On March 6, 2016, WV Senate candidate David Manthos hosted a "Whistle-Stop for Local Food" at the Shepherdstown Train Station – celebrating local food and those who grow it. The following is a transcript of remarks delivered Lars Prillaman of Green Gate Farm.
Hello, my name is Lars Prillaman. I'm a farmer from just outside of Shepherdstown and I support David Manthos for Senate.
My farm is almost completely powered using draft horse power. From the plowing of the soil to bringing in the crops and hauling feed to the other livestock, we use technology that hasn't advanced much beyond the 1890's. You might say I'm your local Luddite.
David, on the other hand, is a tech guy. With an eye on improving our telecommunication infrastructure like broadband speeds, and wanting to see West Virginians trained to compete and lead in the technology fields, David's and my paths don't at first seem like they would overlap much. Perhaps they don't so much as they run complimentary to each other.
A scientifically literate work force and general population with the ability to access, create, and advance technologies is one that knows virtually no bounds. It is a workforce prepared to step away from the unsustainable and ecologically disastrous blasphemy that is fossil fuel and mineral extraction by means of mountaintop removal or fracking. The lack of sustainability and the environmental damage caused in those fuel pursuits are two reasons why our farm has chosen to opt out wherever possible.
David's and my paths for bettering our world, starting with our local communities, are both about sustainability. Powering and empowering ourselves through clean, green energies. A draft horse on my path, and with solar power and advanced technologies on David's path.
David flattered me with an invitation to have coffee and discuss my views and concerns on agriculture here in our region. I'm not one to miss good coffee or good conversation, and I was not disappointed. Here is a multi-dimensional candidate. A man who wants to help a high-schooler learn computer coding in one moment, and in the next is hearing the concerns of a small-scale livestock and produce farmer about lower income people needing access to high quality foods, about food freedom issues like raw dairy shares, and how he must haul his livestock out of state to be processed – his local economy not capturing a cent of those dollars. Being from and wanting to represent a small rural community, David is uniquely positioned and eager to propel our state forward into the 21st century through education and infrastructure, but also to protect and advance the interests of the farmers, artisans, and producers of his district.
In closing I'll say that I've never spoken at a political event before and I've never truly campaigned for someone in any official sense; I didn't even want to run for photographer of my 4H club. But I personally feel that David is a candidate worthy of my public support because I have gotten the feeling that he understands and supports his people.
In a national political climate that feels divisive and seems to have spun out of control, David Manthos is the level-headed, forward-thinking, accessible person we need down here on our level. I will be supporting David Manthos and I think we should put this man in the Senate.
Prillaman and Brent Feito also provided live music, and the dinner featured dishes prepared by local restaurants and businesses, and pork donated by Creekside Farms of Jefferson County.
This event was covered in the Shepherdstown Chronicle on March 11, 2016. Photos available at Facebook.com/Manthos4wv.