New Hampshire agriculture is ever changing. Today's industry is quite diverse, encompassing many crop, livestock and specialty products. Agritourism has become an integral part of many farm operations and visits to New Hampshire by agriculture-related tourists has grown.
Farming activity provides the fields, pastures and meadows that buffer New Hampshire's residential and commercial development and affords the views of the hills, valleys and mountains. Without land kept open by farming, there would be no greenbelts around our towns and cities and without farming, there would be no barns, silos, or sugar houses that give our state its special character.
Some 4,200 individual operations qualify as commercial farms in New Hampshire, managing 470,000 acres including crop, pasture, maple and Christmas tree production, conservation and other agricultural uses. The state's farms produce a wide variety of conventional bulk commodity crops, with milk and apples being the most significant. New Hampshire farms produce many specialty and horticultural crops for markets both within and beyond the state.
There are many ways to experience New Hampshire Agriculture including visiting one of 11 fairs around the state; go right to the farm and pick your own apples, berries, flowers, cut your own Christmas tree, (while you're there, have a picnic, go hiking, enjoy horse drawn hayride, cross country ski or snowshoe) take in a harvest festival, go to an open barn event, visit a farm at milking time; visit one of over 80 community farmers' markets in New Hampshire (in the summer; 30 winter markets operating from December through May), go to a New Hampshire Growers Dinner which is an all New Hampshire food menu - or visit one of the new Certified Local restaurants from the restaurant certification program.
For farms considering adding activities and events to their operations, we encourage you to make thorough plans and consider impacts like parking and traffic flow, insurance needs for the activity and safety for you and your employees as well as visitors to the farm. Following are some resources to help you in this process.
Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.
NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food
Mailing: PO Box 2042, Concord NH 03302 -2042
Physical: 25 Capitol Street, Second Floor, Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3551 | fax: (603) 271-1109