NH's Dairy Industry
The New Hampshire dairy industry is located primarily in the Connecticut River Valley on the state’s western borders and along the Merrimack River Valley in the center of the state. There are approximately 94 dairy farms in New Hampshire with an average of 120 milking animals per farm.
Historically the dairy industry was the “king” of agriculture in the state. Dairy farming is an agricultural enterprise using many thousands of acres of tillable land for crops and grazing. This maintains open space, which provides numerous environmental benefits, and gives New Hampshire the rural character enjoyed by its residents and the many tourists. A continued reduction in the industry could create a major change in the complexion of the state’s countryside. Although New Hampshire could meet its needs for fluid milk with imports, consumers would lose the privilege of being able to buy a local, fresh product.
The cost of production has exceeded farm income for a prolonged period, causing a
continuous decline in farm numbers and putting the state’s dairy industry at risk.
For a more in depth look at New Hampshire's dairy industry, its contribution to economy, community, and health, please read The New Hampshire Dairy Industry in 2020
Meet some of NH's Dairy Farmers
Towle Farm - Loudon, NH
Price Farm - Gilmanton, NH
Morrill Farm Dairy, LLC - Penacook, NH
Yeaton Farm - Epsom, NH
UNH Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center - Durham, NH
Tullando Farm - Orford, NH
Preserve and Protect New Hampshire’s Open Farmland
New Hampshire’s fast rate of development is making open space and scenic views precious resources. Not only are they appreciated by visiting tourists, but the state’s residents and those seeking to retire or have second homes in New Hampshire desire the rural atmosphere.
Open farmland provides corridors along which wild animals can travel in search of food, shelter, and places to breed and bear young. The availability of open space also provides significant environmental quality and health benefits. Open space protects animal and plant habitat, places of natural beauty, and working lands by removing the development pressure and redirecting new growth to existing communities.
Preservation of open space benefits the environment by combating air pollution, attenuating noise, controlling wind, providing erosion control, and moderating temperatures. Open space also protects surface and ground water resources by filtering trash, debris, and chemical pollutants before they enter our water system.
The general pattern of many New Hampshire studies, as well as over sixty similar studies conducted in many parts of the country, show that the income from residential property is not adequate to pay for services that the residents demand. Undeveloped open space and commercial/industrial land require less services and provide dollars to the town or city (Taylor, 2006).