Scholarship pushes agriculture pursuits

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WALPOLE, N.H. — Does your child have 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.

Through this scholarship, the Monadnock Localvores 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.

The Cheshire County Conservation District is now accepting applications for 2019 as well as donations to the scholarship fund. For more information, to request application material, or to donate to the scholarship fund, contact the Conservation District at 603-756-2988, ext.116 or amanda@cheshireconservation.org.

In 2018, a total of 24 youths were awarded scholarships. The Conservation District hopes to accommodate as many children as funding can allow in 2019.

More information is also available online at cheshireconservation.org/monadnock-localvores. If you are interested in receiving a paper copy, or a specified number of applications, contact the Conservation District. Applications are due by March 31, 2019 and donations are accepted throughout the year.

During his lifetime, Jeff Smith, a former member of the Monadnock Localvore Steering Committee, was an enthusiastic supporter of sustainability and local agriculture. To keep his vision alive, 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.

For more information, contact Amanda Littleton at amanda@cheshireconservation.org or 603-756-2988, ext. 116.

Food travels an average of 1,500 miles before it ends up on your dinner plate. The Localvore movement is working to change this statistic, for the benefit of our health, palate, local farms, the environment and the community. Now in its 12th year, The Monadnock Localvores continue to focus on encouraging the eating, growing, and buying of more local food.

The Cheshire County Conservation District promotes the conservation and responsible use of our natural and agricultural resources for the people of Cheshire County by providing technical, financial, and educational assistance. The organization's goal is to encourage the stewardship of healthy soils, productive ecologically sound farms, diverse wildlife, productive sustainable forests, healthy watersheds, and clean water to ensure those resources are available for future generations. Established in 1945, the Conservation District operates out of Walpole, N.H., working alongside the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and other conservation partners.

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