Worcester Business Journal
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In an all-new episode, Steve D'Agostino interviews Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). They talk about the politics and business of organic food.
In the 1970s, with a degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic, now- Congresswoman Pingree started an organic farm on the island of North Haven, Maine. By selling produce to summer residents and raising sheep for wool, she built a thriving mail-order knitting business that eventually employed 10 people in her small community.
Rep. Pingree is still a small-business owner, operating the Nebo Inn and Restaurant on North Haven, which features locally grown food. After serving on the local school board, and as the town’s tax assessor, she went on to serve eight years in the Maine Senate, become the national CEO of Common Cause, and in 2008 get elected as a Democrat to represent Maine in Congress.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Pingree is committed to helping reform farm policy -- with interests of small farmers and consumers in mind. Last year, she introduced the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act — a comprehensive package of reforms to agriculture policy that will expand opportunities for local and regional farmers and make it easier for consumers to have access to healthy foods.
Rep. Pingree is one of the keynote speakers at the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s 2012 Summer Conference on August 10 through 12 at Umass-Amherst. She will speak on Friday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Campus Center auditorium. In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve D'Agostino does volunteer public-relations work for NOFA.