Letter: Wadsworth would put conservation first

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I recently attended a virtual town hall with Jenna Wadsworth, who is running as the Democratic candidate for state commissioner of agriculture and was very impressed by her intelligence, her understanding of the issues affecting farming and food production in our state, and her ideas for addressing these challenging issues. Next, I checked out her website: www.jennawadsworth.com and liked what I read! She is a breath of fresh air for our state, clearly up to facing our fiercest challenges.

I am convinced that people concerned about climate change and environmental integrity, local food resiliency, support for family farmers, getting away from destructive factory farming, equity and social justice, particularly in our food systems, will be excited about supporting Jenna.

Commissioners of agriculture and their work may not be something many people know or care about, but I have learned of its importance and influence on issues I care deeply about. The current commissioner, Steve Troxler, does not believe climate change is real and takes money from big agriculture. According to Jenna, small farmers (of which she is one) know that the climate is changing, growing seasons are unpredictable and that new, innovative “best practices,” putting conservation first, need to be implemented.

Jenna has pledged to not take contributions from corporations and fossil fuel industries, including Duke Energy.

Check out this exciting and visionary candidate and encourage all your voting friends, acquaintances and networks to vote for her, too!

— Anne Craig

Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Troxler’s office for a response to a summary of the writer’s points but received none for publication.


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One thought on “Letter: Wadsworth would put conservation first

  1. Bill Yarborough

    This letter does not do justice to what Commissioner Steve Troxler has meant to WNC as far a conservation is concerned. 1. He has successfully instigated a program to save our precious hemlocks with his signature program known as the Hemlock Restoration Initiative with one of the best non profits in our region, WNC Communities. The city of Asheville and Buncombe County have placed trust in this program by placing funds to protect their hemlocks. 2. He pushed for funding from many sources to place into permanent public land over 6000 acres in Transylvania County now known as “Headwaters State Forest”. It is the beginning of the French Broad River and protects not only the river but the Blue Ridge Escarpment with many species known only to that area.
    3. He personally promised to protect and improve one of the gems of not only NC but likely the US, the state forest “DuPont Recreational State Forest” His work and dedication has brought funding for facilities as well as additional acreages to the property. This is another vital resource for protection of the French Broad River and as such, water for not only Transylvania but Henderson, Buncombe, and Madison counties.
    4. His work with soil and water conservation has been well documented since the transfer of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation in 2011. He has added engineers to help private landowners protect and conserve their most precious resources of water and soil. He has been an loyal supporter for additional funding for cost share for best management practices that improve not only the landowners property but those that surround it.

    These are just a few of the results of Commissioner Troxler’s tenure and his impact on WNC. There are many awards that he has garnered from locals including Riverlink that prove his stature as a conservationist. He personally farmed out a living on the land on the farm he and his wife purchased decades ago. He raised a family on this farm and educated them on the need for conservation and best management practices .

    We need to keep Commissioner Steve Troxler for the good of WNC…..

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