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Another Voice: As senator, Hillary Clinton was a creative and passionate friend to New York’s farmers

By Mark Nicholson and Brian Nicholson

As farmers, we answer a calling. We have a love of independence, enjoy toiling in the rich soil under an open sky and are driven by the never-ending challenge of creating sustenance from the Earth. Ultimately, whatever it is that draws each of us, our calling results in production of life-giving food.

Along the way our operations individually invest millions into our communities and employ hundreds of skilled and committed workers. The products we make, in turn, create revenue and jobs as they are passed along the food and distribution chain. The ripple effect of this activity in the local economy is exponential.

The challenges we face in this noble endeavor are many. The complexity of the global marketplace, the unparalleled challenges of climate shift, the mandates to build a better and continually safer food supply, the unique needs for skilled seasonal labor and global trade, to name a few. Despite all of this we strive to employ the best people, endure the weather, adapt technology and hopefully, at the end of the day, deliver a reliable and nutritious food supply that not only sustains our families, but is the bedrock of our nation’s success.

Addressing these many challenges requires thoughtful, measured, comprehensive, bipartisan and dynamic political leadership. It requires a calling no less noble than our own. We directly witnessed Hillary Clinton answer this calling when she served as our senator.

During Clinton’s Senate years, we witnessed a public servant exhibit the qualities we seek in our elected officials.

Clinton was one of the most dedicated public servants we have worked with on rural and agriculture issues. She and her staff had a genuine interest in identifying and addressing the underlying barriers to progress.

Clinton took an “entrepreneurial” approach to solving problems, and was dedicated to finding solutions to complex and long-standing challenges. She did it by bringing people together.

Clinton personally immersed herself in the search for solutions, then took action. She often pursued non-legislative solutions versus trying to answer every problem with a new law.

The complex challenges we face today in farming, and our society as a whole, require dynamic, dedicated political leadership. It requires a calling. We are supporting Clinton for president because she is not only a friend to New York’s farmers and rural communities, but because she has demonstrated the professionalism, dedication, and skill required to lead this great nation.

Mark and Brian Nicholson own Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva. Mark served on then-Sen. Clinton’s Agriculture Economic Advisory Committee, and served as the chairman of the U.S. Apple Association. Brian participated in Clinton’s Farm to Fork Initiative and is past chairman of the New York Apple Association.

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