Buddy Mayhew, the farmer and host of the town hall meeting, wrote on how the event highlighted the potential of the Southside. Money quote:
But most of all, I want to thank Rep. Tom Perriello for bringing the focus on energy and agriculture to Southside Virginia. Although I have been a longtime Republican, I can still recognize when a Democrat is working hard on our behalf. I encourage everyone to step back and take a good long look at the job our new congressman is doing.Todd Haymore is the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In his letter he states that he is proud of the Southside area, its past and its future:
It was an honor and a privilege to host this event on my farm, and to meet and hear three of the leaders of our country in person. It made me proud all over again to be an American.
Pittsylvania County always has been considered a top agriculture county in the state. For generations, this has been a traditional agricultural area, and no doubt that strong base will live well into the future. But recently the area has embraced cutting-edge agricultural enterprises that I believe will serve it well in the new ag economy.Finally, Ken Moss offered a tour to the Secretaries at his business, Piedmont Bioproducts. Like Mayhew and Haymore, Moss believes the visit highlighted this area's potential:
Again, I’m proud to be a product of the community — a community with a “can-do” attitude — that understands that overcoming challenges and adversity represents new opportunities for success and prosperity. Just as important, I’m very pleased that the nation is paying attention to what is happening in Pittsylvania County and the greater Danville region.
The tour was completed and summarized with the fact that our region has all of the necessary components needed to see this new green industry develop and prosper, from natural resources to people to technical expertise and research support. Secretary Chu later commented that what he saw in Gretna represented the future and it is something real.While the incident with the tea partiers has captured the news cycle, we must remember that it was an honor to host the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture in the Southside.
This event was as tremendous positive reflection on our region, and we all should be proud of that fact and do our part to continue to convey this message to our political leaders inside and outside of the immediate areas.