• Benee Hershon

2021: A Year of Resilience, Strength, and Success!

2021 has been a year of resilience in Cheshire County. CCCD has had the honor of continuing our work with this amazing community for a 76th year! We have seen the impacts of the ongoing pandemic on our farmers, foresters, and community, but in turn, we have also seen the incredible strength! In 2021 we have continued our ongoing conservation efforts and programming, along with introducing new programs and opportunities for our community. This year, we began an exciting new partnership with The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship and NCAT Northeast, to offer a free 7-week business planning course for NH Specialty Crop Producers. This new initiative will support our farmers, bring NH specialty crop producers together to learn from each other, and support CCCD’s farm viability efforts. This year, we also introduced an exciting new partnership with SOAK Up the Rain NH to offer rain garden technical assistance for conservation opportunity fund applicants! CCCD and SOAK Up the Rain NH staff have already begun to conduct site visits to assist community members in determining whether a rain garden is a good fit for their property! Rain Gardens reduce pollution to our community’s waters, while also supporting native pollinators. 2021 Grant Highlights:

  • We awarded 3 farms through the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund in 2021. Now in its fifth year, The Farm Fund has awarded $87,000 to 16 area farms! In 2022, the Farm Fund will award up to $30,000 for area farms! We are currently accepting applications and offering informational sessions for interested applicants! Learn More and Apply by February 1, 2022, here!

  • We awarded $100,000 to NH Land Trusts through the NH Farm Future Fund’s second year! In 2022 we have $100,000 available for NH Land Trusts Apply by February 15, 2022, here!

  • 9 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) produce farms in the region worked with CCCD in 2021, to ensure farm fresh CSA vegetable shares were accessible to interested community members. 42 households participated in the third year of the Monadnock Farm Share program!

  • We awarded $5,800 to five awardees for wildlife improvement projects through the Conservation Opportunity Fund! We are currently accepting applications and offering informational sessions for interested applicants! Learn More and Apply by February 1, 2022, here!

  • In 2021, The Monadnock Localvores offered scholarships to 44 Cheshire County youth to attend summer farm camp through the Jeffrey P. Smith Farm Scholarship Program!

2021 Program Highlights:

  • We continued to offer farm rental equipment to local farmers to encourage healthy soil practices in an economically accessible way! Along with our rental equipment program, we offered technical workshops utilizing our available equipment!

  • We hosted our annual Source to Sea River Clean Up in September with 70 volunteers who pulled over 1,653 lbs. of trash in Keene, Swanzey, and Winchester!

  • We continued to offer Granite State Market Match to SNAP recipients at local farm stores and farmers’ markets!

  • Our Veteran Appreciation Month had the highest turnout on record! We distributed $14,200 in food vouchers to 258 veterans! Of those veterans, 100 were new to our program this year!

  • We hosted a successful 76th Virtual Annual Meeting! We welcomed Dr. David Hollinger, Director of the USDA Northeast Climate Hub as our keynote presenter. We also honored our 2021 award recipients: 2021 Educator of the Year, Sam Jaffe of the Caterpillar Lab, 2021 Cooperator of the Year, Craig and Megan Jensen of Sun Moon Farm, and the 75th Anniversary Conservation Legacy Award to the Monadnock Conservancy. Read more about our awardees here!

  • We hosted 3 successful workshops through the Land & Community Track at the 2021 Radically Rural Conference. This track included three hybrid (virtual and in-person) sessions that focused on Native Tribal Nations leading on environmental stewardship, recreation economies, and the impact of Covid-19 on rural populations and land use.

  • In 2021, CCCD continued work on our Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar project! The Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar project, or CSS, brings together Farmers, Investors and Champions to use available financial models to help local farms realize the potential of the renewable energy economy.Farmers in New Hampshire face significant energy expenses to run their businesses. This project will help to stabilize and lower costs of electricity for participating farms through the Community Supported Solar framework and in turn, increase the viability of those farms. There are a limited number of shares remaining for farms in the EverSource territory interested in participating! Interested farmers should contact Amanda Littleton directly to reserve their shares; first come first served until sold out. Either send an email to amanda@cheshireconservation.org or call 607-756-2988 x4 and leave a voicemail.

Read more about what we have accomplished in our 2021 Annual Report, here! We feel fortunate to work with such an incredible community and to be able to do this work in such a beautiful place. CCCD wishes you and your family a happy and healthy new year! We ask that you consider supporting our ongoing conservation efforts in this community that we call home! Contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated and all go directly to our conservation programs, support CCCD here!



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