Barnstead NH News

August 2, 2017


Cows and Porcupine Quills

Submitted By Carole Soule

Barnstead Zeena.jpg

The quills were firmly stuck in Zeena’s face as we loaded her in the stock trailer for the trip home.  Zeena was in one of our remote Barnstead pastures when she was attacked by a porcupine. We had to get her home where we had the tools to remove the over 30 quills plastered on her face.


How did she get all those quills?  Would a porcupine attack a cow?  Not likely.  More likely is that Zeena, fascinated by a waddling porcupine, got too close to the beast and it whacked her with it’s tail.  Cattle are curious creatures.  Lie flat on the ground in a pasture with cows and within minutes they will be standing around sniffing your head and feet.  They won’t hurt you or step on you, they’ll just sniff and wonder what this being on the ground is.  That’s the thing.  Most livestock will go out of their way NOT to step on a person. A friend of mine fell down while loading domestic deer into a stock trailer.  She was lying directly in the path of 15 escaping deer, but not one hoof stepped on her.  The dear leaped and scrambled to avoid stepping on the human lying on the ground in their path.


Even though Zeena wouldn’t step on the porcupine she encountered, she did get close enough to get a face full of quills.  Once we got her back to the farm we put her in the “squeeze chute” which would hold her securely while we plucked the quills from her face.  The squeeze chute does just that, it squeezes.  It gently holds the animal to keep her from thrashing and a head lock holds her head steady so we could remove the quills. If you’ve ever had a dog (cats seem to be too smart for this) with quills in her face you know the routine.  Keep the animal steady and quiet while removing the quills.  It’s got to be painful for the critter, but has to be done.


Zeena’s face is quill free, for now.  Hopefully she learned her lesson and won’t repeat, but who knows. I’ve met dogs who repeatedly collect quills.  Bet you know of some too.  Maybe next time Zeena will encounter a skunk which might be unpleasant but won’t be painful.


Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, NH, where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at



Free Screening Of Documentary On Voting Rights In Barnstead 

Submitted By Heather Carter


View a free special screening on Friday, August 4th of the documentary “Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot,” the true story of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.


The film will be screened at 7pm at the Oscar Foss Memorial Library in Barnstead.


Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer, the documentary tells a story not touched on by the Hollywood feature – the true story of the forgotten heroes of the fight for voting rights, the courageous students and teachers in Selma, Alabama, who stood up against injustice despite facing intimidation, violence, and arrest.


By organizing and marching, these activists achieved one of the most significant victories of the civil rights era – passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 


Despite this victory, only about six in 10 eligible citizens exercised their right to vote in the 2012 presidential election. That means approximately 90 million voters did not cast ballots. Voter turnout dropped to a 72-year low in 2014. This documentary is an important reminder of the hard-won rights too often taken for granted.


After the film will be a general, non-partisan discussion about current voting issues including questions of fraud, recent voting laws, voting rights, and voter turnout. An open exchange of ideas is encouraged.



Calling All Young Democrats And Progressives!


Have you thought about becoming more active in politics lately? Have you been wondering what you can do and if there’s a place for you? Come to the Barnstead Town Hall on Monday, August 7th to hear two great speakers at this month’s meeting of the Tri-Town Democrats of Barnstead, Gilmanton, and Alton. 


Kayla Montgomery is the New Hampshire Young Democrats’ VP of Political Affairs. A New Hampshire native and UNH graduate, she’s been working in NH policy, politics, and advocacy for about 8 years. Kayla will be discussing the role that the Young Dems play in the state, progress in recruiting and electing young Democrats for public office, and upcoming activities for young Democrats that engage youth in political action.


Mo Baxley is best known in NH for leading the efforts to pass NH’s gay rights and marriage equality laws and has been a powerful progressive voice in New Hampshire politics. Mo was a member of Bernie Sanders’ NH Steering Committee and she is now the 2nd Vice-Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. She will be discussing the importance of  advancing progressive values in the Democratic Party and how progressive activism is enacting change in today’s political climate.


The guest speakers will be followed by action items and community organizing. 


The meeting will be held at the Barnstead Town Hall at 108 South Barnstead Road in Barnstead. Come for socializing and potluck any time between 6:15 pm and 6:30 pm. The meeting runs from 6:30 pm to 8:00pm. 


The meeting is open to any and all residents of Barnstead, Alton, and Gilmanton who consider themselves moderate, liberal, or progressive Democrats or like-minded Independents. Refreshments to share are encouraged but not required. For more information, email or visit the “Barnstead, Alton, and Gilmanton Democrats” Facebook page.



Robert “Buzzy” Foss

Barnstead buzzy wheeling grain.jpg

Robert “Buzzy” Foss’, 66, of Center Barnstead, life ended at 12:15 AM, Monday July 24th, in much the same way he had lived- quietly, with his wife of 43 years by his side. 


A Pittsfield native, he was born April 19, 1951, the eldest son of John and Jeanette Foss.  Nicknamed “Buzzy” by his dad early on, he is almost unrecognized by any other name except “Pappy” (by his grandchildren).  He attended Pittsfield schools and worked nights and weekends as a member of a select group of ‘river rats’ at Suncook Leather Tannery in Pittsfield where he learned the value of hard work and the dollar, toggling hides on piecework.


Upon graduating high school Buzzy enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves.   After boot camp, he went to work for Arthur Hurd at Clark’s Grain Store which began a career in the livestock feed business. In 1973 he married ‘the girl next door,’ Christine Anderson.  The couple built a home near Valley Dam in Ctr. Barnstead with the help of Buzzy’s father, where they raised their son and daughter and have lived ever since.


When Arthur sold Clark’s, Buzzy went to work for Horse Hill Feeds in Rochester.  In 1994, again with the help of dad, friends, and neighbors, Buzzy built his own feed store on the same land as their house on Oxbow Rd.  With a wealth of knowledge and a willingness to share it, he ran the store alone until Chris was able to join him there full time.  A visit to the grain store was as much a social event as a shopping trip, and the always affable Buzzy had a loyal legion of customers.  He was one of those rare people who didn’t have an enemy in the world, and was the epitome of a small businessman, working at least six and often seven days a week. Aside from taking his kids to agricultural fairs back when they were showing steers in 4H, he didn’t take a vacation in the 23 years he ran Valley Dam Feed. The closest he came to leisure time was tending the huge garden the couple grew ‘up back.’ He closed the store in May due to rapidly declining health and was under the 24 hour care of Chris for his last days.  A good man, gone too soon.


Buzzy was predeceased by his parents, a sister Peggy, and a brother Dan.  He is survived by his wife Chris; daughter Laura and husband Dylan McDermott and their children Liadan, Avery, and Brody, of Canaan; son Russell and wife Alicia and children Maddison, J.R., and Kendall, of Alton; brother Peter and partner Kelly Chisholm of Barnstead; Aunt Sylvia Doucette of Pittsfield; loving cousins, nieces and nephews, and countless friends.


At Buzzy’s request there will be no services, preferring to be remembered as he was, a fixture at Valley Dam Feed.  The family asks that anyone who wishes to make a contribution in his memory to please consider  donating to Victory Workers 4H Club, 615 Dowboro Rd., Pittsfield 03263, or Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Assoc.













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