Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Retiring N.H. agriculture commissioner reflects on evolution of farming in Granite State

New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor, retiring after 25 years in the appointive job, writes in his last column for his department's Weekly Market Bulletin that farming in the Granite State "has evolved greatly over those years," with the loss of most dairy farms and many apple orchards but a huge expansion of farmers' markets, horticulture and other products.

"The profit opportunities afforded by a growing population of prosperous nearby consumers have invigorated every sector of New Hampshire agriculture," Taylor writes. "Maple, equine, Christmas trees, meat animals for ethnic markets — you name it, our market prospects are close by and they’re ready to spend." (Subscribe to the Bulletin)

Taylor's replacement, Lorraine Stuart Merrill, was confirmed this week and will be sworn in next week. She and Taylor are both farmer-journalists, as this item noted.

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