One of my dear friends I met many years ago is Lois Smith. A sweet and sassy farmsteading mother of seven. How appropriate that we met at the General Assembly. She has a fierce streak for protecting liberty and a hilarious streak once you get to know her. A full quarter of what she says is tweetable.
Not only is she funny, she is savvy – politically savvy. Current president of VICFA, she has been in the trenches for 15 years, guarding the home kitchen exemptions ( VA Code 3.2- 5130) from an over reaching bureaucracy called VDACS. She knows all the members current and past of the Agriculture committees for both the House and the Senate. She knows who is a freedom loving republican and who is owned by the lobbyists. She knows all the lobbyists and even has compassion for a few. She knows Food Freedom crosses political lines and which democrats shook hands with republicans to promote the good for all.
Lois is the kind of person who is principled and selfless. There are many new young farmers and food artisans out there who take advantage with neither concern nor knowledge of the hard fought rights VICFA had gained or protected. While they sell their goods, Lois has little time to grow or promote her own farm and goods because she stands on the wall guarding us.
There is no higher example than when she shepherded the 2016 Food Freedom Act until the end. She woke up February 1st at 5 am and milked her cow. She then went to work all day, drove to Richmond General Assembly to see the bill be heard a SECOND time at the 4:30 Agriculture Subcommittee hearing, then went to school until ten p.m. that night. All for the benefit of people she will never know. And she isn’t even paid.
I wish there were more Lois-es out there. Those who understand the value of a home cooked meal, in its terms of nutrition, economics, community stability and environmental impact, and who can crack a joke so funny it will make your sides split with uncontrollable laughter.
Take the opportunity to make it to the next VICFA Meeting. Its the second Sunday of every month at noon. See their website for details and sign up for the newsletters and action alerts. You will love the people you meet and Lois is guaranteed to make you smile!