Knolltop Farm Wife

Welcome to my blog! I'm a wife, mother of four and a self-employed freelance writer. I live on a dairy farm with my family and I enjoy sharing our life with family, friends and anyone else who wants to visit the farm. There's no telling what the I will write about from day to day, but hopefully you'll be enriched when you stop by! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Secretaries of Agriculture

It's another rainy morning here on the Knolltop! I'm getting use to it. This has been one wet fall.

Sarah is still sick in bed with a soar throat and sinus stuff. Poor thing. She seemed a bit improved this morning, but I didn't thing there was any reason to go spread germs around school, so I kept her home again.

While in Harrisburg in September, I met the Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding(pictured above). He had recently taken over after the former Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff who had resigned to move onto the lobbying world.

Of course like any normal media type, I grilled him for information, asking him why he is qualified to be the PA Sec of Ag. He gave me his whole pedigree and when I was satisfied with that I began asking him about the issues that the livestock industry is facing. He aptly answered those questions too and by the time I was done, we knew just about everything about each other and we parted on a first name basis.

This week, Russell was a panelist at a Senate Ag Committee dairy crisis hearing in Washington DC. I emailed and asked if he would send me his thoughts on how it went. He promised he would and a couple of days later his Executive Assistant, Jean Lonie, sent me his comments. In her email she referred to Russell as Secretary Redding. When I read that, all of a sudden it dawned on me that this guy had a high position in government and I had been disrespectful calling him by his first name instead of his title.

I thought about the sec of ag in Michigan and how I would never refer to him by his first name. Then I thought about Sec Redding's position in government and then I was afraid I had offended my new found friend and I began to think oh my goodness how was I going to weasil my way out of this offense!

I emailed Secretary Redding right away apologizing for my disrespectful error hoping I hadn't offended him. He emailed back, "Appreciate your note, but keep using Russell, I prefer it!"

By that note it was affirmed why this guy who grew up on a dairy farm and was involved in production agriculture himself, was such a natural pick for his new job! You can take a kid off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the kid.