The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








Check out tractors, trucks and other equipment at the NH Farm & Forest Expo. Courtesy photo.

NH Farm and Forest Expo

When: Friday, Feb. 6, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $7 ages 16+, 15 and under are free. Get $1 off if you bring 2 nonperishable food items.

Farm and forest fun
Annual expo showcases state’s agricultural industry

By Allie Ginwala

Whether you’re a farmer or beekeeper, hiking enthusiast or maple sugar lover, you’ll find something to suit your interests at the 32nd annual New Hampshire Farm & Forest Expo. Held to promote forestry and agriculture in the Granite State, the Expo will be at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Friday,  Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 7.

“It was started … as a way to showcase what’s happening in New Hampshire with respect to agriculture and forestry,” expo manager Tori Berube said in a phone interview. “If you’ve never been to it, it’s something to behold.” 
The Expo is first and foremost an industry trade show, founded by the UNH Cooperative Extension, the NH Department of Agriculture and the NH Division of Forest & Land to highlight the integral part agriculture plays in New Hampshire. 
Over 100 exhibitors set up booths, Berube said, each with a different goal for the day; some come looking to create business-to-business opportunities and others want a chance to speak with the consumers. 
“It’s a great way for people to collaborate,” she said. 
Some exhibitors will sell goods on the Expo floor, like ice cream from the 4-H Foundation of New Hampshire, maple popcorn from Ben’s Pure Maple Products, or NH Made jams, jellies, and soaps, but mostly the event offers a way to gather information and knowledge for future endeavors. Heavy equipment like tractors and trucks will be out for show, with vendors available to answer questions. 
“It starts the dialogue with them as to what this equipment is and why it’s beneficial,” Berube said. “It’s a good opportunity to kick the tires — literally.”
“It’s just this eclectic group of people that come and tap into whatever resources and energy are going into the state for forests and agriculture,” Berube said. 
In addition, over the course of the two days, 30 free workshops will be offered with topics ranging from exploring interesting features of old barns to innovative marketing options for small farms.
A new feature at the Farm & Forest Expo this year is a winter farmers market on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 10 members of NH Farmers Market Association. The market will set up on the Expo concourse with a selection of New Hampshire-made products. 
Another fun feature is the Kids Zone, where young farm and forest lovers can play games and do themed workshops. 
“I think it’s a great way for parents to get their kids out,” Berube said. 
Smokey the Bear and Max the Moose (from the Division of Forest and Lands) will be walking around the Expo to give high-fives and take photos. Kids can also play Farmo, a version of bingo where participants are given a list of questions and they must go and find the exhibitors who can answer them. 
“It’s a great way to engage kids,” Berube said. “There is always something for everybody.”
The New Hampshire Farm Bureau will bring recently hatched chicks, too, and the 4-H Foundation will bring a selection of baby goats, bunnies and chickens.
While it may seem odd to go to an agriculture expo in the middle of winter, Berube said the timing is no accident. 
“You can’t do it in June or May because farmers are going to be busy, so we are catching them before their season starts,” she said. “And it’s a great chance for people to get out from cabin fever and think spring.” 
As seen in the January 29, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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