Timberland owners meet April 21 – Steve Taylor, guest speaker

Steve Taylor, former Commissioner of Agriculture and a dairy farmer in Sullivan County, will be the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Sullivan County Chapter of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA). The group meets for a pot-luck dinner on Saturday, April 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Ahern Building at the Sullivan County Complex in Unity.

Taylor will present “The Great Sheep Boom and Its Enduring Legacy on New Hampshire’s Landscape.”  The program, funded by the Humanities Council, will start about 6 p.m., and it’s open to all free of charge.

“Steve’s program is entertaining, engaging and informative,” said Ann Davis, a landowner in Sullivan County and president of the NHTOA.

“He certainly gives insight as to why today we see miles and miles of stone walls through the woods. He plans to ‘taylor’ his talk for our group, so I know we’re in for a real treat.”

In a brief 30-year period in the early 19th century, the New Hampshire countryside became home to hundreds of thousands of sheep. Wool production became a lucrative business, generating fortunes and providing the only era of true agricultural prosperity in New Hampshire’s history.

Farmers overcame enormous challenges to make sheep husbandry succeed, but forces from beyond New Hampshire were to doom the industry. The social consequences of the collapse of the industry persisted for a century.

Also on the agenda …

  • The chapter will hold a brief business meeting and elect officers for 2012.
  • Jasen Stock, executive director of the NHTOA, will give a legislative review.
  • John Cressy, facilities director at the county complex, will give an update on the $3.2 million Biomass District Energy Project that will come on line in spring 2013.

The new system will produce 90 percent of the heating needs and 9 percent of the electrical needs for the nursing home and corrections buildings at the Sullivan County Complex. The biomass project will use 1,900 tons of local woods chips and 19,000 gallons of propane to replace more than 125,000 gallons of fuel oil.

About NHTOA

  • Founded in 1911, the NHTOA represents all aspects of the forest products industry including landowners, foresters, loggers, truckers, mill owners and others.
  • The forest products industry contributes more than $2.25 billion annually, or nearly 4 percent of New Hampshire’s Gross State Product.

For more info, contact Tim Fleury, (603) 863-9200 or at tim.fleury@unh.edu.

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