To The Daily Sun,
I found a recent letter to this paper quite amazing. The author advised readers to vote for anyone EXCEPT me for State Representative for Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, and Sandwich. His only reason was that I voted to defund the Carroll County farm.
Let's take a look at the facts. There are only two county farms still operating. Eight counties have terminated operations. Isn't it reasonable to conclude that the reason would be that these farms no longer serve county residents and are a drain on taxpayers? Even one of the current Carroll County commissioners (Commissioner Babson) stated back in 2009 that the farm lost $80,000 and people would soon want to close the farm.
But what steps did the county administration take to address the situation? None. Instead the county administration tried to artificially boost farm revenue by considering inter-departmental charges for maintenance services as "farm revenue." They also "sold" vegetables and blueberries to the nursing home. I investigated to see how that was working and was told that much of the food was not what the nursing home wanted and could not use, and ended up wasted or in freezers.
Earlier this year, I voted along with 11 of 14 members of the County Delegation (state representatives) to defund the farm. We took action because nobody else would.
A consultant visited the county property to view the farm. He was amazed by the property and the opportunities for productive use. The commissioners then established an advisory committee on how the property could be used. The Delegation established a committee that I chair to look at the concept of an agricultural "learning center" as part of a 21st century county farm that will encourage and provide education for new farmers.
Just last week at a meeting of our committee at The Community School, I had a professor from NHTI Community College attend and discuss their new certification program in sustainable agriculture. We discussed having online courses available at a future learning center classroom and possibly teaching the entire certificate program at the county complex. Wouldn't it be wonderful if certificate graduates were able to lease — at low or no cost — some land at the county complex to actually start their agricultural careers? Both committees share a vision of a new model farm that will benefit the citizens of Carroll County and respect our agricultural heritage.
State Rep. Glenn Cordelli
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