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VIGA member provides insight, experience and diversity | Letter to the Editor
The author of last week’s letter to the editor (“Produce stand raises questions,” Aug. 21) raised important questions about the Vashon Island Growers Association (VIGA), our farmers market and its place in our community. How best to advance local agriculture is fundamental to the purpose of VIGA and a big, ongoing conversation within our organization.
I invite the author and all interested islanders to join our conversation by joining VIGA, a membership organization made up of islanders actively engaged in supporting island agriculture and our local economy. Come to the Farmers Market and pick up a membership brochure, or go to our website, www.vigavashon.org to join online. We welcome you!
VIGA’s board of directors is elected by the membership. Each board member brings different skills and experience to the position. For the health of our organization, we ask for commitment to our purpose as well as diverse perspectives on how to achieve our mission. Bernie O’Malley has been a longtime VIGA member and supporter of local farms. For years he was a vendor at the market, first bringing island grown flowers and later, stone fruits not readily available on Vashon. To suggest that operating East-West Roadside Produce makes it impossible for him to offer valuable insight and experience to the board is a misunderstanding of the value of diversity and a disservice both to him and to the membership that elected him.
— Merrilee Runyan,