I recently drank my last glass of Thomas Dairy milk. It was sad to hear this local business with a long history in Rutland Town was closing. In addition, the pandemic and outbreaks of Covid-19 at faraway food processing plants in the Midwest have highlighted the critical importance of a strong and vibrant local food economy.
On a more positive note, we have another opportunity for the local agricultural economy. Greg Cox of Boardman Hill Farm is running to represent Rutland County in the Vermont Senate.
I’ve known Greg Cox for many years as a Farmers Market customer and volunteer for the Vermont Farmers Food Center (VFFC).
Cox is a visionary in terms of expanding our local food economy, having co-founded the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL), Winters Farmers Market and VFFC. He has a very collaborative approach to leading. He works directly with farmers, local businesses and volunteers. While politicians show up for ribbon cutting events, Cox has put in the sweat equity.
As we’re currently in a recession and a pandemic, I think back over a decade ago, after the Great Recession, when the Rutland Winter Farmers Market started behind the Food Co-op. While the local economy struggled, the bright spot was the Winter Farmers Market. People came downtown each Saturday to buy local food, and some began to visit the local coffee shop and other nearby businesses. Greg Cox’s vision was realized. The Winter Farmers Market helped grow back our local economy.
Today, Greg Cox’s vision for local agriculture has expanded to include working with other Senators in neighboring Bennington and Addison Counties, in order to further grow the local food economy in western Vermont. Join me in voting for Greg Cox for Vermont Senate!