NHACD Annual Meeting & Working Lands Conference

November 2, 2017 @ 10:30 am


Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Keene - 75 Railroad St. Keene, NH 03431


See below!


Click here to purchase tickets!

Thursday Banquet Tickets only $20 for Cheshire County residents!!


Friday Conference Scholarships available for:

  • Cheshire County Farmers: Use promo code FARMER at registration check out, for more information contact Amanda Littleton at amanda@cheshireconservation.org or 603-756-2988 x116
  • NH Veterans: Use promo code VETERAN at registration check out, contact Andy Pressman at andyp@ncat.org or 479-587-3475 for more information or to discuss lodging assistance


Event Schedule


Thursday, November 2nd / 10:30am-4:30pm - Thursday morning hosts our NHACD Annual Business Meeting. An opportunity to hear highlights from each of NH's ten Conservation Districts as well as statewide & national conservation partner updates. Lunch provided.


Thursday, November 2nd / 5:00pm-9:00pm - Thursday evening hosts the CCCD's Annual Meeting Banquet. Join us for a lively cocktail hour of locally sourced wine and beer, followed by community awards, Cheshire County highlights from the year, and a keynote address by author David Montgomery. All nestled within a locally sourced and delicious three-course banquet dinner provided by the Monadnock Food Coop.


Friday, November 3rd / 8:00am-4:00pm - Friday hosts the Working Lands Conference portion of our event. A full day of informative workshops for you to choose from and the option to hop on a bus and join us for a Cheshire County Cover Crop Tour! We will also host a Veterans Networking Session for veterans interested in discussing farming practices, challenges and available resources with other likeminded veterans. Breakfast and lunch provided. See below for workshop, cover crop tour, and veteran networking details.




Conference Workshop Descriptions

(Eight Concurrent Session and Optional Cover Crop Tour)

Category I & II CFE credits available at each workshop

Pesticide Recertification Credits available on select workshops


9AM: Building Soil Health (1.0/II CFE) - This session will delve into the theoretical concepts of the soil health movement and add practical perspective for farmers looking to add resiliency, profitability, and sustainability to their farm operation.  We will discuss why it pays, in dollars and cents, to think about your soil as a living ecosystem to be nurtured rather than a something to be controlled.  The discussion will focus on how you can be a soil health manager through reduced tillage and no-till, the diverse use of cover crops, improved nutrient management, and other agronomic practices.  We’ll hear from a number of farmers from various backgrounds on how they’ve adopted these principals and seen the results first hand. (Presented by: Chad Cochrane-USDA NRCS, Adam Crete-Highway View Farm, & Pooh Sprauge-Edgewater Farm)

9AM: Irrigation Water Conservation & Soil Moisture (1.0/I CFE)This session will discuss various ways to conserve irrigation water during the growing season. We will review irrigation types and techniques as well as conservation tips for proper irrigation timing and coverage.  Further technical analysis will also be discussed using soil moisture sensors and how to implement that data into an irrigation system. FSMA regulations will also be briefly discussed as it pertains to irrigated crops. (Presented by: Trevor Hardy-Brookdale Fruit Farm)

10:30AM: Increasing Farmland Access and Building Stronger Farms through Conservation (1.0/II CFE) - Now, more than ever, farmers and conservation groups are working together to protect farmland and get more land back into farming. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of farmland protection, including what it means to sell your development rights. Farmer Stuart Adams, who recently conserved his family farm, will share his experiences. You’ll also hear about how farmers and nonprofits are working together to keep land in production and affordable for farmers. You will leave the workshop armed with action steps of how you can work with local nonprofits to protect your farm, access additional land, or find affordable land to buy.  There will be plenty of time for Q&A, so come with your questions and ideas! (Presented by: Stacy Gambrel-Monadnock Conservancy, Cara Cargil-Land for Good, & Stuart Adams-Windyhurst Farm)

10:30AM: Grassland & Shrubland Bird Ecology & Habitat Management (1.0/I CFE) - New England is home to about 45 bird species that require either grass- or shrub-dominated habitats as their primary nesting and breeding habitat. Many of these species, including bobolinks, meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows, prairie warblers, field sparrows, and brown thrashers, are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the region because they have experienced long-term populations declines due to habitat loss. In this presentation we will: introduce the bird species that require grassland and shrubland habitats and discuss their specific habitat needs, provide an overview of the most common areas where these habitat occur in the region, and provide practical suggestions for how landowners can maintain or even create these habitats on their land to benefit birds and many other wildlife. There will be ample time for Q&A. (Presented by: Rosalind Renfrew-VT Center for Ecostudies and Matt Tarr-UNH Cooperative Extension)

1PM: Working Lands Policy Session (1.0/I CFE) - Federal, state and municipal policy can all have big impacts on farms and farmland--including ag land preservation and stewardship practices. How can Conservation Districts support the sustainability of New Hampshire's working agricultural lands? Plan to discuss NACD’s work on conservation policy, priorities for the next Farm Bill, how districts can get involved, as well as the major challenges facing stewardship of privately owned forest lands, particularly as these relate to state and municipal policies in the Granite State. (Presented by: Eric Hanson-NACD, Will Abbott-SPNHF, and Lorraine Merrill-NHDAMF)

1PM: Adapting Your Farm & Forests to Build Resilience to Climate Change (1.0/I CFE) - Presenters will share how climate is impacting agriculture and forestry in our region. Participants will learn about the specific challenges and ways to adapt in order to sustain productivity. Through interactive dialogue everyone in the room will share experiences and stories. Tools, resources and decision-support are central to this discussion on adapting our farms and forest lands. Everyone interested in dealing with our warmer, wetter, and wackier weather should join us. (Presented by: Erin Lane-USDA Northeast Climate Hub, George Hamilton-UNH Extension Field Specialist, & Lisa Graichen-UNH Climate Adaptation Program Coordinator)

2:30PM: Pollinator Habitat on Farmland: What do the Growers Think? (1.0/II CFE) (1.0 Pesticide Credit) How does pollinator conservation work for the growers who practice it? Are you eligible for the government cost-share programs that incentivize pollinator conservation on farmland? Participants will learn about pollinators, the role of pollinators in agriculture, and how New Hampshire growers are using their farms to support populations of pollinators and other beneficial insects for conservation, improved crop pollination, and pest control. Eric Venturini will lead a panel composed of growers who practice pollinator conservation. Attendees will learn from the experiences of panelists and the session is formatted to encourage the exchange of experience-based information between attendees. (Presented by: Eric Venturini-Xerces Society)

2:30PM: Managing a Woodlot – Considering Landowner Interests, Ecology & Economics (1.0/I CFE) - Managing a woodlot requires a lot planning and attention to economics, landowner wishes and the ecology of the forest in order to successfully meet landowner goals.  We will discuss the process of managing a woodlot and the markets that drive management. Specifically matching landowner goals to the wood products markets all while maintaining the health of the forest and preserving or enhancing the ecological services the woodlot provides. (Presented by: Steve Roberge-UNH Cooperative Extension and Swift Corwin-Consulting Forester at Calhoun & Corwin Forestry, LLC)

1PM-4PM: Cheshire County Cover Crop Tour (Tour will span 2 workshop sessions) (3.0/II CFE) (1.5 Pesticide Credits) - Cover crops have received renewed interest from farmers in the last several years as a way to protect and maintain soils and conserve nutrients. Today, several area farms are increasing their use of cover crops with innovative seeding methods and more complex seed mixes. (Conducted by: Carl Majewski-UNH Cooperative Extension and Steve Pytlik-USDA NRCS)



Thank you to our Sponsors!

Our 2017 Annual Meeting and Working Lands Conference is a joint event coordinated by the NH Association of Conservation Districts and the Cheshire County Conservation District. We would like to give a special thanks to the local, regional, and statewide sponsors who helped make this event possible.