Shaheen highlights NBRC investments at Conway Mountain Top Music Center
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited the Mountain Top Music Center to highlight federal funding delivered last year to the organization through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). Shaheen also heard about the Center’s project to improve the Majestic Theatre and Café. The Mountain Top Music Center is a nonprofit community music school and performance venue. The Center uses music to build community through group study and performance, shared listening, and mutually respectful, inter-generational, multi-cultural musical communication. More than 350 people participate in lessons, classes, workshops and community ensembles provided each year. The Mountain Top Music Center is the recipient of two NBRC awards. The first award was in 2017 in the amount of $200,000 for the initial construction costs of the Center. The second award was in 2022 in the amount of $125,000 for stage and sound systems.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission is a crucial economic driver for New Hampshire’s North Country, providing investments and support to rural businesses, spurring job creation and lifting up important infrastructure projects. I’ve fought hard to support the NBRC’s mission and ensure New Hampshire can continue to benefit from this important federal program, which is why I consistently work to secure the NBRC’s reauthorization and funding so local projects, like the work underway at Mountain Top Music Center, have the resources they need for completion,” said Shaheen. “I’ll keep championing NBRC’s important work and investments in the North Country.”
Shaheen has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the NBRC, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the NBRC’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law in 2018. With support from Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), the legislation expanded the NBRC to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County. The NBRC is a key economic driver across New Hampshire, which has supported job creation and community development in the most economically vulnerable parts of the state. NBRC investments bolster projects in infrastructure, outdoor recreation, health care access and more. The Shaheen-led NBRC Reauthorization Act of 2023 would reauthorize the NBRC program for another ten years.
Earlier in the day, Shaheen visited Mac Hill Maple Farm in Tamworth as Maple Sugaring Month gets under way. There, Shaheen heard from maple producers about issues facing New Hampshire’s maple industry, including the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill. Along with this discussion, the Mac Hill Maple Farm owners gave the Senator a brief tour of the sugar house and the maple production process.
“New Hampshire’s maple industry provides more than a delicious Granite State staple — it helps support our state’s economy and creates jobs. I’d like to thank Will and Ann Marie of Mac Hill Maple for giving me a tour of their farm and speaking with me about the challenges facing maple producers,” said Shaheen. “With the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, I am working tirelessly to include provisions that will boost Granite State agriculture and support the maple industry. It’s imperative we continue to invest in this industry to keep our state’s sweet maple tradition going for generations to come.”
The Farm Bill, reauthorized every five years, funds agriculture and nutrition support programs. Shaheen has long worked to include provisions in Farm Bill reauthorizations to bolster New Hampshire’s maple syrup and other agricultural industries. In the 2023 Farm Bill, Shaheen is advocating for federal programs that support New Hampshire maple producers as well as other agricultural producers in the state. The 2018 Farm Bill included significant New Hampshire priorities secured by Senator Shaheen, including bipartisan legislation that would extend the authorization of the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) for five years and make additional reforms to encourage business retention and expansion in Northern New Hampshire and other distressed communities of the Northern Forest region. In the FY 2022 government funding law, Shaheen supported a $1 million increase for a total amount of $7 million for the Acer Access and Development program, which was created in the 2014 Farm Bill to support the maple industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaheen pushed the Department of Agriculture to help dairy farmers and the producers of specialty crops, which includes key New Hampshire products such as apples and maple syrup.