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Amanda J.C. Littleton is the District Manager of the Cheshire County Conservation District. Her appreciation for the land blossomed as a child, as she spent her free time exploring the woods behind her home or the shores of Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Antioch University New England's Environmental Studies program with a M.S. in Environmental Education and has completed a B.A. in Anthropology and Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. Before coming to the CCCD, she has held positions in various public outreach and education roles promoting agriculture and the study and conservation of the natural environment. She currently chairs the Localvore Project in the Monadnock region, and is a board member of the Monadnock Sustainability Network, Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition, and Conservation District Employees Association of NH. She has great interest in supporting the region's working landscape for the value that it contributes to the local economy, the good stewardship it provides for our local environment, and the benefits it brings to our rural communities. She lives in Chesterfield NH with her family, and when not working can often be found fixing up their old home, hiking, or playing in the waters of the Monadnock Region.  Contact Amanda: amanda@cheshireconservation.org or 603-756-2988 x4
Amanda's Awards & Recognition:

2017 - Trendsetter Award recipient (Awarded by the Keene Sentinel, The Business Journal of Greater Keene, Brattleboro, & Peterborough, and Keene Young Professionals Network)

2016 - Entrepreneur of the Year (Awarded by the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship)

2015 - Stephen H. Taylor Leadership Award for Agricultural Professionals (Awarded by the NH Farm & Forest Exposition and NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food)

2010 - Presidents' Community Partner Award (Awarded by Antioch University New England & Campus Compact for New Hampshire)

2009 - Environmental Excellence Alumni Award (Awarded by Antioch University New England's Environmental Studies Department)

Amanda Littleton

District Manager

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Amy Bodwell who moved to New Hampshire from the Chicago area in 2007 to be closer to nature and wildness. She enjoys being outside, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, watching birds, bugs and other critters, working on her 200 acres and golf. Her past work as a registered nurse included working in intensive care units and as head nurse of a spinal cord unit. After a big career change, she worked in zoos in Atlanta, Belize, Central America and Chicago mainly as an environmental educator and in local conservation. In addition to CCCD she volunteers for Healthy Monadnock 2020, United Way, and is Chairperson of the Roxbury, NH Planning Board.

Amy Bodwell

Vice Chair

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Andy Pressman has been involved in small-scale and organic farming for over 15 years.  After receiving a MS degree in Sustainable Systems Design and Agroecology from Slippery Rock University, he spent several years managing diversified farms in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S.  Starting in 2007, Andy began working as an Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).  NCAT is a non-profit organization that works to help people and communities by supporting small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to energy and agriculture.  Through NCAT’s ATTRA Project – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – Andy provides technical assistance to farmers and educators particularly in the fields of organic crop production, whole-farm planning, local food systems, permaculture design, and farm energy.  In addition and upon moving to Jaffrey in 2011, Andy and his family operate Foggy Hill Farm, a community farm and CSA.

Andy Pressman

Chair

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Benée Hershon is the Community Engagement Director for the Cheshire County Conservation District. One of Benée's greatest passions is connecting others with nature, and doing active conservation work in agriculture and working landscapes. Benée graduated from Brandeis University in 2020 with a degree in Environmental Studies, and a certificate in Conservation, Biodiversity, and Society from the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. During her time at Brandeis, Benée interned at Minute Man National Historical Park, interned in an Avian Specimen Prep lab at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, worked as a Teaching Assistant for a Citizen Science Course, and served as President and Farm Manager of the Brandeis Rooftop Farm. Prior to working with CCCD, Benée served as the Community Engagement and Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts through the TerraCorps program. During her service year, she planned and farmed a 3-acre sustainable community engagement farm. Benée is excited to be working with such an incredible and dedicated organization and community in Cheshire County! Contact Benee: benee@cheshireconservation.org or 603-756-2998 x3011

Benée Hershon

Community Engagement Director

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Chris Bowen

Treasurer

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Frank Hunter lives and farms in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. Hillside Springs Farm is a small horse-powered farm growing 3 acres and over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, using only sustainable, organic, and biodynamic farming methods.  Frank grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and majored in Environmental Studies at Prescott College in Arizona.  After interning on several CSA and draft horse farms in the Northeast, Frank and his spouse Kim Peavey were two years CSA farming on rented land near Ithaca, NY, before moving to Hillside Springs Farm in 2002.  Frank is Chair of the Westmoreland Agricultural Advisory  Committee, and a member of Farmers Helping Farmers, a regional group of farmers working to support one another and local, small-scale agriculture. Frank’s interests include live music, seed-saving, heirloom tomatoes, driving horses, and travel (when he can get it!).  Please see www.hillsidesprings farm.com for more information.

Frank Hunter

Associate Board Member

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Heidi Smith Konesko has been working with farmers to optimize their grazing systems for the past 16 years, as a Soil Conservationist with NRCS in New Hampshire.  She has always been interested in animals and animal behavior, and worked with horses while growing up. In college she was introduced to dairy cattle and worked on a local dairy farm. She studied Animal Science at the University of Connecticut, earning a Bachelor's Degree in 1987. After graduation she worked on different farms in the U.S. and Europe, gaining experience with dairy and mixed livestock.   While caretaking a small diverse farm in England she was introduced to Rotational Grazing. It seemed like a natural choice for the animals, the land, and for the farmer. Upon returning to the U.S. she came to New Hampshire to work on a grazing dairy, where she gained more experience with cattle and grass management. Eventually she returned to school and earned a Master’s in Adult and Occupational Education from the University of New Hampshire. She continued studying and learning about grass farming during a wonderfully intense year at a small college in northern Vermont, where she interned with the Farm Management faculty. It was there that she acquired her first set of insulated coveralls and a perspective on the sustainability of grass based agriculture in the northeast. She was hired by the NRCS soon after, and with them has worked on conservation programs with all kinds of farm and forest landowners, including grass based dairy, sheep, goat, poultry, and horse farms.

Heidi Smith Konesko

Soil Conservationist

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Chris and Holly Gowdy are first generation farmers. Both exposed to agriculture when they were youngsters, their families recognized their passion for animals and farming and enabled both of them to follow this as a career path. Holly majored in Animal Science at NC State, and Chris went to school at SUNY Cobleskill, his family has long ties to Cheshire County, and so once they were married they set off to find workable farm land in the Monadnock Region of NH. They moved to Walpole in 1995, their plan was to raise and sell locally grown beef. Over about ten years this plan evolved, both worked jobs off of their farm, they began total grass fed production and became certified organic, eventually they learned about Organic Valley, and so they sold off their beef cattle and with the support of friends and family, they began to build a small dairy. In 2010 they became members of CROPP Cooperative, and started shipping milk through Organic Valley to Stonyfield Yogurt. In this time frame they grew their own family, two boys. They currently have about 200 acres of hay/forage and pastureland in organic production. They still sell small amounts of their own grass fed meats directly from their farmstead, Brookfield Farm.

Holly & Chris Gowdy

Associate Board Members

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John Treat

Associate Board Member

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I am a resident of Walpole and grew up here. After attending FMRHS I graduated from Paul Smiths College in the Adirondacks of NY with a Bachelors degree in Ecological Restoration in 2019. My education heavily focused on landscape ecology, forestry, and geographic information systems. During school, I worked as an intern with NRCS in the Walpole field office to eventually become a full time Soil Conservationist. I have been a Soil Conservationist for about a year now and find interest in mapping, restoration work, and learning more about general agriculture. I love getting to apply my education in conjunction with helping local producers. In my free time I love hiking, fishing, and exploring new areas.

Jonathan Meadows

Soil Conservationist

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Peter lives in Alstead and grew up on a family-run dairy farm. However, as his interests leaned more towards the woods than the field, he chose to study forestry at UNH, graduating with an AAS from the Thompson School of Applied Science and a BS from UNH’s forestry school.

Peter worked for fifteen years as logger, forester, and company president for Tree Growers, Inc., a private tree farm company. In 1988 he started his own company, offering forest management services and logging to private woodlot owners.

In reflecting upon his schooling and all that has evolved in the world of forest management since, Peter is astounded at how much has changed. In his initial training, the emphasis focused strictly on timber growth and management. Through his association with UNH Cooperative Extension , NRCS, and by participating regularly in professional development workshops, Peter has developed a deeper appreciation for the complexity, vulnerability, and importance of soils, wildlife, and water in forest management. He strives always to consider these vital aspects of forest life in his approach to managing forested land.

When not in the woods, Peter enjoys gardening, cooking, making apple cider, and trying to figure out what that bird is.

Peter Renzelman

Associate Board Member

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Richard Mellor

Associate Board Member

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