Workshops for Farmers: Developing Leadership and Human Resource Management Skills

From UNH Cooperative Extension, a 4-session labor management series held at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth:


2017 Labor Management Series, Portsmouth NH – Developing Leadership and Human Resource Management Skills for Farmers

January 31, February 7, 14 and 28th

Urban Forestry Center
Portsmouth, NH

An interactive, four-session, workshop to better understand labor management issues: employment law, employee training, goal-setting, employee recruitment and job description writing. Customize your training by attending all four sessions or choose only those that are applicable to you and your farm. Farmers of all knowledge levels welcome to help enhance the educational experience for all.

Session One, January 31: Hiring and Compensation Laws

Hiring and compensation, legal workers classification, tax forms, workers comp, unemployment insurance, payroll taxes, working in the US, handbooks and contracts.

Session Two, February 7: The Business of Labor – Understanding the Full Cost of Employees

Setting the pace, efficiency in body motion and tools, setting employees up for success, building effective crews, creating a productive work environment, full cost of hiring an employee, hiring employees vs. making equipment purchasing decisions.

Session Three, February 14: On Farm Leadership & Communication

Systems in managing people, employee satisfaction & productivity, communication, performance management skills, methods of corporate America.

Session Four, February 28: Hiring & Retaining

Finding good employees, interviewing, effective training & on-boarding, developing effective job descriptions, and setting up expectations. Whole Farm Revenue Program and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24225.


To register:


  • Urban Forestry Center – 45 Elwyn Rd., Portsmouth NH 03801 View Map


$25 per session / $30 at door – lunch included



MOFGA’s Farm & Homestead Day, June 13

F&H-Day-CollageMOFGA’s Farm & Homestead Day: A Hands-on Skill Sharing Event
Location: Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, ME
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015
Time: 9am – 3pm, rain or shine
Fee: Free and open to the public

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA is a free, volunteer-driven event offering hands-on workshops based on re-skilling for resiliency. If you’re thinking of trying to raise goats for the first time or just want to learn how to make a fence, this is the place to be. The ever-popular fiber-arts area will feature spinning, weaving, carding, and felting, as well as treadle sewing machines. Other workshops this year include splicing rope, tying knots, making round poles, scarfing wood joints, riveting, goat-milking, cheese-making, blacksmithing, knife sharpening, and much more! Please bring a dish to share for the Potluck Picnic Lunch– and something to add to the Stone Soup Kettle (fresh or dry ingredients).

Come dressed to participate and ready to get your hands dirty! 

Bring family and friends! Many activities are kid-friendly or specifically for kids. Learn skills that will allow you to throw off the shackles of consumer dependency and be more self-reliant. Gates open at 7 a.m. for sunrise mowing.
 No pre-registration necessary.

For more information:

Beyond Chickens 101: How to Manage an Established Flock, June 25

Beyond Chickens 101: How to Manage an Established Flock
UNH Cooperative Extension
Location: Durham Public Library, 49 Madbury Road, Durham, NH
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015
Time: 6–7pm

Come listen to Dot Perkins, UNH Cooperative Extension Livestock Field Specialist, talk about all the facts and many practical tips about living with chickens beyond the first year. Information about problems that arise, illness, predation and much more for the intermediate owner will be discussed. For more information contact the Durham Agricultural Commission at [email protected] or 292-5156.

Duck Processing Workshop, March 31

Duckling_081214Duck Processing Workshop
Location: Elevage de Volailles, Rye, New Hampshire
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Time: 9am – 3pm
Fee: $50 per person

Join Elevage de Volailles as we welcome David Schafer of Featherman Equipment in a workshop devoted to the processing of ducks using time honored traditions and modern techniques to obtain a professional end product for you and your customers. This workshop will be geared toward the small farm and homestead with the hopes of demystifying the breeding, raising, and abattoir processing of waterfowl, and focuses specifically on ducks. Pekin ducks present a different processing experience from other lighter duck breeds; therefore in this workshop we will work with both Pekin, and the lighter breeds using Khaki Campbell as well as Campbell/Pekin crosses. With Special Guest Speakers and Demonstrators Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington in Dover, NH and Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, NH.

For more information:

Apple Tree Pruning Demo at Hackleboro Orchards, March 22

demo200601.jpg.w180h192Apple Tree Pruning Demo
UNH Cooperative Extension
Location: Hackleboro Orchards, 61 Orchard Road, Canterbury, NH
Date: Sunday, March 22, 2015
Time: 1 – 4 pm
Free and open to the public

Harry Weiser will be using over 30 years of pruning expertise to demonstrate on standard, semi dwarf, and dwarf apple trees. We will also be having a tree removal service there to remove some old trees. The event is free and open to anyone. The event is outdoors so please dress appropriately. Free hot coffee and cider donuts/apples

Questions? Contact Hackleboro at [email protected]

For more information:

Pollinator Health and Safety Conference, November 20

Bee-2-250x183The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are co-sponsoring the Pollinator Health and Safety Conference on Thursday, November 20th, to bring together farmers, beekeepers, entomologists, policy-makers and others interested in protecting pollinators. Register before October 31 and save $25:

Pollinator Health and Safety Conference
Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, 200 Sable Oaks Drive, South Portland, ME
Thursday, November 20, 2014
8am – 4:30pm

State and national experts on pollinators, bee-keeping, and pesticides will share the latest scientific research on factors affecting pollinator health and best practices for their protection.

Tentative Schedule:
– Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In the US, John Skinner, Professor and Apiculture Specialist, University of Tennessee
– Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In Maine Agriculture, Tony Jadczak, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry.
– Status of Native ME Pollinators, Frank Drummond, UMaine School of Biology and Ecology
– Risks of Pest Control Treatments For Lawns, Nancy Ostiguy, Penn State University, Department of Entomology
– Use Patterns for Neonicotinoids and Other Pesticides in Maine, Henry Jennings, Director Maine Board of Pesticides Control
– Best Management Practices For Pollinator Safety, David Epstein, USDA Office of Pest Management Policy

Register by October 31, 2014: $50/person. All registrations after October 31, 2014: $75/person. Deadline to register: November 14, 2014. Register online >

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Meghan Dill, [email protected] or 207.581.3878.

For more information:

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, June 14

Farm-&-Homestead-Day-5-2013Thinking of raising a goat? Of helping your children start a garden? Want to build a simple fence? Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, a free event held on Saturday, June 15th, in Unity, Maine, offers hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills:

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA — A Hands-on Skill Sharing Event
MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, Crosby Brook Rd, Unity, ME
Saturday, June 14, 2014
9 am – 3 pm
Gates open at 7 am for scything
Free and open to the public

Learn how to:
• weave and spin
• make your own cording with a lucet or learn rug hooking
• operate a treadle sewing machine to make a drawstring bag
• sharpen your own tools
• make cheese, ice cream, bean hole beans, and kimchi
• bake bread in a earthen bake oven, cook on a rocket stove
• manage your herbs for a long season harvest
• prune and mulch orchard trees
• build a garden cart, or a bike trailer
• make paper pots
• build really raised beds
• make a pollinator bee box
• make a coffin
• build a solar cooker, or a rocket stove for cooking with wood
• make basic leather shoes
• handle rabbits and trim their nails and learn how to tattoo their ears
• learn how to tan rabbit hides using a non-toxic method
• learn how to mow with a scythe and maintain and sharpen it

Children of all ages are invited to learn how to:
• build bluebird nesting boxes
• make paper
• make paper pots, sow seeds and transplant seedlings
• plant the really raised beds

Participants are welcome to bring any extra transplants and seeds for a Plant and Seed Exchange. Dress appropriately for this rain or shine event. We will be sampling the morning’s food preparation efforts, but bring a dish to share or bring a picnic lunch and enjoy MOFGA’s beautiful grounds.

For more information:

For Farmers: Soil Health and No Till Equipment Demo

yeomansFriday, April 25 Branch Hill Farm
307 Applebee Road
Milton Mills, NH 03852


The Strafford County Conservation District will be holding a soil health workshop and equipment demonstration in partnership with Branch Hill Farm and Moose Mountain Regional Greenways. There will be a demonstration of many pieces of specialty farm equipment available for rent.

See the Ash Spreader, Soil Aerator, No-Till Seeder in action and learn about ways this equipment can help improve soil health. Learn about ways to be successful transitioning to no-till practices. We will also be discussing use of a Yeoman’s Plow which will be available for rent to farmers in upcoming months.

The workshop is free, but pleases RSVP: to Vicky Stafford at SCCD [email protected] / 603-749-3037

Workshop (and Fun!) for Farmers: Land Access Info Night and Farmer Mixer

Seacoast Eat Local is co-sponsoring this Farmland Info Night and Farmer Mixer on March 28th at the new Smuttynose location in Hampton. Come for part or both, and plan to eat and drink well! Register (free!)


Farm Seekers and Advisors to Celebrate Mud Season at
Smuttynose Brewing Company’s New Location

Farmers and service providers gather to explore strategies to get onto farmland and tackle other top challenges facing beginning farmers in New Hampshire.

Hampton, NH, March 28, 2014:  Over 70% of our farmland will change hands in the next 20 years. A new generation of farmers needs information and support to keep our farmland in farming.

At the March 28, 2014 Seacoast Farmland Access Information Night and Farmer Mixer in Hampton, NH, new farmers seeking to buy or lease land will gather with advisors. Members of the local agricultural community are welcome, too.

Where to start? Whom to ask? Professionals in the local farming community will answer questions about how to plan, evaluate, and buy or  farm property, qualify for funding, and understand conservation easements, owner financing options, and much more.

“Access to farmland is a top obstacle for new and beginning farmers. They need to know where to turn for help and resources in their community, and to start building their networks and social capital. These events accelerate that process,” says Melissa Benedikt Blindow, owner and operator of Benedikt Dairy, a small-scale dairy in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Melissa is also the NH Field Agent for Land For Good, a non-profit organization that helps ensure the future of farming in New England by putting more farmers more securely on more land.

“This session is your chance to voice your unique challenges in looking for land, funding and other issues, listen to others voice theirs, talk solutions and share resources in order to build a more resilient beginning farmer community,” says Ray Conner, Beginning Farmer Coordinator for Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire.

Along with land access, topics will include sourcing capital, education and training, business planning, and marketing. Get answers from over a dozen advisors at the Seacoast Farmland Access Information Night on March 28, 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. followed by a Farmer Mixer from 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. at the new home of Smuttynose Brewing Company at 105 Towle Farm Rd, Hampton, NH 03842. The mixer will feature locally catered food, live music, and, Smuttynose beer.

Hear from these professionals: Duane Hyde, Southeast Land Trust of NH; Melissa Blindow, Land For Good; Ray Conner, Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH; John Hamilton,  NH Community Loan Fund; Michael and Ryan Hvizda, Keller Williams Realty; Rick Ellsmore and Dan Wright, Natural Resource Conservation Service; Jason Reimers, BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC; Michael McPhail, Farm Credit East; Emma Carcagno and Daimon Meeh, UNH Cooperative Extension, Carol Sargent, Farm Service Agency, Cara Cargill, NH Agricultural Mediation Service

Co-sponsored by Land For Good, Southeast Land Trust of NH, Seacoast Eat Local, Smuttynose Brewing Company, and Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH.

Food will be provided by Blue Moon Evolution and beer by Smuttynose Brewing Company. Reservations strongly suggested, and make sure to bring a photo I.D. if you plan to imbibe. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Land For Good at 603-357-1600 or visit

Support for this event is provided in part by grants to NOFA-NH and Land For Good from the Thomas W. Haas Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.