Granite State Graziers supports New Hampshire residents who raise animals on pasture and seek to implement pasture management systems that improve soil health and water quality. We act as a clearinghouse for information, conduct educational programs and events, and provide an online resource for our membership.
Granite State Graziers works to create an environment in New Hampshire that is both welcoming to beginning farmers and homesteaders and supportive of experienced graziers. We work to make the state a place where knowledge is transferred freely among graziers. We strive to support competent, knowledgeable grass farmers who demonstrate the environmental, social, human and animal health benefits of pasture based production systems to their peers and the general public. We work to develop a system of agriculture that is both financially and environmentally sustainable.
Board of Directors
Bill Fosher, President
Bill raises feeder lambs, poultry, swine, and sometimes beef on rented land using intensive pasture management techniques. In his day job for the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts, he works with farmers in the Connecticut River watershed of New Hampshire to help them plan and implement practices that will improve soil health and water quality.
Melissa Benedikt, Vice President
Melissa and her husband Max operate Benedikt Dairy, a direct market 100% grass-fed organic dairy in Goffstown, NH producing fresh and value-added dairy products, pasture raised eggs, rotationally grazed 100% grass-fed beef and pastured pork for their 150 member year round CSA members, local retailers and farm stand customers. Melissa also serves on the board of Land For Good and is an associate supervisor for the Hillsborough County Conservation District.
Tyler Matteson, Treasurer
Tyler Matteson has been serving farmers in various consultative roles since 2007. He has a particular passion and expertise for cash flow budgeting, organizational planning and software design. Tyler understands why people like green tractors better, why golden rice is a game changer but not why people like Dexter cattle, and well... lots of other opinions. He serves as Treasurer for Granite State Graziers.
UNH Cooperative Extension
I've worked with UNH Extension since 2002, and currently head up our Dairy, Livestock, and Forage Crop team. Much of my work focuses on forage production, and that includes an interest in making good use of pastures.
Daimon grew up on a farm in Canterbury, NH and studied agriculture at the University of New Hampshire. He then attended Michigan State University for graduate school in Sustainable Agriculture and studied multi-species pasture rotation systems. After completing his MS Daimon moved back to NH and began working for UNH Cooperative Extension on the Dairy, Livestock and Forage Crops team. He worked for UNHCE for just over 3 years before recently making the move over to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in August 2016. As part of his current duties Daimon has the responsibilities of the State Grazing Specialist and is working to support NRCS staff and farmers statewide to further their understanding of their animal and forage management. Daimon has also been an active member of the Granite State Graziers Board since 2013.
The land that Clarkridge Farm sits on has been in the family for generations. Most recently the farm operations have been taken over by Dan (with help and support from family) with a renewed focus on regenerative agricultural technicques that restore soil and improve ecological health. The farm currently has 35 acres in rotationally managed pasture and 250 acres managed as a certified Tree Farm.
UNH Cooperative Extension
Elaina comes to Granite State Graziers as a Food and Agriculture Field Specialist for UNH Cooperative Extension. In May 2017 she joined Extension's Dairy, Livestock, and Forage Crop team and works out of the Rockingham County office in Brentwood. Her role is to help provide research based education and resources to farmers in her county and regionally in New Hampshire. Born and raised in central New Hampshire, she comes from a diverse background and enjoys working within many areas of agriculture, but is especially interested in working with farmers on pasture and grazing management, livestock handing, and facilities and processing.
GSG Executive Assistant
Jackie began working for GSG in October, she is also the Executive Assistant for the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts (NHACD) and has been with them since June of 2016. She manages NHACD's grants, communications, and assists in event coordination, among other things! Jackie worked for the Sustainability Institute at UNH before moving back home to Spofford, NH. She has an MPA from UNH and a BA in Communications from Simmons College in Boston, MA.