PENACOOK, N.H. — On Wednesday, August 7th was the historic signing of House Bill 476 by Governor Chris Sununu at the Morrill Farm in Penacook. The purpose of the bill is provide an avenue for the people of NH to show their support of NH dairy farmers by purchasing specially labeled milk at a fifty cents per gallon premium. This money will be forwarded on to supplement dairy farmers’ milk checks. Once the bill was signed, it is anticipated that the premium milk will be available in the fall of this year.
left to right: NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food, Shawn Jasper; NH Farm Bureau President, Denis Ward; Rob Morrill; Governor Chris Sununu; Kevin Morrill; Ryan Morrill; and Sherri Morrill.
This concept was the vision of Commissioner Shawn Jasper soon after he arrived in his position and saw the plight of the NH dairy farmers. It has been a long road to get to this point, but he has been visiting dairy farmers and working hard with a committee to hammer out the details. He had surveys conducted which all showed that people were willing to pay extra for milk if they knew the money went to farmers. This will be a way for the dairy industry to get in on the “buy local” movement. There are still a lot of details to work out on segregating and bottling New Hampshire milk and establishing efficient transportation and delivery systems.
Governor Chris Sununu with the Morill Family
(Story and photos by John Porter, University of New Hampshire Extension professor/dairy specialist emeritus and owner of Farm Planning Services, LLC)
–John Porter, Farm Planning Services, LLC