy — and ready to sell to customers.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension



If the substrate, irrigation water quality or fertilizer program is not consistent, growers are more likely to incur plant loss, which directly hurts their bottom line.

He turned to UNH Cooperative Extension for answers. Ryan Dickson, an Extension professor/ specialist in greenhouse management and technology, and Cathy Neal, an Extension professor/specialist in landscape and nursery production, helped Day identify the source of the chlorides: Road salt was leaching into the nursery’s well. Extension, along with a consultation with Mill Garden’s fertilizer supplier, helped Day establish a new fertilizer regime to deal with the excess salts. “Plants are really bad communicators,” Dickson says. “When they’re not happy, they turn yellow, and then they turn brown and die. But other than that, we don’t know what’s going on with them.” When commercial growers call, specialists like Dickson and Neal become greenhouse detectives. Extension’s research helps growers answer tough questions, improve production and ultimately boost local industry.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“We work with Extension often,” says Peter van Berkum, owner of Van Berkum Nursery in Deerfield. Dickson and Cheryl Smith, an Extension professor/specialist in plant health and disease, are currently conducting research on the planting media used in his greenhouse. Van Berkum has previously turned to Smith and Extension’s entomology specialist Alan Eaton for advice. “If they weren’t around, we might have to go out of state or hire someone to do this, and I’m not sure who that would be,” van Berkum adds. Some research happens on site at the greenhouses, but Dickson also brings plants back to UNH to study, with students assisting in the research. The work is useful for commercial growers even when their plants are seemingly happy. At D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, head grower Chris Schlegel met with Dickson in 2016 to talk about ways the greenhouse could improve

operations. One area they needed help with was finding optimum moisture levels for propagating plants, and Dickson designed experiments to track moisture levels.

very difficult for us to do. To have somebody of Ryan’s caliber and education, along with the power of the university’s resources, available to us, makes a lot of sense.”

“Sometimes as growers in a commercial setting, we’re not always diligent about setting up good experiments. Ryan worked with a couple of our growers and left them with tasks to keep recording the data,” Schlegel says.

Dickson is also conducting research on new and different kinds of growing substrates — materials such as peat moss, coconut coir and wood fiber that are used to grow plants. He also researches fertilizer and watering strategies that help growers promote the performance of plants after they leave the greenhouse. No matter what the focus, though, Dickson believes that translating how plants are feeling is a boost for growers and, ultimately, their customers.

Data collection began in January, and though it’s still ongoing, Schlegel says Dickson’s research has already helped D.S. Cole improve procedures. “Moisture level in the growing media is one of the most critical parts of growing good crops,” she says. “If we’re not handling them right from the start, it can delay crops and cause crop loss, so it has a tremendous impact, quality-wise … and with economic repercussions.” Henry Huntington, co-owner of Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, agrees. At Pleasant View, Dickson is tracking water and nitrogen levels to identify possible water and fertilizer management improvements. “It’s all about the power of the university,” Huntington says. “It allows for research to happen that would be

“Growers are really manufacturers,” he says. “They’re manufacturing living plants, and just like in a factory, every step and process needs to be consistent. If the substrate, irrigation water quality or fertilizer program is not consistent, growers are more likely to incur plant loss, which directly hurts their bottom line.”  r

UNH Cooperative Extension pest management practices save fruit and vegetable growers more than $1 million each year.



in the bag Extension research boosts Great Bay oyster farmers

14 oyster farms have been established in the Great Bay Estuary since 2007.

Jay Baker, owner of Fat Dog Shellfish

Company, shows a visitor around the dock where he and his team haul up seaweedcovered cages of oysters. “The name of the game in oyster farming is moving the line,” says Baker. That means opening the cages, wiping the oysters clean of mud and pests and then moving them to other cages and lowering them to the ocean floor to “grow out” until they’re large enough to harvest. This is oyster farming in the Great Bay Estuary, where 14 farms have popped up in less than a decade. Thanks to assistance from N.H. Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension, many of these growers receive professional advice and training that’s helped them establish and expand their businesses. The state’s oyster farming industry is young but growing. Great Bay-grown oysters are popular with the region’s restaurants and retailers.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

They’re environmentally friendly, too. One oyster naturally filters about 30 to 50 gallons of water a day, removing the excess nitrogen that contributes to water pollution and eating algae and organisms harmful to the ecosystem. Baker is among a group of New England oyster growers who participated in the Northeast Aquaculture Research Farm Network, a multiyear project directed by Extension marine aquaculture specialist Michael Chambers to test and demonstrate new aquaculture technology and practices. Chambers’ research addresses the array of challenges facing local oyster farmers, from regulations to crop management to consumer appeal. Farmers have also received help with identifying diseases and predators that affect oyster growth. One technology tackles all three of those areas. Current regulations limit oyster grow-out in the estuary to “bottom culture.” Farmers must grow oysters on the estuary’s floor, where

space is limited and oysters are susceptible to predators. On Baker’s farm, however, Chambers’ team installed an oyster flip bag system. This surface-culture method uses bags of oysters suspended at the water’s surface, rolling over as the tide comes in and out.

Surface-culture research also offers a way for the state’s oyster farming industry to expand. “We could increase the area where oyster production occurs,” Chambers says. “As we look to the future, there’s not a whole lot of space left (in the estuary) to grow shellfish.”

Bringing oyster cultivation closer to the surface yields many benefits, Chambers says. The tumbling action and warm, nutrient-rich surface waters serve the oysters well. The bags also help shape the oysters, giving them a deep cup that makes them appealing to consumers and increases their market value.

The flip-bag research also gives farmers the data and experience necessary for working with regulators to create surface-culture regulations. “It will probably take one farmer to break the ice,” he says. If these methods take off, it could result in more oysters growing in the estuary. That means busy farmers, happy consumers, and healthy waters — an example of the briny bivalves’ big influence on the bay.  r

“The flip bag experiment really addressed product quality,” says Baker.

More oysters growing in the estuary means busy farmers, happy consumers and healthy waters. Radius


When Maple School is in session,

sweet surprises abound. “It’s a kind of chooseyour-own-adventure day” for maple producers, explains Cheshire County UNH Cooperative Extension forester Steve Roberge, who organizes the yearly event. Participants might attend a hands-on demonstration or a technical class about how trees respond to being tapped. It’s a classic Extension model, Roberge says, with experts, educators, and peers coming together to hone their craft, network and become more efficient.

In 2017, New Hampshire sugarmakers produced 154,000 gallons of maple syrup, with total sales of $8.5 million.

Now in its fifth year, Maple School takes place each fall. Co-sponsored by Extension, the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the N.H. Timberland Owners Association, the event brings together syrup producers from across New Hampshire. “It’s helped with meeting new sugarmakers, especially ones who are just getting into the industry,” says Chris Pfeil, a frequent Maple School instructor. Pfeil is a longtime sugarmaker, and his Wilton-based company, The Maple Guys, sells sugaring equipment and supplies. “A lot of people who are sugaring don’t really get into the forestry behind it, and Steve brings that strength to Maple School.”

tapped in Maple School shares sugaring expertise

Last year, more than 100 attendees gathered in Tilton for sessions on organic certification, food safety, sugarbush layout, marketing and more. Attendees chose classes throughout the day based on their level of sugar-industry skills. “If you’re a novice, there’s going to be something for you, and the same goes for a person who’s been doing it for 40 years,” Pfeil adds. Last year’s Maple School participants had operations ranging from 25 to 7,000 taps, which creates an atmosphere where new perspectives and tried-and-true methods bubble up together. Syrup production is a serious part of the Granite State economy. In 2017, New Hampshire sugarmakers produced 154,000 gallons of maple syrup, with total sales of $8.5 million, according to the USDA. With more


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

than 500 sugarmakers throughout the state, Roberge says, the industry has a whole local economy behind it. That opens up unique opportunities for education. A typical day at Maple School includes the latest research from Extension educators and other universities, hands-on equipment demonstrations and business workshops. Of course, there are also plenty of sweets to go around in classes on making candy, maple cream and other treats. “The combination is strong for our program, and attendees really appreciate the diversity of fields presenters represent,” Roberge says.  r



“We struggle with poverty in northern New Hampshire, and Granite State Market Match has drastically increased purchases of local foods by people who never bought local foods before, which directly helps local farmers.” —ED KING, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE LIT TLETON FOOD COOP

healthy local foods for all As general manager of the Littleton

Food Coop in Littleton, New Hampshire, Ed King knows that it can be expensive to eat healthy and eat local. But King believes healthy eating shouldn’t be an economic decision. “Any program that works to ease that burden is a good program,” King says. That’s why the Littleton Coop stepped up to help deliver Granite State Market Match, a statewide program that helps make healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables affordable for participants in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), New Hampshire’s food stamp program. Granite State Market Match (GSMM) allows SNAP customers to match the value of their benefits for fruit and vegetables dollar for dollar. That means $10 in food stamps enables shoppers to purchase a total of $20 worth of fresh, local food. The Coop staffs the Market Match booth at the Littleton Farmers’ Market every Sunday.

$10 in food stamps enables shoppers to purchase a total of $20 worth of fresh, local food.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

UNH Cooperative Extension Coos County is the regional lead organization serving the North Country for the N.H. Nutrition Incentives Network (NHNIN). Regional leads like Heidi Barker, a Coos County Cooperative Extension

field specialist for community health, works with farmers markets to increase capacity for the GSMM program. “Sam Brown of the Littleton Farmers’ Market was spot-on when he engaged the Coop to support and staff this initiative,” Barker says. “It’s truly brought success to access and affordability in the North Country.” NHNIN, led by the New Hampshire Food Bank, brings GSMM to farmers markets in New Hampshire through support from Wholesome Wave and is funded by the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program. Helen Costello, program manager at the New Hampshire Food Bank, says the North Country program is successful for a number of reasons, including the strong partnerships between the community and lead organizers to support local farmers markets. “They have true cooperation, and it’s helping citizens live better lives,” she says. King points out that GSMM benefits the local economy. “We struggle with poverty in northern New Hampshire, and Granite State Market Match has drastically increased purchases of local foods by people who never bought local foods before, which directly helps local farmers.”  r Radius


a town wants visitor feedback? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Casey Hancock and Geoff Sewake of Cooperative Extension’s Community

and Economic Development team were in Brattleboro, Vt., researching a secret shopper-style community assessment program called First Impressions. As part of that training, they walked around downtown, recording their impressions using pens and paper booklets.


To Hancock and Sewake, this was a clunky, outdated — and not secretive — way to collect data. First Impressions, which helps communities identify economic strengths and weaknesses through the impressions of first-time visitors, had a lot of potential to help

New Hampshire communities, but Hancock and Sewake wanted a more efficient method to collect data. The duo approached Shane Bradt, Cooperative Extension’s geospatial technologies specialist, to help develop a mobile data collection app called ArcGIS Collector.

Local farmer credits continuing education as major source of success

Pinewoods Yankee Farm

in Lee is a thriving local business. Founded in 1990 with an Angus herd purchased from the University of New Hampshire, Tina and Erick Sawtelle have built a diverse and thriving operation featuring grass-fed beef, compost and floral design. Tina Sawtelle ‘86 says the key to their success has been continuing education. “When you’re farming and self-employed, workshops and conferences are an opportunity to seek support and network with a likeminded group of people, and that feeds your ability to keep on keeping on,” she says. “We take advantage of as many opportunities offered by Cooperative Extension as we can.” In 2014, Sawtelle took part in an all-female educational farm management program called Annie’s Project, coordinated by Cooperative Extension.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

“The small group setting was instrumental for sharing, communication, learning and support,” she says. Sawtelle also forged connections to a larger network she continues to tap today. The mission of Annie’s Project is to empower women farmers interested in managing financial, marketing, legal, human and production risks. It’s a comfortable and supportive learning environment focused on farm business management best practices and networking. “Being a successful self-employed farmer means staying inspired and engaged,” Sawtelle says. “I wholeheartedly believe it’s critical to our success in farming and entrepreneurship. Gaining new knowledge and skills is a lifelong adventure.”  r



The app has also resulted in the collection of more robust data that can be analyzed more effectively.



Transforming a city is a group When New Hampshire’s First Impressions program kicked-off in Littleton and Rochester in May 2016, program participants used their phones to record their insights discreetly and efficiently. Not only did they collect key data, including photos and videos, they were able to share the information and visualize it on an interactive online map.

Beyond being easy to use, the app has also resulted in the collection of more robust data that can be analyzed more effectively.

“The mobile app made it look more like we were visitors doing what we normally would — taking pictures and using phones,” says Christine DeAngelis, Rochester’s First Impressions committee chair. “The ability to take and save pictures made it easier to refer back to after the visit and offered more details on our experience.”

She believes the app has had an impact on strengthening the program and its outcomes.

Jennifer Marsh, Rochester’s economic development specialist, agrees. “The mobile app was not only easy to use but it was more interactive than filling out information in a book,” she says. “We could instantly see our results. We covered a lot of ground in a four-hour period.”

“It was challenging to manage the volume of data,” says Hancock. “But the outcome of organizing the data by asset, opportunity and theme is definitely worth it.”

“Groups working on these issues will be able to refer back to the interactive maps we created to examine and visualize where there are clear opportunities for improvement,” she says. Sewake agrees. “The volume of data, and more importantly the ability to effectively analyze it and draw useful conclusions — which is the result of the app — has definitely catalyzed community energy,” he says.  r

effort: The more people who participate, the greater the success. That’s the lesson David Brooks, planning and zoning director for Lebanon, New Hampshire, learned at Extension’s Economic Development Academy (EDA) — and put into practice for a 2016 downtown visioning study. “We reached out to community members, stakeholders, business owners, property owners, nonprofits and other institutions to find out what we should be striving for in our downtown,” says Brooks. Using meetings, surveys, and posters where people could share their “wish list” for downtown, Brooks collected almost 800 comments. Brooks says the study will guide development for Lebanon over the next 10, 20, and 30 years. That the ideas recorded in it are derived from the public will be helpful in supporting the decision-making process.

“It’s practice-based,” says Charlie French, Community and Economic Development program leader for Extension. “Participants dive deep into specific content areas. By the time they leave, they have a project to present to the rest of the class.” Some of those efforts make a splash in the real world. Projects big and small — from a massive downtown revitalization project in Somersworth to an overhaul of the city’s permitting process in Rochester — got a boost from intensive EDA sessions. This year, EDA is expanding its scope beyond New Hampshire. Economic development professionals from throughout New England will take part in the 2017 course. “We want to give communities some best practices and help them move forward,” French says. In Exeter, economic development director Darren Winham used his 2015 EDA experience to bolster a large-scale economic development initiative. Even with a dozen years of experience, Winham credits the EDA with helping him find new approaches. “You don’t just learn about the different tools that New Hampshire and the Northeast offer. You meet the contacts you need,” he says. “It’s a really thorough program that brings in fantastic professionals with great credibility.”  r

Brooks credits his participation in EDA with helping to bring the visioning study to fruition. He’s not alone — more than 60 economic development professionals in New Hampshire have gone through the EDA since it began four years ago.

The New Hampshire First Impressions program is supported by a $10,000 grant from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. The grant provided funding for UNH Cooperative Extension in partnership with Extension services from the University of Vermont, West Virginia University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension




What citizenship means to me...

LEADERSHIP 4-H members meet N.H. legislators

It means caring, but also doing something about that — doing something about your feelings and what you think is important. —DAISY BURNES, 17, BELKNAP COUNTY

It’s setting an example for the rest of your community and paving the way and making decisions that benefit everyone and not just yourself. —HANNAH FALCONE, 16, SULLIVAN COUNTY

“These are your seats. The seats of

the people.” That’s what Virginia Drew, director of the State House visitors’ center, told 60 young 4-H members on April 26 as they sat down in the legislative chambers of the storied New Hampshire State House. Their tour was just the beginning of the first 4-H Citizenship Day in New Hampshire.

After an introductory tour, King moderated a session with legislators, who answered questions about why they ran for office, how a law is made and what a typical workday is like. When King asked if citizen input is important, New Hampshire Sen. Dan Feltes said, “Anything you do to participate in our democracy is seen and heard and makes an impact.”

The day was the brainchild of 4-H program coordinator Michele King, who works on building leadership skills of 4-H members. “I think living in New Hampshire requires that you know how government works,” she says. “And what better way to do that than to go to the State House, meet your legislator and ask questions?”

For most participants, the highlight of the day was eating lunch with the elected officials who represent their hometowns. Over turkey sandwiches and potato chips, the seasoned representatives and future leaders chatted about 4-H projects, current events and what the future may hold.  r


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

It’s really standing up for what you believe in your community and really making a difference in what you believe your community should be. —TURNER JENNINGS, 17, BELKNAP COUNTY




MINDS Building the New Hampshire workforce of tomorrow

Before children enter grade school,

much of what they learn springs from curiosity and unstructured play. Once they enter the classroom, however, they often must adapt to rigid lessons and fact memorization, a challenge for students and teachers alike. With the help of Cooperative Extension’s Science Literacy Team, New Hampshire teachers are discovering ways to bring openended exploration — and with it, excitement and wide-eyed wonder — into the classroom. It is called inquiry-based teaching, and Cooperative Extension Youth and Family specialists Sarah Grosvenor, Claes Thelemarck and Lara Gengarelly are promoting this curriculum through an ongoing series of courses for K–12 educators across the state. It was originally developed by the renowned international learning laboratory Exploratorium to show educators how to use inquiry-based teaching methods that encourage discovery through questioning, observing, investigating, testing and discussing results. That curiosity ripples out from classrooms and into other Extension efforts on STEM education. Inquiry-based teaching, the STEM Docents program, the UNH STEM Discovery Lab in Manchester and a variety of 4-H STEM programs are creating hands-on opportunities that inspire and motivate students.

“I like that the inquiry method allows students to ask and answer their own questions,” says Allison Friend-Gray, a fifth-grade science teacher at Dover Middle School in Dover and a workshop attendee. “It helps raise student engagement and interest in science. The first time we did an inquiry, one of my students raised her hand to spontaneously announce she ‘loved doing science this way.’” For Friend-Gray’s classroom inquiry project, a requirement of the course, she asked students to observe and formulate questions about pond snails and fish. Moving away from scripted teaching generated enthusiastic responses from her students, whose questions included, “Do fish get lonely?” and “Why do snails use shells as their homes?” Grosvenor, Thelemarck and Gengarelly are busy offering training that aligns with national recommendations for professional learning to educators. The program is now in its second year. Their most intensive instruction is a sevenweek course with hands-on examples that participants say is transforming the learning experience for them and their students. “Our work is building the New Hampshire workforce of tomorrow,” says Gengarelly, Extension associate professor and specialist for science education and outreach. “This teaching approach fosters a way of thinking that prepares students to be successful in science and technology.”  r

In 2015, more than 20,000 youth participated in Extension STEM programs.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension




UNH Cooperative Extension student internships change lives. Internships with Extension, the Stewardship Network, N.H. Sea Grant, county 4-H chapters, and the Dalrymple Graduate Student Fellowship connect students with real-world issues and organizations. Two former Extension interns share their experiences.

Joanna Lewis ’17 In 2014, Joanna Lewis wrenched glossy buckthorn from the woods in Brentwood as the first intern for Cooperative Extension’s The Stewardship Network: New England (TSNNE). “We couldn’t ask for a better beginning. Jo set a high bar for maturity, competence and enthusiasm,” says Malin Clyde, Cooperative Extension specialist and TSNNE coordinator. “It was clear she was going to do great things.”

Stephanie Wright ’07, ’11G When Stephanie Wright began her Extension internship at Seacoast Youth Services in Seabrook in 2006, she had no idea it would set her course for the next decade. “Working one-on-one with kids, I realized that I wanted to pursue that as a career and possibly do some counseling,” Wright explains. “At SYS, I saw there are a lot of youth here who had challenging backgrounds, and I could potentially have a positive impact on their lives.” Wright found a mentor in Rick Alleva, an Extension Youth and Family field specialist. Alleva helped arrange her internship at SYS, something she says “opened up so many doors and got me out of my bubble at the university.” As an intern, Wright worked on the Seacoast Youth Leadership Project, a Child, Youth and Families At Risk Extension 4-H grant initiative.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

The internship paved the way for a job at SYS from 2007 to 2009. Wright left the organization to pursue a master’s degree in social work, but returned to SYS in 2012. She now provides substance use prevention and early intervention services to local middle schools. SYS gives young people and their families “hope for the future. It builds community resilience and fosters positive social engagement,” Wright says. It’s also provided her with a community of her own — a Vermont native, she says her internship helped her fall in love with the Seacoast region. She now lives in Durham with her husband and son. “If it wasn’t for Extension,” she says, “I wouldn’t be here.”

As an intern, Lewis found success with a variety of projects, from easement monitoring and field research to bird tagging and volunteer outreach. A student member of the UNH chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Lewis and her team traveled to Peru three times to work on a project to bring clean drinking water to the rural mountain community of San Pedro de Casta. After earning her degree in environmental engineering, Lewis embarked on her next adventure: joining the Peace Corps to improve water quality in Panama.

Lewis credits her time as an Extension intern with inspiring her to make the world a better place. “There is a connection between stewardship and service. TSNNE showed me the importance of connecting people to incite change,” she says. All those summer days pulling out glossy buckthorn helped, too. “I spent every day that summer outside in the sun and heat,” she says with a laugh. “In hindsight, that was definitely good training for Panama!”  r

“I really liked the idea of living in the community,” Lewis says. “I hope it will lead to more sustainable and integrated community-driven projects. Whether that’s establishing a water supply or cleaning an existing one, I have no idea. But I’m looking forward to whatever role I’ll play.”

The Stewardship Network: New England showed me the importance of connecting people to incite change. —JOANNA LEWIS ‘17



2016 VOLUNTEER IMPACT Each year, volunteers donate their time to extend the work of UNH Cooperative Extension and help make New Hampshire’s individuals and communities more successful and its natural resources healthy and productive.



Extension Volunteers

Volunteer Hours

Where They Live and Give Their Time

Estimated Value of Volunteer Time

COOS 156 Volunteers 13,566 Hours

GRAFTON 292 Volunteers 19,322 Hours

CARROLL 216 Volunteers 7,157 Hours BELKNAP 176 Volunteers 13,046 Hours

SULLIVAN 234 Volunteers 13,757 Hours

STRAFFORD 308 Volunteers 16,007 Hours

MERRIMACK 403 Volunteers 26,434 Hours CHESHIRE 125 Volunteers 11,040 Hours

4.5 million

Cooperative Extension has been an integral part of Granite State communities for more than a century. As celebrations for UNH’s 150th anniversary continue, it is worth looking back at Extension’s early days — there are a wealth of good memories. We’ve been making an impact on Granite State lives since 1914. Since then, Extension educators, along with local residents and volunteers, have been familiar faces in the state’s 10 counties — ready to, in the words of 4-H, “make the best better.” The years ahead promise to be just as exciting.

HILLSBOROUGH 420 Volunteers 29,569 Hours

ROCKINGHAM 698 Volunteers 28,824 Hours

Visit extension.unh.edu/Radius-Volunteers for a list of all our 2016 volunteers.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

(603) 862-1520  extension.unh.edu

Taylor Hall 59 College Road Durham, NH 03824

“Branch Hill Farm would not exist if it hadn’t been for the influence of Extension.” —CYNTHIA SIEMON WYAT T

Visit extension.unh.edu/donate to support UNH Cooperative Extension programs and their efforts to cultivate economic success in New Hampshire.

UNH Cooperative Extension strengthens people and communities in New Hampshire by providing trusted knowledge, practical education and cooperative solutions. P R O D U C T I O N E D I TO R Larry Clow CO N T R I B U TO R S Kyle Belmont Larry Clow Jim Graham Dave Kellam Debbie Kane Carlos Martens Caitlin Peterson Sarah Schaier DESIGN Five Line Creative The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer. University of New Hampshire, U.S. Department of Agriculture and N.H. counties cooperating. © 2017 University of New Hampshire All rights reserved.

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