#VermontBound and its trappings
Thought provoking post, Phayvanh. Thank you! Something to add. Just as a nod to the growing diversity in Vermont and coming only from my experience as a VRRP volunteer for many years: there were (and presumably still are, unless they have all moved away) a number of refugees who have made Vermont their home, e.g. the Bosnians, the Meskhetian Turks or the Somali Bantus (remembering that there were families farming at the Intervale at one point). There are many stories of diversity in Vermont that aren't told.
"Vermont is great, but I wish it were more diverse" is perhaps the most common refrain I've heard from well-meaning white neighbors since moving here. If that were more than a polite nod of white liberal apologia, that is, if we -really- wanted more diversity here, we'd champion and celebrate the diversity we do have. I'm grateful to you for pointing out the latest missed opportunity to do so.
<sigh> Willie Docto/Moose Meadow Lodge made a brilliant passionate presentation on this at least 10 years ago at a VT Travel industry conference.
When people don’t see people like them in a story that is supposed to be motivating visits to a welcoming place… they don’t come.
Willie also pointed out how much money & opportunities for organic amplification are left on the table… because of our thoughtlessness. Once again defaulting to VT parochialism and Not walking the talk of including various forms of people and their family & friends in VT’s stories and ultimate legacy.
And so it goes…
In addition to being recognized as farm owners, farmers should always bring their gratitude to the folks who perform the labor, to the forefront. Where we so value "the farms" contribution to our economy we should also prioritize the recognition and appreciation within our communities for these folks whose circumstances of employment are extraordinary and who are so dedicated to farming. The agency should know this, and adapt (celebrate) this infusion of agricultural culture from our migrant workers. We are more and more dependent on these folks to continue these "traditions".
An excellent piece. MANY thanks, especially for the ideas for doing it differently. Who at the State level needs to read your piece and hear from the rest of us?
Agree. It’s frustrating and not.that.complex to do an ag video that’s inclusive. Susu Family Farm, Clemmons Family Farm… I love the idea of showing different foodways to highlight people of color.