|Russell Libby at the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair. English photo.
By Russell Libby
Last week, on November 1, MOFGA held a pie social to mark my transition from executive director to senior policy advisor. Heather Spalding is serving as interim executive director as the board begins a search for the next executive director, and she will do a great job keeping the organization moving forward during that process.
I want to thank all of you who came, and the many people who weren’t able to come but sent beautiful cards, letters and messages over the past month. We didn’t do a formal count, but more than 200 people were at the social, and you’ve never seen so many pies in one place!
Robert Shetterly unveiled a portrait of me from his “Americans Who Tell the Truth” series, which is a great honor. There was also a legislative resolution, and a presentation of ’40-carrot-gold’ carrots.
Most important, I got to talk and visit with so many of you. My connections with MOFGA now go back 35 years, to the first Fair, and I had the honor of serving on the board for over a decade, and as executive director for 17-plus years. I’ve been able to visit hundreds of your farms and gardens, to share meals with you, and to work beside you as we built the Common Ground Education Center.
These experiences changed my life. I think we underestimate the power that we all have when we work together to make big changes happen. It’s not always fast, it’s not easy, but year by year we can see the results.
As we look at the challenges ahead – changing climate, uncertainty about weather patterns, oil availability and prices, the aging of the U.S. farm population – organizations such as MOFGA will be at the forefront of finding solutions and making them work on the ground.
I’ll still be actively involved in all this work. My medical issues make it hard for me to travel as much, but in my new role as senior policy advisor, I hope to help identify the ways that MOFGA can make a difference in the years to come.
Meanwhile, I am deeply grateful for the chance to serve you and work with you for all these years.
With love, Russell