It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog on our website – health issues, family issues, meetings, vacations; let me see how many excuses I can come up with. Farm Bureau as an organization is always busy on behalf of the large umbrella of agriculture, at all levels of government. Most of the time is spent on defending the industries from the overreach of public policy whereby government and other interest groups that lobby the government propose laws and regulations that harm agriculture’s economic viability.
Believe it or not, there are “good things” LIFB is involved with as well as the challeges. Over the last few years, LIFB has developed some very positive relationships with other organizations that work toward the greater good of our communities on Long Island.
Island Harvest, a food rescue organization services over 600 Long Island food banks, food pantries and other community groups providing food for the needy. Randi Shubin Dresner, CEO is a straight forward professional, classy lady who has been a great friend and supporter to me and our local farmers. In 2010, Long Island farmers donated and sold nearly 1 million pounds of food to Island Harvest. We want to expand the Island Harvest program to get more farmers involved.
The other organization that LIFB has been working with is Sustainable Long Island. Their director is Sarah Lansdale and their mission is to assist towns and villages in incorporating sustainable principles in development and/or re-development projects. They essentially are planners and serve as consultants to municipalities. Sarah is an intelligent professional and very supportive of LIFB and the farm community. Last year Sustainable and LIFB worked together on developing “youth markets” in Bellport and Roosevelt, both underserved communities, where residents are lacking in adequate access to fresh produce. Again, we are working together to expand the program and get more farmers involved.
I guess the whole point today is the issue of “social responsibility”. I am in no position to use a bully pulpit, but LIFB and I personally encourage our farmers and agribusiness people to participate in helping other organizations and community groups be successful in serving our fellow citizens when possible. The reward is not financial but makes a person feel good when those in need are able to benefit in the difficult economic times we live in. If you want more information on our projects, please call me at LIFB.