Since I have left Rainy River District and my position as an ag intern, I have really enjoyed reading the online version of the Times, and view it quite regularly to see what’s going on there and how my friends are doing.
Today was the first day I was truly saddened by what I read in your paper. When I read the headline “Richards’ personal abattoir project coming together,” my stomach sank.
Specifically when I read the word “personal.”
I’ve continued my work in rural community development and I study models of agricultural communities that have showed incredible resiliency to current agricultural income crises. In every single instance of success, there has been one common theme: unity.
Not until food producers can come together with other food producers and the greater community can we defy the trend of rural decline.
Although Mr. Richards may feel that he his putting the community needs ahead of his own, I feel very strongly that he’s not. By opening up a second abattoir to compete with the one being spearheaded by the regional abattoir committee, he most certainly will divide the farmers and put yet another hurdle in the path towards agricultural prosperity in Rainy River District.
I hope Russ Richards and his supporters are sleeping well these days because I’m not so sure I will be.