President’s Notes March-April 2022

by David DeJohn, NHCLP
March-April 2022

The weather whiplash continues! It’s Superbowl Sunday, out fixing and tightening up sap lines and getting ready to start tapping trees next weekend. Yesterday it was a beautiful 58 degrees as I tromped through the woods looking for breaks and chew marks in the lines, and today, this morning, it was 19 degrees!

The mild weather at the early part of the winter helped me keep going on some stone projects which was great, but once it started raining after it snowed and then got cold, I just couldn’t keep up with the ice buildup on the steep driveway I’m building a wall along side of. Even with micro-spikes on my boots it was getting a little sketchy, so I finally listened to that little voice that said quit while you’re ahead. So at the end of January I packed it in, and now I’m on to pruning apple trees, at least on the nice days.

I can’t say enough about everyone on the Board, our Committee Coordinators; Carolyn Isaak, our newsletter editor; and Annette Zamarchi, our advertising editor. These are all some very dedicated people working hard for the Association, and I thank you all so much for all the help and inspiration you’ve given me this past year. I’d also like to thank in advance our newest member of the Board, Andrew Pelkey of North Point Outdoors, who has graciously agreed to step into the Vice-President’s position and has already come to the table with some great ideas and enthusiasm. In fact, I have to say that this year, and especially over the last few months as we have navigated through and started to move away from Covid and the pandemic, we have gotten re-energized. Not just re-energized in planning events and opportunities to increase members professional development, of which there will be many, but also in tackling some very fundamental questions about the Association, the Board, the By-laws, membership, and about who we are and what we represent.

I think these are questions the Association has always asked of itself, but sometimes Boards and members get complacent and comfortable with the status quo, especially when it’s the same Board members year after year doing the Association’s business. Sometimes it’s just easier to say “well that’s the way we’ve always done it” and go with that. As someone who has been on the board since 2005 I’ve been as guilty of that as anyone, but thankfully this year with the addition of Mike Barwell coming in as Education Committee Coordinator and having some great ideas and with Annette asking some tough questions, we seem to be shaking that off in a big way. Helping this new energy in no small way is the fact that with Ben coming in as President and Andrew coming in as Vice-President, we will now have the outlook and perspective from the next generation of younger entrepreneurs and business owners, and I for one really look forward to their ideas!

Thanks again to everyone on the Board and to all our members for your support over the past year. As always it has been a privilege to part of the Board and to be a member of NHLA. Hope to see you all at the Dinner meeting on March 22, the Vehicle Safety Workshop on March 26, our first Twilight meeting on June 15 in Exeter. Coming in September we are also planning a Field Day Event at Shaker Village in Canterbury. Information on these and other events will be emailed and will be found in the Newsletter, on our website and on our NHLA Facebook page.

Have a great season!