Published DateMOULTONBOROUGH — Former state Agricultural Commissioner Steve Taylor will give a talk "The Great Sheep Boom and Its Enduring Legacy on the NH Landscape" on Wednesday, July 10, sponsored by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, in partnership with the New Hampshire Humanities Council.
In a brief 30-year period in the early 19th century the New Hampshire countryside became home to hundreds of thousands of sheep. Production of wool became a lucrative business, generating fortunes and providing the only time of true agricultural prosperity in the state's history. It left behind a legacy of fine architecture and thousands of miles of rugged stonewalls. During this morning presentation, Steve Taylor will discuss how farmers overcame enormous challenges to make sheep husbandry succeed, the forces from beyond New Hampshire which led to the demise of the industry, and the social consequences that lasted a century.
Steve Taylor is an independent scholar, farmer, journalist, and longtime public official. He operates a dairy and maple farm in Meriden Village and served for a quarter century as NH's Commissioner of Agriculture. He was also the first Executive Director of the NH Humanities Council and is a lifelong student of the state's rural culture.
The 5,381-acre Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area was acquired by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust in 2002 and encompasses over 30 miles of trails stewarded by dedicated LRCT volunteers. LRCT has conserved over 22,000 acres throughout the Lakes Region in more than 120 properties. LRCT's conservation work preserves community character, conserves critical wildlife habitat and diverse ecosystems, protects natural landmarks and scenic landscapes, and provides recreational opportunities for people of all ages.