Jeffrey P. Smith Farm Scholarship Now Accepting Applications and Donations

6087b85a-c4a0-4735-985a-ecb64b8e9bd9Does your child have an interest in farms or gardening?  Would he or she like to explore these interests this summer?  The Jeffrey P. Smith Farm Scholarship endeavors to connect young people with agriculture and the natural world around them.  We hope to inspire the next generation of local farmers and local food supporters, by giving regional children an opportunity, through summer camp, after school programs, or membership to NOFA-NH, to experience sustainable farming practices first-hand and watch their efforts bear fruit.  We are now accepting applications for 2020 as well as donations to the scholarship fund.

Download the application

Applications are due by March 31, 2020 and donations are accepted throughout the year.  For more information or to request a paper application, please contact the Cheshire County Conservation District at 603-756-2988 ext. 4 or

Donations to the scholarship fund are accepted through out the year. Donations can be made by sending a check made out to CCCD to 11 Industrial Park Dr., Walpole, NH 03608.  Please note that the check is a donation the the Scholarship Fund.

During his lifetime, Jeff Smith, a former member of the Monadnock Localvore Steering Committee, was an enthusiastic supporter of sustainability and local agriculture.  He firmly believed in the connection of all living things, and stressed the importance of working in harmony with the systems of the universe.  Seeing himself as a “steward” instead of an “owner” of the land, he felt the earth was entrusted to us for safe keeping during our lifetimes, to be passed along intact to future generations.  With an eager and vibrant sense of life, his every activity was geared towards improving the lives of others and the environment through giving freely of his time and efforts.  To keep alive that vision, the Jeffrey P. Smith Farm Scholarship Program was initiated in August 2009.  The program’s purpose is to send children to an area farm camp to discover the inherent rewards that come from cultivating with one’s hands and heart.



Application Period Open: NOFA-NH Journeyperson Program

Applications are currently being accepted for the third year of the NOFA-NH Journeyperson Program. Each winter, beginning farmers of all stripes, who are in their first few years of running their own farm enterprises, are encouraged to apply in order to be connected with a mentor farmer who has experience and expertise in their area of interest.

The gap between working on a farm and running a farm is expansive, and the Journeyperson Program aims to provide a bridge between these two roles. The program is shaped by the interests and goals of the participants, and provides the Journeyperson with a support structure during the high-stress, high-risk period of farm establishment.

NOFA-NH’s Journeyperson Program provides production farmers in their first few years with the kind of hands-on support, training, and community connection that only comes with experience. Journeyperson applicants are beginning farmers who have on-farm experience, apprenticeship and training, and are seriously pursuing a farming career in NH.

When asked to reflect on his experience, Glenn Preston, a 2012 Journeyperson said, “The Journeyperson program has helped me through this year by providing me with a community of fellow farmers that have offered me advice on farming and helped me transition to a new area. My mentor (Kate Donald) has been the part of the program that has been the most helpful. Having someone with a lot of experience that I can talk to on a weekly basis is great. She was able to help me with a lot of the issues that came up during the season.”

In 2014, NOFA-NH is offering two Journeyperson positions. The first is a standard, off-site Journeyperson Program wherein the Journeyperson has access to his/her own land, and is establishing a farm business. The second is the Resident Journeyperson Program at Two Mountain Farm in Andover, NH. This position is for a Journeyperson who does not have access to land.

View more information on the NOFA-NH Journeyperson Program or email Ray Conner at

This program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2011-49400-30510.

NOFA-NH is a statewide, non-profit organization that actively promotes regenerative, ecologically-sound gardening, farming and land care practices, helping people build local, sustainable, healthy food systems in our communities. To become a member, make a donation, or sign up as a volunteer, please visit or email

Beginner Farmer Program in Oregon

Here is some inspiration for our region’s Beginner Farmer initiatives (I just found out that the USDA considers anyone who has farmed 0-10 years a ‘beginner farmer’):

The average age of farmers in Oregon is 57 years old. Without a plan to get new farmers onto the land, with access to education, financing and markets, we stand to lose 25-50% of the land that is currently in agriculture production. In response, Friends of Family Farmers is developing a land and resource connection service with an online database that will help us grow our own next generation of family farmers.