Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rotary Today

One would not normally expect to hear much about localism at the Glasgow Noon Rotary Club, and most of the folks who were there today did not see today's program that way, but I sure did. Today Billy Joe Williams gave a presentation on his business, Bluegrass Dairy (that is the old Dairymen Cheese Plant on Cleveland Avenue at Industrial Drive). It was a very informative program about an important local business, but the shocking thing was that they still make cheese!

I thought they only did operations where they dried other food substances to make things like powdered milk. To the contrary, they still make a wide variety of cheeses from our local dairy farms. Oddly though, they have practically no local retail outlets. To me that is outrageous! Local dairy farmers are producing milk, some of that milk is being turned into cheese right here on Cleveland Avenue, but none of it is easily purchased here. Instead, it gets trucked out to distant locations where distant folks buy it.

Thus there is another reason why we need a reliable local retail location where local producers can meet up with local consumers and food can be exchanged for money, without the need for several middle men and diesel fuel to be added to the transaction. It also, again, underscores the need for us to gather data on local producers and make knowledge about local goods easily available to local consumers.

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