Cohase Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
Where the River Unites
 Our Communities
December 2015
In This Issue
Upcoming Events



December 19, 2015
Santa Claus is Here!
9:00-11:00 AM
Wells River Savings Bank
East Thetford, VT
 
December 19, 2015
Polar Express Party
Santa Claus & More
6:30 PM
Pulaski Masonic Lodge
Wells River, VT 

December 19, 2015
Christmas Caroling
w/Haverhill Recreation Dept.
6:00 PM
James Morrill Building
North Haverhill, NH
 
December 25, 2015
Community Christmas Dinner
12:00 PM-2:00 PM
UCC Church
Bradford, VT 

December 27, 2015
Acoustic Music Jam
1:00-5:00 PM
Clifford Memorial Building
Woodsville, NH 

January 19, 2016
Chamber Annual Meeting
5:45 PM
Lake Morey Resort
Fairlee, VT
 
For more info or details about upcoming events, please visit our WEB site at www.cohase.org
:: 802-518-0030
Dear Members:
 
The Board and I wish all of our members a wonderful and prosperous holiday season.  We hope that you are able to spend time with loved ones and it is filled with laughter and joy. 

We look forward to our Annual Meeting and to solidifying the Chamber's goals for 2016.  As always, your input is vital.  Please do not hesitate to let us know what you would like to see the Chamber accomplish in the new year.
As always, thank you for your membership and support!

Warm regards,

Erik Volk
Executive Director
cohasechamber@gmail.com
(802) 518-0030

  
Ask The Chamber
 
Q. What is the status of our area's industrial parks?  Are they fully occupied and what businesses currently reside there?

A.
Thanks for the question! 

Our region has three industrial parks.  Haverhill Business Park in Haverhill, NH;  Pierson Industrial Park is in Bradford, VT and Newbury Industrial Park in Newbury, VT.  Descriptions of each are listed below.  Click on any of the businesses below to access their respective WEB sites for more information on those businesses.

Haverhill Business Park currently has two occupants:  Superior Spray Foam Insulation and White Mountain Biodiesel LLC.   Five sites still remain available and interested parties can contact Town Manager, Glenn English at (603) 787-6800 for more information about these properties.

Pierson Industrial Park in Bradford, Vermont currently has a number of businesses.  Copeland Furniture occupies several sites in the park including the former CCM Maska building.  Other businesses include Sargent Metalworks, Red Kite Candy, World Cup Supply, Pontiac Storage, Village Industrial Power and Stephens Precision Inc.  There is one empty lot available at the end of the Industrial Park.  Interested parties can contact the Bradford Community Development Corporation at (802) 222-5900.

The Newbury Industrial Park's occupants include Bread & Chocolate (Burnham & Mills), Interstate Batteries and Wooden House Company.  The Vermont Agency of Transportation also has a garage in the park.  Newman Lumber occupies the two remaining lots although the business is now closed.
Member Moment
This  column is devoted to learning more about our member businesses.  We ask the business five questions.  Questions will vary by month

This month we were pleased to speak with  Kristen May and Kendra Hatch of Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill, NH.  Hatchland Farm is one of the region's premier producers of milk and dairy products as well as operating a retail store t hat sells ice cream, dairy products and other local and r egional products. The farm is a family farm and is run by Howard and Kendra Hatch; their children Kristen May and Preston Hatch; as well as Kristen's husband Dave May. The farm employs a total of 26 people year round with as many as 35 employees in the summer

Q. When did Hatchland Farm begin?

A.  Howard Hatch (Kristen's father and Kendra's husband) started the original Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill in 1971.  The farm grew from there and in 1992, Hatchland Farm started bottling its own milk in glass containers.  Plastic containers were added to the bottling operation in 1994.  In 1999, the family purchased the current farm location and started processing milk in the new facility in 2004.  The retail store opened in the summer of  2011.

Q. How many cows do you have and do they have names?

A.  We have 425 milking cows and a total herd of 658.  Each cow on the farm produces, on average, about 65 lbs. of milk per day.  We have a "closed herd" which means we raise all of our own replacement cows which helps minimize the chances of introducing any diseases.  Although we did name the cows in the beginning, we now identify them by number. The cows are also computer chipped which allows us to scan them to get information about their health, breeding dates, calving dates, and other key information. Our gates are also electronically coordinated with the chips so that we can route a cow automatically to a specific location, as needed.

Q.  What are your biggest business challenges?

A.   The pricing of milk is a big challenge since the government controls the pricing.  However, we do have a little more control over our price than the average farmer.  Perhaps the biggest challenge though is complying with all the regulations which includes a lot of reporting, tracking and filing for not only milk production but also fuel, labor and many other things.

Q.  Your milk certainly is delicious.  Is there anything special you do that distinguishes you from other dairies?

A.  We use a method of pasteurization called "Vat Pasteurization"  which is a more traditional but more expensive pasteurization process.  Most other dairies use "quick" pasteurization methods such as HTST (High Temperature Short Time) or UHP (Ultra High Pasteurization.)  However, we believe Vat Pasteurization produces a thicker, more tasty and higher quality product.

Q.  Is there anything else people might be surprised to learn about Hatchland Farm?

A.   You can buy our ice cream year round in containers when the ice cream window is closed at our retail store!  Also, some people may not know that Grafton Village Cheese produces cheese for us known as Horse Meddah Cheddah.  It is named after the "horse meadow" on our property. Contrary to what some people think, it does not have horseradish in it.  It is delicious!  Another little known fact is that Hatchland Farm has been featured on TV!  We were featured in a History Channel program called "Hands on History" back in the Fall of 2001, hosted by Ron Hazelton, the "House Doctor."
Membership Dues Deadline Approaching
 
Thanks to all of you who have submitted your annual dues for 2016 membership.  The requested deadline for dues payment is December 31, 2015.  If you have not yet returned your form and payment, please make ever y attempt to do so before the end of the year.

Prompt payments minimize the amount of administrative follow-up  we need to do and also allow us to plan out our 2016 activities and associated budgets 

If you have not received your invoice or suspect it may have gotten lost in the holiday shuffle, please let us know  by shooting us an email at cohasechambergmail.com or by calling us at (802) 518-0030. 


Our dues structure remains the same as last year and is as follows:

Non-profit/Government - $55
Individual/Student/Retiree - $30
Business/0-1 employees - $75
Business/ 2-5 employees - $110 
Business/ 6-19 employees -$165
Business/ 20-50 employees - $220
Business/ Over 50 employees - $270
      
RSVP For the Annual Meeting
 
If you have not already RSVPd for our Annual Meeting at the Lake Morey Report in Fairlee on Tuesday, January 19th, please send in your registration. 
The event is always a fun affair full of laughter, information and camaraderie. Please click the image below to see the full invitation which can be viewed, printed out  and returned with your registration fee.  Registrations have started to flow into our mailbox and we hope to see yours there too!
 

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Health Insurance Questions
 
With all the changes in health care insurance rules, staying on top of what is happening can be difficult.  In our region, we face special challenges as we have businesses in Vermont who employee New Hampshire residents as well as businesses in New Hampshire who employ Vermont residents.  To assist you in understanding these changes, we are lucky to have a number of area health centers who can help you make sense of the sometimes confusing health care arena.

If you would like to speak to someone about these issues, please feel free to contact Gary Chase from Little Rivers Health Care in Vermont at gchase@littlerivers.org or on his cell phone at (603) 667-6402 or Suzanne Morrison at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in New Hampshire at (603) 747-3740.
 
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Economic Summit News
The Cohase Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Economic Summit on Monday, December 7, 2015 at the River Bend Career and Technical Center.  The event was attended by a wide assortment of local and state leaders from across the Cohase region including Town Selectboard Members, State Representatives, State Senators, Educational representatives, Chamber Committee members, Chamber Board Members as well as other elected officials and civic leaders.  The summit featured updates from area towns on local and regional economic successes and challenges as well as updates on other issues such as area school consolidation efforts, cooperative efforts between area towns, transportation, the economic effects of opiates and other topics affecting the economic vitality of the region.

Education was a common theme.  A number of speakers expressed the close relationship between an educated and motivated workforce and how closely intertwined quality education is to the economic success of all our member towns and for the successful attraction and retention of businesses and residents in the region.

Attendees were treated to a delicious dinner buffet, compliments of the River Bend Culinary staff.  Many thanks to everyone who attended and a special thank you to our members for making this forum possible.  The Cohase Chamber of Commerce is always excited to host this event which is one of the few times that community leaders from both states can gather together to cooperatively discuss our regional economy.
 

Do You Have The Drive to Support Your Community?
 
Many of our friends and neighbors have no transportation of their own. The Cohase Chamber of Commerce and Stagecoach are partnering to provide access to transportation for those who do not have their own and who cannot access the bus.  Volunteer Drivers bring community members from their homes to access healthcare, to buy food, and to other critical services. Whether you have 4 or 20 hours each month; whether you are available year round or seasonally, there are many people who could use your help! Volunteer Drivers connect friends, support independence and promote healthy living.

If you have a good driving record, clean background checks, and want to help your neighbors, we need you!!

As a Volunteer Driver you give your time but receive many benefits in return.
  • Reimbursement at the federal mileage rate for all miles driven (non-taxable).
  • Additional liability insurance coverage over and above your vehicle insurance.
  • Medical insurance coverage if you are accidentally injured outside of your vehicle.
  • Access to free driver training courses and potential vehicle insurance discounts.
Please call 802-728-3773 or email info@stagecoach-rides.org if you are interested in driving.
Recent Business Workshops A Success!
 
Our two recent workshops,  Small Business Branding Workshop and  Using Your WEB Site To Grow Your Business, were a great success and provided valuable information to our members and community businesses.
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The Using Your WEB Site to Grow Your Business  on December 16, 2015 was sold out!  The workshop was facilitated by Dave Lindberg of Dave Lindberg Marketing & Design and students learned how to make their WEB sites more effective by using Google AdWords, appropriate keywords and effective online advertisements.  Students also learned how to measure the impact of their WEB site using Google Analytics.  Eighteen students attended and it was lively and informative session.

Our Small Business Branding Workshop held on November 18, 2015 attracted a smaller but eager crowd.  This workshop, facilitated by Maria Lara Dailey of Aquilino Arts, showed students how to utilize small business branding techniques to help increase their businesses' profits and solidify their business brand.

We thank our facilitators very much and also the students who took time out of their busy days to attend!   We look forward to offering even more impactful business learning opportunities in 2016.
Member Updates
  • Congratulations to 
    Windy Ridge Orchard  for receiving two recent awards!  The Fabrizio family recently received the New Hampshire Association of Conservation District 2015 Coordinator of the Year award.  In addition, Richard and Anne Fabrizio were also awarded the NH Farm Bureau Profile Award.  
  • Wells River Chevrolet  hosted Santa Claus at an event on December 12th and collected a sleighful of food for area food banks including pet food.  The event featured not only Santa but also wagon rides, music and an endless smorgasbord of holiday treats.  Hatchland Farm helped the effort by donating over 200 containers of milk.  Over 200 people attended the festive event!  
  • Wells River Savings Bank  also hosted visits from Santa in their Wells River and Bradford locations on December 4th and 5th respectively.  They will also be hosting another visit on Saturday, December 19 from 9-11 AM at their East Thetford location.  Bring the kids! 
  • Bank of New Hampshire  announced the release of their expansion of their BeMobile Banking to include Apple's Touch ID application.  As long s you have a device that supports it, you can now log in with the touch of a finger!  
  • The  Bradford Conservation Commission hosted a showing of the film "Switch" at the  Colatina Exit  on December 7 which addressed the issue of the gradual shift of energy resources from coal and oil to the energies of tomorrow. 
  • Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank  collected hundreds of warm hats, coats and other goodies from staff and customers through their Caring Tree program.  The items will be distributed to local children through Ammonoosuc Community Health Center. 
  • Merchants Bank announced on December 3rd that they will be partnering with WARMTH again this year to help prevent low income Vermonters from across the state from going without heat this winter.  Merchants Bank will match dollar for dollar all donations
    raised for WARMTH from now through December 31st up to $40,000. 
  • Hatchland Farm is sponsoring a raffle for a Christmas Morning Gift Basket to benefit WHS 2017 French Club trip to Nice, France.  Tickets can be purchased at Wicked Good Dairy Delites.  $1 each or 6 for $5.  Drawing will be on December 22. 
  • The town of Newbury Vermont has announced their new WEB site.  Please check it out at www.newburyvt.org 
  • Glenn English, Town Manager of Haverhill, New Hampshire has announced his retirement.  He will retire at the end of February.  We wish him the best of luck and thank him for his many years of service 
  • Always Fit Athletic Club  sponsored a Spin-a-thon in mid-November.  The event raised $900 and collected three large boxes of non-perishables for the local food bank in Woodsville.