Lorraine Stuart Merrill
author, farmer/commissioner of agriculture, markets and food
NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food
Lorraine Stuart Merrill is co-owner with her husband John, son Nathan and daughter-in-law Judy of Stuart Farm, a 270-acre dairy enterprise with 240 milking cows and nearly 200 head of young cattle situated at the edge of the Great Bay Estuary. Over the years Stuart Farm has been recognized for its leadership in conservation and environmental management and in 2003 the Merrills were honored by the American Farmland Trust as Stewards of the Land, the organization’s highest honor. A founding member of the New Hampshire Coalition for Sustaining Agriculture, Lorraine has served on regional and national committees of the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, and as state committee chair of the USDA Farm Service Agency. Lorraine also has extensive experience in education, as an elementary school teacher earlier in her career, as a local school board member, and more recently completing eight years as a trustee of the University System of New Hampshire. Lorraine was recently appointed and is now serving as Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of New Hampshire. She was a member of the 2007-2008 Food and Society Fellows.