The Resolution did not pass

Nov 25, 2015

As you all are aware, on Nov. 10th the Washington County Ag committee gave a presentation entitled in opposition to raw milk and uninspected meats with a clear declaration within their public packet that them along with 23 ag lobbyists from Richmond stood in full opposition to any laws and regulations allowing the sale of such product. On paper that opposition stood against chicken, eggs and herdshare operations conducted by us small guys although after the presentation it was clear that it was more directed to raw milk. In that meeting over 200 people showed in support of us small farmers and those products and many of you all were there. I am humbled by our local food community and am proud to stand side by side with you all on these matters.

I had the privilege of submitting a resolution to the Board which would have expressed support for these legal products and the Board voted on that resolution this past Tuesday on the 24th. Sadly our resolution did not pass because the Ag committee submitted their own resolution that took ours and cut out all mentions of raw milk and herdshares and the direct expressed support to consumers who choose these legal means to acquire such foods, and wrote it in support of the full Ag Industry in Washington County, which many including myself on the 24th asked the Board to pass both. The board did not pass either but did vote however to have the small farmers and the Ag committee come together and draft a new resolution that everyone could agree on. Unfortunately that cut me out of the equation due to the fact that I do not live in Washington County.

The good news is there is much hope because I trust that the farmers of Washington County who are involved in this will do an incredible job assuring that our herdshares and consumer desires are represented in the new resolution. Every single member of the Board along with many members of the Ag committee that night expressed their support for consumer choice in regards of Herdshares so we hope that support finds expression in the next resolution.

As the past 2 weeks shows, there is a lot of big money who thinks consumers should not have the right to acquire foods such as raw milk. This past Tuesday I felt that the counter resolution and more specifically the presentation segment for the counter resolution ridiculed those of us who have concerns on why the Ag committee would be influencing the opinion of the local Board of Supervisors on such food choices, calling my reasoning of their intent baseless and dishonest.

It was called for me to make a public apology this past Tuesday night for expressing my concerns on social media and calling out the ag committee and the individual people who sided on this confrontational front. While I do not feel apologetic at all for doing so and will not issue any apology with this demand, I do feel there is one apology I must make, and that is to Roffey Cattle Company. My employers successful career in Agriculture and the fact that I work "and take a paycheck" from a larger scale farmer was used as an image of my cause being hypocritical. While I suppose that means that larger scale farmers and their employees are not allowed to support small farmers and their concerns, I apologize to Dr. Roffey for creating an opportunity that allowed his personal success to be vilified. I find it a low blow that someone would think that the size of your farm or the size of the farm you work for determines the opinion your allowed to have on Agriculture.

As baseless and dishonest as my opinion or concern may be perceived, I will always defend my livelihood and my right as a consumer when those who feel it necessary to convince our legislators, local, state or national, that the business I run and the foods I choose to eat should be opposed to protect their businesses. While the opposition will always paint the picture that we are attacking larger farmers by defending ourselves, I do not and will never crusade against the larger farmers of our community and respect the right of all farmers to pursue their passions and the rights of all consumers to pursue the products they want whether it be in McDonalds, the grocery store or the farmers market.

As always, we appreciate your business and support,

Dwayne McIntyre~

Category: Legislation Watch

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