Exec. Dir. speaks out on contributions to the Stroll
Editor of the Reformer:
Each year, after Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, the Stroll team gathers feedback from many participants ranging from vendors to volunteers to visitors. We truly appreciate all this input. We learn something from everyone’s comments, and then we go back to work to make next year’s events even better.
This year I would like to respond publicly to one specific criticism that has come literally from a handful of people out of the many tens of thousands who attended Stroll Weekend events. These people suggest that Strolling of the Heifers should reject contributions from certain businesses, including Walmart and Entergy.
First of all, putting on the events of Strolling of the Heifers Weekend entails considerable costs, and nearly all of our funds come from sponsorships, both large and small. It is the larger sponsorships that enable us to include local farms, businesses and non-profits at lower costs.
Secondly, Strolling of the Heifers is not a political organization. We do no lobbying and we don’t take a stand on any political or legislative issues. Our events are designed to encourage people to connect to local farmers and local food producers. We also encourage sustainable living and resilient communities through our Slow Living Expo and our Slow Living Summit, and we encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at farms and food businesses throughout Vermont with our Farm/Food Business Plan Competition (at which Strolling of the Heifers and our partner, Vermont Technical College, awarded a total of $60,000 in prizes this year).
To exclude any potential sponsor or vendor on grounds of the political correctness of their corporate policies or practices means that we would need to establish standards and then to vet every sponsor and vendor for compliance. We have never done that, and we don’t plan to begin. With more than 300 sponsors involved, it would be a monumental task. Even trying to establish the necessary standards (in areas not even related to our primary mission) would be a total distraction from achieving the goals of Strolling of the Heifers.
We prefer, instead, to take the positive approach of broadly including all sponsors and vendors who are willing to endorse, with their financial support and often with their in-kind assistance, the Stroll’s mission and vision of the importance of supporting local farms and strengthening local food systems, and to work with us toward our broader goals of encouraging sustainable living and creating resilient communities.
We thank everyones support and participation. We hope to see you at the next Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, June 6,7 and 8, 2014. Please check our website for more details: www.strollingoftheheifers.com.
founder and executive director,
Strolling of the Heifers, July 3
Bridge volunteers thanked
Editor of the Reformer:
The Chesterfield Arch Bridge Society would like to thank the volunteers who planted flowers on the pedestrian bridge spanning the Connecticut River on June 1. Even though there was some vandalism last summer, the Society decided to continue making the bridge a pleasant place for walkers and bikers to rest and enjoy the view of the river. There are stone benches for folks who want to take a break and this year a picnic table has been added for those who would like to enjoy their lunch or a snack while on the bridge.
The Society would also like to thank Dynamic Landscaping for donating a beautiful planter filled with flowers, Home Depot for donating a planter and flowers, Kelleher’s in Chesterfield and Walker Farms in Dummerston, for donating flowers to our spring and summer display. We invite everyone who is in the West Chesterfield area to stop and enjoy the view from the old arch bridge.
Peggy A. Fegley,
Chesterfield Arch Bridge
Spofford, N.H., June 9