UNH Extension radius 2018

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radius ISSUE THREE / 2018



Strengthening NH Communities

contents 2

New Roots

20 Postcards from Camp


Making Change

22 Growing Farms, Growing Communities


First Response

24 Taking Flight


Safety First

26 Right Place, Right Time

11 Small Moments, Big Impacts

29 Know and Grow

13 A Big Journey, Close to Home

30 Empowering Communities

16 All Together Now

32 Making Life Better, One Bowl at a Time


Opposite: Ken La Valley, dean and director of UNH Cooperative Extension, speaks with UNH President James W. Dean Jr. on a recent tour of the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program. On the cover: Manchester West High School student Omaima Serhan looks through a microscope as part of the UNH STEM Discovery Lab’s Agnes Lindsay Fellowship program.

supporting communities, embracing change UNH Cooperative Extension staff are in the field every day, working with New Hampshire residents to help build stronger communities. I love to hear our staff report back on their experiences on the ground; their stories are always interesting and inspiring. Lately, though, I’ve noticed a common theme among their stories: New Hampshire is changing. That change is reflected everywhere. Approximately half of the state’s population growth during the last decade is due to the arrival of New Americans, immigrants and refugees who have come to the Granite State to build new lives for their families. As these new residents create roots here, New Hampshire’s cultural and linguistic landscape evolves. Also evolving is New Hampshire’s job market. There is increased demand among employers for workers trained in the STEM fields, and the state’s historic mills, once home to manufacturing jobs, have become incubators for tech startups and innovative entrepreneurs. Agricultural producers are embracing new research and technologies for growing crops, while historic downtowns across the state are undergoing impressive revitalizations. All this change is exciting and invigorating. One of the core pillars of Extension’s mission is to “meet people where they are”—in other words, to make our programming, our staff

and our overall efforts accessible to every resident in the state, regardless of gender, race, age or social-economic status. This edition of Radius highlights a selection of our efforts. We’re working with multilingual audiences and New American farmers in southern New Hampshire, helping women in agriculture build entrepreneurial networks, training community members in youth mental health awareness and fortifying the state’s workforce with professional development in emerging technologies such as drones, just to name a few. We do this work because it is our passion. Perhaps most importantly, we do it because it is the right thing to do—to offer equal opportunities to all Granite Staters to help them strengthen themselves, their families, their businesses and their communities. Thanks to your interest and support, UNH Cooperative Extension is able to continue this good work, now and for years to come.

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

new roots New American farmers thrive through UNH Extension partnership


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“How were the cucumbers

last week?” Isho Mahamed asks a customer at the Merrimack Farmers Market on a rainy July afternoon. The customer is one of Mahamed’s many regulars at the market. Mahamed’s well-known for her tomatoes, beautiful, uniform slicing tomatoes and a colorful variety of cherry and grape types, which she sells by the pint. “I used to sell them by weight, but I kept filling the containers up and they just kept selling,” Mahamed says, laughing.

Mahamed is one of 28 farmers who grow crops at Fresh Start Farms in Dunbarton. Farming was new to her when she came to New Hampshire five years ago, after living in a Kenyan refugee camp. “I love growing vegetables and working at the markets,” she says. She’s got a knack for it, as do the rest of Fresh Start’s farmers, all of whom have come from across the world to live, work and grow in New Hampshire. The farm is part of the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant



Success’ (ORIS) agricultural program. It’s also a frequent destination for UNH Extension specialists, who conduct workshops and offer advice to the farmers who work there.

farmers at Fresh Start grow their business,” says Jessica Newnan, agricultural program coordinator at ORIS.

Extension specialists have been helping Mahamed and the other farmers who grow on Fresh Start’s seven acres for the last seven years, thanks to a USDA grant. The partnership includes two to four workshops a year, covering everything from dealing with insects and diseases and extending the growing season to marketing products and developing a post-harvest plan.

That business is good for New Hampshire, where agriculture has a $190 million economic impact, and for farmers like Mahamed. She and the other Fresh Start farmers sell their wares wholesale to schools and businesses and directly to customers at farmers markets and neighborhood farm stands. This year, operations at Fresh Start have expanded, with two new production areas in Concord.

“Our role is to give them the information so that they can decide what to do,” says Extension specialist Nada Haddad. “Farming is complex, and Extension helps these new American farmers navigate each component of production.”

It’s good for Granite State communities, too, Newnan says. By selling at local markets, farmers are able to integrate into their communities and develop relationships outside their neighborhoods, and long-time residents get to know their new neighbors.

Fresh Start Farms was founded in 2011. The farmers represent a cross-section of refugee and immigrant communities from the greater Manchester region and use the agricultural know-how they’ve brought from their home countries to establish new roots in the Granite State.

“With the population of immigrants and refugees in the southern New Hampshire area, there comes with that a demand for the food they’re used to eating and that they’ve grown up with. So if the farmers can grow it here … I think that’s a good thing for everybody,” says Extension specialist Jeremy Delisle, who works with the farmers. “They’re really interested and hungry for that information.”

“New Hampshire always needs more farmers, so having the tools and resources from UNH Extension available will only help the


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Farmers growing their business is good for New Hampshire, where agriculture has a $190 million economic impact.

That crop diversity is reflected in Fresh Start’s fields and greenhouses, where magenta plumes of amaranth pop among the wealth of green vegetation. Though an uncommon sight in New England, amaranth is common across Africa, where its leaves, similar to spinach, are a staple in dishes throughout the continent. “I like to grow vegetables and fruit. I was doing it back home, and so I was interested in doing something similar here,” says Sylvain Bukasa. “Back home” is the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, which he left in 2006 to come to the U.S. He lives in Manchester and works for a car-rental

company, but Bukasa says he feels most at home working on the farm. Partnering with Extension helps Mahamed, Bukasa and other farmers succeed. A workshop this past winter encouraged Bukasa to try growing blueberries for the first time, and a recent visit from Delisle helped Mahamed identify a pest damaging her beet and spinach foliage. Mahamed, a natural farmer, is undeterred and already looking ahead to the next season. “I decided not to plant any fall spinach or beet crops,” she says. “But hopefully, Jeremy can help us manage it for next year.”  r






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Drop in on one of Grace Tavares’

Nutrition Connections programs, and you may find her carefully measuring out tablespoons of vegetable shortening. One, two, three — she continues until she hits 22 tablespoons, the amount of fat in some popular fast food meals. “New Americans might come from a culture where they’re not accustomed to fast food or processed foods,” Tavares says. “When they come here, they can be totally overwhelmed by choices and labels they don’t recognize, so we give them the information they need to find foods that will keep them healthy.” Tavares and colleague Awilda Muniz are educators with UNH Extension’s Nutrition Connections, which provides free nutrition education to low-income families with children and seniors. Adults with children and seniors who receive SNAP, WIC and other benefits qualify for the program, which includes group classes, cooking workshops, grocery store visits and individual meetings. Nutrition Connections programs have a big impact. Last year, the programs reached 1,857 adults and more than 5,300 youth in New Hampshire. Recent successes include a slow-cooker workshop hosted in partnership with the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, which provided the five participants with slow cookers to use at home. Nutrition Connections educators also partner with the Manchester Food Bank as well as Keystone Hall, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in Nashua.

“It’s not just about food,” Muniz says. “There are so many other components to making progress towards a healthy lifestyle. Our message to participants is, ‘Make a small change.’” Muniz and Tavares specialize in delivering programs to audiences who don’t speak English. From classes on shopping on a budget and preparing easy, healthy meals to food safety and positive lifestyle changes, the two women work with recent immigrants, refugees and others to make positive changes — in their own lives and in their communities. Communicating those changes across multiple languages and cultural differences can be a challenge. A typical class might have people from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Puerto Rico, Tavares says, and while there might be some overlap in language and culture, there are plenty of differences. Working out those differences and finding commonalities creates a strong bond. “You discover there are cultural differences in storing food; maybe they come from a place without a lot of refrigeration or processed foods,” Tavares says. “So we have a class helping them identify what goes where in the home, show them how to keep leftovers. When you help people survive, there’s an immediate bond that makes the work meaningful.”  r



first response

Program tackles youth mental health challenges

When youth are experiencing a mental

health challenge or other crisis, knowing what to do and how to respond can be difficult. But the Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training program offered by UNH Extension strives to make it easier for community members to provide young people ages 12 to 18 with the resources to get the help they need. “Being able to help is very important. It’s a ‘first responder’ situation,” says Gail Kennedy, an Extension specialist who conducts the trainings with fellow Extension specialists Rick Alleva and Thom Linehan. “There are a lot of misconceptions out there about mental health. The course reduces that stigma and increases mental health literacy. The program is open to everyone in the community because everyone has a stake in this.” Extension staff have been offering the trainings, developed by the National Council on Behavioral Health, since 2014. Demand

has increased, according to Kennedy, and this year more than 214 people have participated in the daylong sessions that cover a variety of topics, from recognizing the signs of trauma to substance misuse to suicide and other mental health challenges. Studies estimate that half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14, Kennedy says. “Youth aren’t necessarily going to recognize what’s going on, and because of the stigma around mental health issues, they may not want to identify themselves as having a challenge. It takes the adults in their lives to help them get proper support and treatment.” The sessions are free, thanks to a partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Bureau of Student Wellness and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and participants keep their workbooks to use as a reference.  r

Here’s what recent participants have to say about the program. The program had a tremendous systemic impact on our school. It’s powerful having an entire community that cares for our students able to recognize that many of them are experiencing signs of trauma. It really becomes a community effort, with enough exposure to knowledge and a shared vocabulary to make that teamwork happen. —KATIE GOVE, SCHOOL COUNSELOR, SOMERSWORTH SCHOOL DISTRICT

I’ve been volunteering with the Austin 17 House community center in Brentwood for about a year now, and taking the YMHFA training was a natural step. Thanks to the training, we’ve brought kids who’ve come to us with suicidal thoughts to the help they need. We’ve also had kids come in who are worried about a friend. It’s about peers helping peers. — C HERYL STIFTER, CERTIFIED CHILD AND TEEN ADHD COACH, STATE-CERTIFIED EDUCATION ADVOCATE


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SAFETY FIRST Extension programs promote best practices, professional development

It is July at Van Berkum Nursery in Deerfield,

and blocks of potted perennials are in full bloom. Clusters of magenta phlox, golden-hued rows of coreopsis and a full spectrum of daylilies brighten the landscape. Bees and butterflies drift lazily through the foliage. Looks can be deceiving, though. Keeping plants healthy and beautiful is an ongoing battle. And for commercial growers like Van Berkum Nursery, having certified pesticide applicators on staff is the key to winning that battle — and growing breathtaking plants.

Pesticide application is a complicated process comprised of dozens of consequential decisions. UNH Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program is a comprehensive resource for greenhouse growers, landscapers and other professionals who use pesticides. With a year-round slate of workshops, the program has become a go-to professional development resource. There’s “the cost of product, labor, weather, regulation compliance and environmental considerations, like the nearby wetlands and



the health of pollinators when plants are flowering,” says Kate Fox ’12. Fox is the assistant grower at Van Berkum and one of four staff members who hold a pesticide applicator’s license. “It’s a lot. Some pests can emerge as a problem overnight, so we need to be able to make decisions quickly.” The most important component of this complicated equation? Safety. Fox and colleague Perry McLellan ’95 attend Extension

UNH Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education program offers workshops and resources for commercial growers and other professionals year-round. For the latest trainings and resources, visit extension.unh.edu/programs/ pesticide-safety-education.


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workshops and trainings to make sure they have the most current knowledge to keep themselves, their staff and their customers safe. “As a smaller grower, we can’t afford to go by word-of-mouth when it comes to safety,” McLellan says. “Staying up-to-date with information from a trusted source is important to us, and we know UNH Extension is that source.”  r

small moments,

big impacts STEM program boosts Manchester students

Termites are tiny pests with a big appetite. But, as students in

the Agnes Lindsay STEM Fellowship Program learned on a recent Thursday afternoon, inside every termite are even tinier microorganisms that help the insect digest wood. “This is so cool,” said Omaima Serhan, a sophomore at Manchester West High School as she looked through a microscope and tried to separate a termite’s head and abdomen. “I never saw myself doing anything like this … but the fact that I want to be a biology major in college and can get a head start by doing this is super cool.”



There are so many questions and so many answers waiting to be found. I want to be part of finding those answers. —OMAIMA SERHAN, SOPHOMORE AT MANCHESTER WEST HIGH SCHOOL

Serhan was part of the 2017 class of Agnes Lindsay Fellows. The program recognizes and supports the development of talent among Manchester School District high school students, particularly students underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The fellowship is a partnership between the STEM Discovery Lab at UNH Manchester and West High School. Each week, the fellows gather at the UNH Manchester for workshops led by UNH faculty. Students receive high school credit for the program, complete research projects and get a sneak peek at their futures. The fellowship is sponsored by the Agnes Lindsay Trust. A workshop in October focused on microorganisms. Kyle MacLea, an assistant professor of biology at UNH Manchester, provided the fellows with an overview of microorganisms. Students then got an up-close look by dissecting termites. Trichonympha and other organisms live inside the insect’s gut and digest wood particles. Without the organisms, termites couldn’t digest


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wood; without the termites, the organisms wouldn’t receive the nutrients they need. After a brief demonstration, Serhan and her peers set about the difficult task of securing a termite from the sample container, dissecting it and viewing the microorganisms. “One of the program’s goals is to expose students to different fields in STEM and the types of research happening in those fields,” said Emily Kerr, STEM Discovery Lab coordinator. “Even if it’s not a field in which they’re particularly interested, they’re seeing connections between different fields.” For students like Serhan, the workshops have resulted in hands-on science experiences. At her microscope, she exclaimed excitedly as she dissected the termite and began searching for microorganisms. It was a small moment, but one with a big impact — not unlike trichonympha. “There are so many questions and so many answers waiting to be found,” Serhan said. “And I want to be part of finding those answers.”  r




Each spring, New Hampshire’s coastal

rivers host an incredible migration. American eels, hatched 1,000 miles away in the Atlantic Ocean, swim upstream as far as they can, where they grow to adulthood in freshwater streams and lakes. Most people have no idea that part of this fantastic journey occurs locally, but the dedicated volunteers of New Hampshire Sea Grant and New Hampshire Fish and Game’s eel-monitoring program are keenly aware. “Once you get to know what glass eels are and where they start and how they get here, it’s just so fascinating,” says Kaye Jaus of Alton. She and


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her husband Craig are two of the three dozen volunteer eel monitors who track how many eels pass through one of New Hampshire’s two collection sites each day during the migration. Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea, and larvae drift on ocean currents until they arrive here. By the time they hit New Hampshire’s coast, they’ve already done a lot of growing. Now called glass eels, they’re largely transparent and small, about four inches long. The juvenile eels then swim up freshwater streams and eventually become yellow eels, according to Caitlin Mandeville, citizen science outreach coordinator with New Hampshire Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension.

Monitoring eels helps New Hampshire Fish and Game officials set catch limits and plan the commercial fishing season.

Volunteer citizen scientists monitor the Durham collection site daily during the migration. A passive capture system collects the eels in one place, and volunteers count how many are passing through.

“These programs wouldn’t happen if people didn’t volunteer,” Craig Jaus says. “We want to wake up America, wake up the world to the fact that there’s more to life than dollar signs. We need our planet.”

Monitoring eels helps New Hampshire Fish and Game officials set catch limits and plan the commercial fishing season. It also provides a window into the health of a native species and bolsters research efforts.

They’re planning on bringing their six-yearold grandson with them during an upcoming eel-monitoring shift. “He’s a budding naturalist. He checks under all the rocks because he loves salamanders. He’s interested in snakes. He’s interested in the environment, and us being involved in the environment helps him, too,” Kaye Jaus says.

The Jaus’ journey as volunteers has been as epic as the life of the eels they monitor, though on a smaller scale. They’ve participated in cleanups at Mount Major, piping plover monitoring in Seabrook and Hampton and other efforts hosted by Sea Grant and UNH Extension.

If his enthusiasm holds, it could be the start of a whole new cycle of volunteerism.  r

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY Find volunteer opportunities at seagrant.unh.edu/crv and naturegroupie.org.




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all together now Extension work facilitates Rochester’s revitalization

In Rochester, the city’s atmosphere is

a little more musical. Upright pianos, painted and decorated by local artists, are scattered throughout the city. There’s one downtown, one at the Rochester Community Center, another at the Lilac Mall. Residents and visitors are encouraged to admire the pianos and maybe tap out a song or two on the keys. The idea behind the public art project, now in its second year, is to reflect with art the economic and creative momentum building

in and around the Lilac City’s downtown. That momentum is thanks in part to the city’s ongoing collaborative work with UNH Extension’s Community and Economic Development (CED) team. “It’s about understanding that we’re a team. Between UNH Extension, the city and all the citizens, revitalizing downtown is a group effort,” says Jennifer Marsh, an economic development specialist with the city.



I can’t imagine us going through this revitalization effort without the help of UNH Extension. —EMILY PELLETIER, PRESIDENT OF ROCHESTER MAIN STREET

Encouraging Engagement A city of about 30,000 people located between the Seacoast and White Mountains regions, Rochester is ripe with potential, according to Marsh. Realizing that potential is both an ongoing process and a group effort, and the first step was figuring out what they have to work with. For Rochester, that meant taking part in CED’s First Impressions program in 2016. The program pairs similar communities, and representatives from each evaluate the other’s downtown. The process helps towns and cities learn about their assets and opportunities for improvement and empowers leaders and volunteers to put improvement plans into action. The First Impressions program gave officials and residents lots to work with, says Emily Pelletier, president of Rochester Main Street. A volunteer committee charged with rethinking


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the city’s approach to branding, economic development and community vibrancy grew out of those initial First Impressions sessions. That committee is still going, and the piano art project is one of its early successes. “We’ve been meeting every month for the last year and a half,” says Pelletier, who co-chairs the committee. “There have been some cool community engagement opportunities. We’ve put out collage boards for residents to share their vision of Rochester’s future. There’s a big push. The city and the people want change to happen, and that momentum is there.” In 2017, Pelletier, Marsh and other city officials took part in CED’s Community Engagement Academy. An interactive three-day program for community development professionals and citizen volunteers, the academy’s sessions focus on helping municipal leaders develop tools to bring citizens together and engage the public in charting a vision for a community’s future.

Those tools have been invaluable to working with volunteers, Pelletier says. “We have to be sensitive to people who are giving us their time and their voices,” she says. With skills learned at the academy, she says, “Everybody’s voice is heard, and they’re all involved in the change that’s happening.”

Creating Buzz That change includes big projects like the artfully decorated pianos and smaller but no less impactful efforts, such as one volunteer’s project to clean up, paint and touch up downtown storefronts. “He got approvals from a handful of local businesses to paint, take down old lettering, clean up some messes, move stuff out of the windows of vacant storefronts and otherwise brighten things up,” Marsh says. “It was a great project.” Those improvements are attracting attention outside of Rochester. Earlier this year, New Hampshire Magazine designated Rochester as

“a city on the rise.” The city also recently received a New Hampshire Municipal Technical Assistance Grant to help residents and officials examine housing and zoning options for downtown. “We’re always suggesting these kind of opportunities to communities,” says UNH Extension state specialist Molly Donovan. According to Pelletier, the CED team’s help has been invaluable. And though there’s already much to be excited about, she knows there’s more work to be done. “I can’t imagine us going through this revitalization effort without the help of UNH Extension,” she says. “None of this is going to happen overnight; it’s going to take five years, 10 years. But the city, the community, nonprofits and businesses, we’re all at the same stage. We want this to happen, and it’s amazing to watch it unfold.”  r

Community Engagement Academy brings citizens together to engage the public in charting a vision for a community’s future. Radius


postcards from camp A summer at Barry Conservation Camp grows true leaders

Barry Conservation Camp has been making summer magic happen for New Hampshire youth since 1984. A partnership between UNH Extension’s 4-H program and New Hampshire Fish and Game, Barry Camp, located in Berlin, educates young people about wildlife and natural resources and helps them develop life and leadership skills. And when camp is over, youth bring those new skills back home to their communities.

Dear Mom, Having an amazin g time at Barry 4H Conservation Cam p … best summer camp EVER! We’ve been doing so much this wee k that I don’t know where to start. Started th e week with a class on su rvival skills — build in g a fire, staying safe in the woods, using a co mpass — and it was super in teresting! Then we went on a long hike, and m y cabinmates and I le arned how to identify di fferent trees. I was w ick ed tired when we go t back, but we all rallied to clean up after dinn er. (Yes, I did the di shes!) The food is sooo go od here, too! Miss you! -J.


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Dear Dad, Going on a big hike to morrow an camping u d then nder the st ars. Can’t w got a no-ph a it ! They’ve ones rule h ere at camp even miss it , but I don’t . Hanging o ut with the my cabin is other kids in awesome. It ’s only been but Barry C a few days, amp has to tally chang wait to com e d m e. Can’t e back nex t year! Miss you! -S.

Dear Mom , g trip! We’re om a canoein fr k ac b t o g ors and Just out the outdo ab ch u m so g aving learnin . We’re really h re u at n ct te how to pro out myself ing so much ab n ar le I’m . n fu really y is fun, and I’m of the — like, archer so helping me n ee b e I’v ! it d my good at eir activities, an th h it w s d ki younger pressed with she’s really im id sa r lo se n u co elieve it? ills. Can you b sk ip sh er ad le my Talk soon! -M. Radius


G ROW I NG FARM S , G ROW I N G When Emma Downing ’16 opened Blue Heron Farm in

New Boston two years ago, she received as a gift a felted wool flag featuring an artfully rendered blue heron in flight. Nestled in a clover-filled pasture on a slope with three grazing cows, a crowd of young pigs and a colorful flock of laying hens, Blue Heron Farm is just one of the Granite State’s new women-owned farms. Like its namesake, the farm has taken flight, and Downing knows maintaining success requires constant work. That’s why she participated in Annie’s Project, a UNH Extension program that connects women farmers with educational programs, workshops and networking events. Downing recently shared her thoughts on Annie’s Project, farming and working with Extension specialists.


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COM MUN I T I E S Annie’s Project empowers NH women in agriculture

How did you begin farming?

What are some of your goals?

My grandfather was a dairy farmer, and this is part of his original property. He ended up selling, and my mom took it over for a while. We raised bison for a long time when I was little, which was unique. I received a degree in sustainable agriculture and food systems at UNH in 2016. I also got into the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture’s Cooperative Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) program, and that is where my cow obsession blossomed. As I got out of college, I got my first job at a dairy farm, and just decided I would farm 24/7.

I am hoping to expand the farm here. I really want to be in this community. I grew up here, and I want to serve this community and connect them to agriculture. This was a big ag town back in the day, and it still is, but people are a little more disconnected. I want to help reconnect.

What has your experience with Annie’s Project been like? It was really nice to be in the same space with other people who share the same interest and passion for working hard. It isn’t the easiest lifestyle, so it was amazing to be around people who are like me. The best thing was the women-farmer panel, being able to hear the stories of female farmers who have been doing it for a really long time and succeeding. It was really amazing to hear their stories and feel like I am headed in the right direction.

What was one thing you learned at Annie’s Project that has had the biggest impact? The simplest thing: recordkeeping. Figuring out what works for me was important. I am a step-by-step person, but it is so important, and we talked about it a lot at Annie’s Project. Writing everything down and keeping track has been so helpful when you need to look back. I used to not do that; I used to just do chores and think that was farming. I have realized how important that is.  r



It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s … The Future! Watch Drone Academy take to the skies. bit.ly/2LECUig


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Jim Cloutier isn’t afraid to admit it: He’s addicted to drones. “I started flying over 10 years ago. And at some point, my wife hinted that if I continued investing in this type of equipment, we had to start making some money from it,” he says, laughing. Cloutier and his wife started Red Dog Aerial Media, which specializes in photos and video taken using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as drones, for businesses, broadcasters, real estate companies, construction firms and others. He’s also an instructor for Drone Academy, a new program from UNH Professional Development and Training (PDT) that immerses drone operators in the basics of safely flying and operating drones. “Drone technology is a vital tool to add to your toolbox of skills,” Cloutier says. “If you’re a surveyor, you can use UAVs to enhance the services you provide. If you’re an engineering company, you can use drones to decrease the time it takes to collect data. Or, you can start a company dedicated to whatever you can do with UAVs.” Though the technology is relatively young, the UAV industry is soaring. A 2013 report from industry group Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimated that by 2025, UAV technology will help create more than 100,000 jobs.

PDT’s Drone Academy course is making sure some of those jobs come to New Hampshire. “Our mission is about meeting New Hampshire’s workforce needs,” says Chris LaBelle, PDT’s director. “In this case, we spoke to the state Department of Transportation (NHDOT) Bureau of Aeronautics, and they mentioned there was a need for this kind of training.” PDT worked with NHDOT and Red Dog Aerial Media to create a curriculum that’s responsive to the needs of New Hampshire communities and up-to-date on the latest federal regulations. Drone Academy is in its second year. The program began in 2017 with a course designed for police, firefighters and other first responders. The course was a hit, according to LaBelle, and Drone Academy has expanded to offer four-day drone operator certificate programs, additional first-responder trainings and certification exam preparation. Also in development: a course that delves into using drones and ArcGIS mapping software. Cloutier believes the field is only going to keep growing. “Civil engineers and surveyors are using it for mapping, taking measurements and construction, and you’ve got a lot of agricultural applications too,” he says. “And that’s the tip of the iceberg.” His advice to the UAV workforce’s next generation? Keep watching the skies.  r





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In New Hampshire, daily life is often local — really local. Take, for example, Sullivan County. Located on the state’s western border with Vermont, the county is home to a wealth of arts organizations, including the Library Arts Center in Newport and the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts in Claremont.

Though the two nonprofit arts venues are only 15 miles apart, their respective executive directors, Kate Luppold and Melissa Richmond, had only met once before. With so much in common, and in a state so small, it seemed strange the two didn’t know each other better, Richmond says. “We’re all sort of in our own little corners of a town or city,” Richmond explains. “I’d previously met Kate once, but we hadn’t had any in-depth conversations because we’re busy with what’s going on in our own corners.”

That’s changing. Richmond and Luppold, along with other artists, community leaders and volunteers, are working together to help Sullivan County establish an identity as a Granite State arts destination. Work began earlier this year when a six-person team received a grant from the National Association of Counties and Americans for the Arts to use the county’s artsbased, cultural, architectural and natural assets to attract visitors, residents and new businesses. “The team is focused on figuring out what the arts-based assets are across the county and creating a strategy to connect them,” says Penny Whitman, a UNH Extension economic development field specialist who’s part of the team.

When I think of creativity and the creative economy, there are a lot of people who are creating in this area. If they’re connected to each other with a shared sense of purpose and identity, it could get people in this region to realize there’s more going on here than they thought. — S TEPHANIE KYRIAZIS, SAINT-GAUDENS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE



A century ago, the Sullivan County region was an arts destination. Gilded Age sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Cornish estate was the nucleus for the Cornish Colony, a summer retreat for artists and their patrons. In the intervening years, the region has suffered a sort of identity crisis, according to Whitman. “People know what the Upper Valley of New Hampshire is like, what the Lakes Region is, what the Seacoast has to offer, but nobody knows what’s out here and why they should come out here,” she says. Whitman likens it to a garden: a flower here and a flower there don’t make a garden. But connect them together in some way — a blooming bed or a colorful display — and a coherent picture emerges. That’s where “arts-based placemaking” comes in. The concept brings artists, arts organizations and community development practitioners together to integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work. It can increase creative activity, strengthen a community’s identity, spur economic development and bring new residents and visitors to a region.

“When I think of creativity and the creative economy, there are a lot of people who are creating in this area. If they’re connected to each other with a shared sense of purpose and identity, it could become magnetic. It could get people in this region to realize there’s more going on here than they thought, and it might draw tourists in,” says Stephanie Kyriazis, chief of interpretation, education and visitor services for the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish and a member of the arts-based placemaking team. Though the work is still in its beginning stages, there have already been successes, according to Whitman. One example is the Love Sullivan Project, in which county residents were asked to share their favorite places in the region on an interactive online map. Other projects, like a community-made mosaic in Newport, are also attracting attention. “We’re excited to be doing what we already do, but making a big effort to do community engagement outside the walls of the arts center,” Luppold says.  r

Take part in the

Love Sullivan Project bit.ly/LoveSullivan


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

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empowering communities

Community Engagement Academy convenes community leaders


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

When Molly Donovan

was conducting outreach work for the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan a few years ago, she interviewed stakeholders across the state. The plan required input from a diverse array of Granite Staters about what wildlife and natural resources meant to them. For the project, Donovan, a community economic development state specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension, interviewed families with low incomes. “So many of those families said that their dream is to go to the White Mountains,” Donovan said. “Many of us can go to the White Mountains whenever we want. Others can’t, and that’s why it’s vital to focus on equity and inclusion and reaching out to different audiences.” Donovan shared this story during a recent session of UNH Extension’s Community Engagement Academy. A collaboration between UNH and the University of Maine, the program is an interactive three-day academy for community development professionals and citizen volunteers. Participants learn how to cultivate best practices for engagement, develop communication tools and make equity and inclusion a community priority. Those skills are increasingly important, as many communities revitalize downtowns, prepare for climate change and face other challenges. During a discussion on equity and inclusion, one participant pointed out that race, culture, spiritual background, economics and other

factors create diversity in communities. No matter what a community looks like on the surface, underneath is a wealth of diverse perspectives, unique needs and various opportunities. “All communities need different things, but they also have different assets,” said Sharon Cowen, a UNH Extension community and economic development field specialist. Each session empowers community leaders to identify those needs and assets. Hands-on activities, downtown tours, discussions and advice from extension experts help participants develop practical skills to bring back to their communities. The sessions were illuminating for Fred Endler, a Pittsfield resident and member of his town’s community development committee. “I’m not trained in any of these methods, so being able to gain the tools to help someone feel as if their idea was heard and has value is great,” he said. “Through the program, I’ve discovered new approaches.” Most of all, the program has validated for Endler the importance of bringing together Pittsfield’s diverse groups. “You can’t have too much separation between the older retirees on fixed incomes or the people with low incomes or blue-collar workers or retired people with big pensions. Sometimes they separate into camps,” he said. “You’ve got to bring them together as people.”  r

Participants learn how to make equity and inclusion a community priority. Radius


making life better, one bowl at a time A 4-H member helps New Hampshire families

Henning Tuininga is only 15 years

old, but he already knows that good food made with kindness can change lives. A member of Strafford County 4-H, he recently led an effort to make homemade chicken soup for women and children at an emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter in Dover. “Not many people know about it because it’s hidden,” explains Tuininga. “It makes it hard for them to get donations.” Tuininga’s project was part of Strafford County 4-H’s Day of Caring event. More than 20,000 New Hampshire youth participate in 4-H, a statewide youth development program run by UNH Cooperative Extension. Tuininga is the secretary of his county’s Youth Leadership Team (YLT), a select group of youth who design and implement community action projects. Why make soup? “Soup is easy to transport, contain and reheat. It’s also cheap to make,” says Tuininga. But, he adds, there’s something special about a bowl of hearty, homemade soup, especially for families in a difficult situation and living in an unfamiliar place.

Life can be really rough, but sometimes just a warm bowl of soup makes things better. — H ENNING TUININGA


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

He and his fellow YLT members recruited friends and younger 4-H’ers to prepare and deliver the soup. “We needed something everyone could help make,” he says. “There were tons of vegetables to wash and chop, and we had chickens to clean.” Tuininga’s project reflects the 4-H pledge recited at the beginning of every meeting: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.” It’s a philosophy that Tuininga has taken to heart. “I want people to think of me as someone who will help them with whatever they need,” he says, “and I want them to say I was nice.” He’s off to a good start.  r


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.



5.29 million




COOS 150 Volunteers 13,750 Hours

GRAFTON 324 Volunteers 24,772 Hours

CARROLL 220 Volunteers 7,430 Hours BELKNAP 227 Volunteers 16,587 Hours

SULLIVAN 248 Volunteers 14,356 Hours

STRAFFORD 389 Volunteers 14,877 Hours

MERRIMACK 328 Volunteers 26,462 Hours CHESHIRE 187 Volunteers 20,046 Hours


HILLSBOROUGH 592 Volunteers 36,037 Hours

ROCKINGHAM 653 Volunteers 28,340 Hours

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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 Larry Clow Peter Eisenhaure Dave Kellam Jill Ketchen Austin Prusik 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. © 2018 University of New Hampshire All rights reserved.

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