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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Congressman Adam Putnam Visits Marianna

Beginning campaign for State Commissioner of Agriculture
By Sid Riley

At a special Tuesday morning breakfast meeting hosted by area agricultural organizations, Republican Congressman Adam Putnam from the Bartow area in the 12th Congressional District, addressed a group of farmers and community leaders at the "Kayte’s Wheel" restaurant in Marianna. Putnam was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2001 at the age of 26, becoming one of the youngest men to ever be elected to this position. He is currently serving his fifth term as a U. S. Congressman.
Putnam is a fifth generation Floridian, part of a farm family from the Bartow area who raise citrus and cattle. He graduated from Bartow High School, attended the University of Florida, returned after college to the family farm, then was elected a State Representative from the area, after one term as a State Representative he ran for and was elected the U.S. Congressman from the district.
Putnam does not like Washington, although he feels he has learned valuable lessons while working there. He wants to bring his family back to Florida, and to again serve the citizens of his home state. For that reason, on February 2nd he declared his candidacy for the position of Florida Commissioner of Agriculture.
The Marianna meeting was attended by agricultural representatives from throughout the Panhandle region who came to demonstrate their support for Putnam and to listen as he expressed his devotion to Florida agriculture and to the citizens of the state.
Some of the pertinent remarks made by Congressman Putnam during his presentation were:
● Foreign imported agricultural products should be held to the same standards as domestically produced products.
● The agricultural community should be allowed to participate with the USDA in control and inspection of products. The industry is very concerned about maintaining public confidence in agricultural products in the stores.
● The Florida tomato industry was severely impacted unfairly and unnecessarily by the USDA when the Taco Bell scare occurred two years ago. It was finally determined that Mexican jalapeƱo peppers were the problem, not tomatoes….after millions had been lost by tomato farmers. This occurred again with the latest peanut crisis.
● Farming interest need to unite for their common welfare against anti-farming movements in government. The definition of a family farm must be made to include family owned agri-business farming and not be limited to a hobby farm with three chickens and a milk cow named Bessie.
● The purchase of some of the richest farm land in the state for returning the land to the Everglades is a foolish move. The modified proposal which involves only half of the originally proposed properties is only half as bad.
● He is not a "Goreite" global warming fanatic.
● He believes new opportunities are opening in agriculture as our nation moves towards new technologies for energy independence. He wants to be sure Florida plays a major role in these emerging agricultural markets.
The meeting adjourned after a stimulating question and answer period. Most of those in attendance came away with a feeling of respect and support for this bright young Floridian.

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