Farmers Protest At The Capitol On Agriculture Day
By CAROLYN MOREAU
The Hartford Courant
10:42 AM EDT, March 18, 2009
The oysters and apples displayed inside the state Capitol were signs of business as usual this morning. But the cow on the lawn outside was not.
Farmers used state Agriculture Day — a trade show for local produce that's been held at the Capitol for as long as anyone can remember — to stage an unusual protest against proposed legislation and state tax code changes that they say will decimate local farms.
Using Facebook, and capitalizing on a national craze for locally grown food that brought the term "locavore" into usage, Connecticut's farmers reached out to consumers, restaurant owners, gardeners, environmentalists and health advocates, urging them to bring signs and placards to the Capitol today.
And come they did. Farmers left their spring chores, and vocational agricultural schools sent busloads of youngsters, to form a crowd of more than 100 (plus one cow) on the Capitol steps.
It seems like not to many years ago you could safely assume that our elected officials would know how to vote on agriculture issues, after all many of them were involved in agriculture. Today it’s a different story. If there is an issue that is going to affect agriculture, we need to get active and make sure our point of view is being considered. This takes some effort and time away from your real work, but the reality is that this needs to become a regular part of your business.