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Last year’s Farm & Forest Expo. Courtesy photo.




New Hampshire Farm and Forest Expo

When: Friday, Jan. 22, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester
Cost: Admission is $7 per person, free for age 16 and under. Save $1 by bringing two non-perishable food items for NH Food Bank.
Visit: nhfarmandforestexpo.org




Growing strong
Fun and learning at the Farm & Forest Expo

01/21/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



It may look bleak outside, but there’s plenty of greenery and life at the New Hampshire Farm and Forest Expo, open Friday, Jan. 22, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. 

Now in its 33rd year, the event has become a Granite State tradition, attracting thousands for a weekend of forestry and agriculture exhibitors, seminars, demos and networking. But it isn’t exclusively an industry trade show. Also known as New Hampshire’s Greatest Winter Fair, the expo has become a destination for families looking for a fun winter event. 
“There are absolutely those who come because they’re interested in the agriculture and forestry industry, but it’s also just a great way to get out on a cold winter day and bring the family to do something fun,” Tori Berube, expo manager, said.
The expo will have over 100 exhibitors, some looking to sell a product or service, others to provide information and talk with the public about issues surrounding New Hampshire agriculture and forestry. Among the exhibitors are the three founders of the expo: UNH Cooperative Extension, New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, and New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.
There will be over a dozen educational sessions and meetings, most of which are free and open to all, including the popular “Backyard Maple Sugaring for Beginners,” “Women in Agriculture,” and “The Quack on Ducks.” There are also a couple new sessions this year, including one with information about food business planning, zoning, licensing, recipe formulation and how to use a commercial kitchen to ramp up your homemade food business. Some other topics covered in the sessions are tree farming, agritourism, revitalizing old barns, chainsaw operation and maintenance, owning a goat dairy and more.
“The nice thing about the expo is that the exhibitors and educational sessions provide access to information for people at all points of their journey,” Berube said. “If they’re just starting out, it’s a great place to make connections and find people who can answer their questions.”
The expo will also have various demonstrations, including a building demo by Jesse Remington High School, a touch-a-truck area with tractors and other farming and forestry machinery, and a 4-H live animal exhibit with goats, bunnies, sheep, alpacas and baby chicks.
Kids can learn about agriculture and forestry in a fun and engaging way at the Kid Zone, where there will be face painting, demonstrations and fun activities like making “clucking cups” and “super sensational smoothies.”
There’s also FARMO, a bingo-like game that families can play together while they make the rounds at the expo. Participants are given a list of questions and must find the exhibitors who can answer them. If they complete the game, they get a prize.
“As we look at New Hampshire, it has a graying population, so a lot of our efforts are to promote new interest in forestry and agriculture,” Berube said. “So [the family-friendly activities] are just a fun way to also engage our youngest attendees and teach them about agriculture and forestry and about what’s in our state.” 





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