Allbee: An aggressive and strong advocate for all

TOWNSHEND — You might know that I am running for State Senator from Windham County, and I want to share with you my reason for doing so.

While I was born in Brattleboro, I grew up in the small town of Brookline in the West River Valley. Vermont has always been a part of my life, and I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to serve my country (as a Vietnam-era veteran), to serve my state (as secretary of agriculture, food, and markets), to serve my community (as CEO of Grace Cottage Hospital and advocate for senior housing and Valley Cares) - and now, if elected, to serve my county.

I believe that I have the experience, background, passion, and knowledge to be an aggressive and strong advocate for the needs of all of Windham County in the state senate. I have traveled almost every road in the county, and I know every town and community.

In my current position with Grace Cottage Hospital, I understand the changing health-care environment and the issues that need to be addressed around the single-payer debate. I have helped to bring new jobs to the area with Commonwealth Yogurt, and I was part of an effort to build a higher-education collaborative in both Windham County and across the state with food-systems education.

As secretary of agriculture, food, and markets, I led collaborative efforts to create an enterprise fund for the working landscape (farm and forestry), and to launch and support a renewable-energy initiative called “25 x '25,” which calls for 25 percent of energy from renewable resources by the year 2025. We aggressively addressed renewable-energy needs with methane digestion technology on farms, with new research on bio-solids and biofuel sources.

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While I have never sought recognition for my work, several honors have been bestowed upon me.

I was a finalist in 2009 for Vermonter of the Year by the Burlington Free Press, inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame, presented an honorary doctor of science degree from Vermont Technical College for my work in higher education around agriculture and food systems, given an honor award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America and, finally, presented with an alumni award from the University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

I am honored to have received these honors, but it is through strong leadership and collaboration with others that the issues facing our communities can best be addressed.

I am writing to ask for your support. Should you have questions, please contact me.

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