by Matt Ehrhart, CBF Executive Director, Pennsylvania Office
On Sept. 20th, Doug Siglin, Josh Saks and I had the opportunity to meet with Senator Casey. We presented him with several hundred postcards, signed by constituents (his and ours), at the Kipona River Festival in Harrisburg. I've not spent a lot time in DC, so it's great to have Doug, a seasoned veteran, as a guide for the day. Doug and I met Josh and Alex, our excellant writer and designated photographer, in the Senate office building and waited until the Senator was ready for us.
The photo op went fast - we may have had five minutes with the Senator. He was well versed on the Farm Bill and our issues, very eloquent and easy-going. We did have time to discuss the key issues and how it's so important for him (as a member of the ag committee) to be PA's (and the Bay Region's) champion. I heard him speak at Ag Progress Days this August so I knew he was charasmatic and a good speaker, but I was a little surprised at down to earth he is and how genuinely interested he was in getting feedback from his constituents and hearing from the folks in PA.
We spoke about the folks who penned the postcards, and the hundreds of others from all walks of life, who have written or called on Farm Bill issues. He really understands how important this issue is for PA and the Bay. The agricultural policy set in the Farm Bill will last for the next five years, a time of changing landscapes for the Bay, ag energy issues, water quality, and conservation in general. To be thrown into a leadership position on such a key peice of legislation - in your first year as a senator - must be empowering...and a bit daunting.
We know we need to redouble our efforts, to reach more people with information on the opportunity the Farm Bill provides. Please continue your efforts to contact your federal officials and to encourage others to do the same.