WELLS RIVER — The Cohase Chamber of Commerce announced Hatchland Farm as the 2020 Business of the Year, and Carolyn and Larry Coffin of Bradford, the 2020 Citizens of the Year. Awardees are honored annually for their leadership and impact on the region.
Hatchland Farm is a multi-generational dairy farm that is well-known for bottling its own milk and making ice cream at their farm store in North Haverhill, N.H.
“At a time when dairy farms are under increased pressure, it has been thrilling to see the ice cream stand at Hatchland Farm grow into a thriving local attraction, and I am excited to see it expand even further in the coming year. Hatchland supports the community, the community supports the farm, and everyone wins,” said Ruth Ann Hacking, Executive Director of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce.
Kristen May, speaking on behalf of Hatchland Farm Management and The Hatch Family, expressed appreciation for winning the award during such a difficult year, “Amongst the craziness of this pandemic, we have done our best to continue business as usual. There certainly have been some bumps along the way, but with a great bunch of employees and the support of our community, we have managed to keep things going. Our goal, as a business, has always been to provide quality products, offer job opportunities, give back to our community and to operate as an efficient, environmentally conscious unit. It is certainly appreciated when someone takes notice of your efforts. So, we are deeply honored by the recognition.”
Carolyn and Larry Coffin are being recognized for two lifetimes of giving back to the community. The depth and breadth of their impact is felt in every corner of Bradford and beyond. Carolyn grew up on the family farm on the Bradford-Fairlee line, and Larry grew up in Orford. Married in 1968, they have lived on South Pleasant Street in Bradford since 1969. There they raised their daughters Anne and Sarah, and find delight in four grandchildren.
A 1927 article in the local newspaper entitled “Hometown Progress” reflects their philosophy toward community service. In part, it says “the progress of a community depends principally upon the things the average run of people do. We all have to take hold and help. Everyone should consider himself on a committee to that purpose.”
This couple’s contributions are both individual and as a team and are characterized by decades of attention. Personal community service was reflected in their chosen occupations: Carolyn as a medical/dental assistant and Larry as a classroom teacher. Together they worked to establish both Operation Santa Claus and the Thanksgiving baskets annual donations and made sure they were carried out successfully for many years. For 25 years, they organized the local annual Prouty SAG stop and, upon their retirement from that leadership role in 2015, were awarded the Heart of the Prouty Award.
For about an equal amount of time, they organized the making of all the rolls and gingerbreads for Bradford’s annual Game Supper. More recently, their annual plant sale has benefited the Bradford Public Library.
Carolyn recently retired from the Bradford Beautification Committee. For years, many have admired her special attention to the gardens at Bradford Academy. Larry has served on the Bradford Public Library’s board, and as president of the Bradford Historical Society for many years. He was also town moderator for 41 years. Scholarships for college students have always been of particular concern to him and he has worked with both Oxbow Scholarship and Bradford Academy Alumni Scholarship programs. His retirement project has included a monthly newspaper column on local regional history.
Carolyn and Larry firmly believe that the progress and improvement of a community depends on ordinary citizens’ roles. They also realized that there is a time in a project when passing the role off to others is prudent. They have always believed that a worthwhile project will be taken up by others and they rejoice when they see that is true.
Larry and Carolyn Coffin were nominated for the award by Monique Priestley, who remarked, “Larry and Carolyn have been silent orchestrators that have been driving much of what keeps Bradford running, connected, and looking good.
“They have served as a role model to me and so many others and have been a huge inspiration for me to get so involved.”
Chamber members and the public are invited to attend the awards ceremony during the Cohase Chamber’s virtual annual meeting on January 19, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. To attend, please register for the event online at cohase.org.
The Cohase Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit serving the towns of Bradford, Fairlee, Newbury in Vermont, and Haverhill, Orford, Piermont in New Hampshire.