Congressman Bob Goodlatte Is Keynote Speaker At Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center Open House
Monterey, Va – Congressman Bob Goodlatte was the keynote speaker at the open house for the Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center last week. He commended the local organizations and key people who made the center project possible.
“Every month that Pete Larkin comes up here, Betty Mitchell from the Highland Center would come over to meet with him and talk to him about what was going on with this project and how we could help with the fact that the USDA could guarantee a loan for this project and that is indeed what eventually happened thanks to the Highland Telephone company,” says Goodlatte. “The way this loan works, a local cooperative has to request it and that’s what the Highland Telephone company has done.”
Congressman Goodlatte continues his remarks with comments on the challenges of making a living in such a remote agricultural area.
“It’s been my honor to represent Highland County and it’s always been a joy to come up here,” he says, “but it’s also a real challenge for your local elected officials, for your state representatives and for me in Congress to know that to live in this beautiful place and to make a living doing it is a real challenge. Because you’re a long way from interstate highways and the ways to transport your livestock to market; this project where you can transport it right here, and do business right here in your county is a real wonderful development.”
Congressman Goodlate has high expectations for the Agricultural Center and thinks it will expand in the future.
“I think this is going to become so popular for Highland County and the surrounding counties in Virginia and West Virginia that we will see a lot more business coming here than they can handle,” says Goodlatte. “And eventually it’s going to result in growth in agricultural production in the area and growth in jobs producing a product that can be shipped out of here rather than having to go to the expense of shipping your livestock great distances to be processed.”
Mr. Goodlatte had high praise for the local farmers, who made it possible for this project to be completed.
“I applaud first and foremost the farmers who said we need to do something for ourselves here in Highland County to make this a more profitable place to do business,” he says. “And a community where we can continue to live here, continue to work here, and continue to raise our children here.”
Congressman Goodlatte also thanked the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency and state director Ellen Davis for their support of this project and for helping bring jobs to rural areas across Virginia.