Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knowing Your Farmer...

Today, the House Ag Committee, look testimony from meat producers in the state. These were folks who either sell meat they have grown or meat they have processed within the state. To be fair, the majority of representatives on the agriculture committee know these businesses already. They know how these businesses function, understand the realities of the VT market, and meat production more generally. Representative Duncan Killmartin, however, seems completely out of touch on these issues. While asking questions of Vermont Smoke and Cure's CEO, the Republic representative asked how the company promoted/utilized the Vermont brand with its products. The company is called Vermont Smoke and Cure. Yes, some of us know these companies, these slaughter houses, from working in Vermont and in the farming community. Others, however, know these groups from shopping at the co-op or an out-of-state Whole Foods. This is what constituents are looking for in Representatives: to have their fingers on the pulse of community life and all that it contains. All Representatives have something to offer, and one silly question does not mean that we should lose faith in them. But, as Will Steven's pointed out this weekend at the NOFA conference: there are 3 farmers in the VT house of Representatives. Good thing Rural VT is there to represent.

Speaking of NOFA, I was thoroughly impressed with the conference and was really honored to speak for our group at the Ag. Policy discussion on Saturday. Everything that folks brought up in the Policy discussion were things I felt well versed in and things that Rural VT is actively pursuing change for in the State House.
P.S. I am headed to visit Steph and Clark in one week. Noah and I are going together. We will leave this snowy land for snorkeling, white sand beaches and mangroves!

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