I’ve been harping on buying local and buying American for years. I don’t have hard numbers for proof, but I know it makes our economy stronger when we buy locally. The dollars kept in Minnesota continue to turn in Minnesota.
As a family, we don’t just talk about it, we live that way because it is good for us. This Christmas we gave gift bags that included honey from a farmer here in Farmington, maple syrup from Three Rivers Farm in Elko, pancake mix from Red Wing, jams made with Minnesota grown fruit, Woodbury’s Snappy Dog Salsa and St. Paul’s El Burrito Mercado tortilla chips.
Last year we gave goat milk soap from McCann Farm in Milaca, chocolates from Chocolat Celeste and Minnesota blue cheeses from Shepherd’s Way Farms down by Northfield.
It isn’t just the holidays, we always lean toward local products in our daily lives like Holy Land hummus and pitas, Old Home products, a lot of Kowalski’s products, Bongard’s cheese and Schell’s beers to name a few that came quickly to mind.
It isn’t that I have extra money to forgo store brands to buy more expensive local products, (by the way they are not necessarily more expensive) I buy local and I buy quality, something the companies listed above are both. I also recognize that a few cents extra for a local product, as opposed to a cheaper national conglomerate produced product is better for me and my community.
Good for my community. Good for my state. Good for my local economy. Good for me. The point is it is good for us. That is why I get annoyed when people like Tim Pawlenty whose job it is to promote the good things in our state and its great resources chooses not to.
I recall him recently buying his hunting necessities from Nebraska based Cabella’s instead of a locally owned shop like Joe’s Sporting Goods. Recently Tim Pawlenty chose an out of state artist named Rossin to paint his portrait at the Capital. In my opinion, it is further proof that Tim Pawlenty is a politician more for his ego and the attention than for his accomplishment here in Minnesota or for the promotion of our state. I know that is a giant step with a single choice he made, but there are hundreds of great artists in Minnesota who would have taken that $25,000 payment and spent it here in the state. Rossin is a highly acclaimed portrait artist known mainly for his expensive portraits of CEOs, but has well known works of Lincoln both Bush presidents and other politicians.
To me it seems like an ego thing to be included with those paintings. Oh well, Good riddance T-Paw. It is too bad the state elected another group of self-serving attention seekers to the legislature to replace you. My hope is that in the near future we elect a group of politicians who look at this state as a place that needs a higher quality of life and superior education to attract people to our area like the politicians a couple of generations ago did. Mark Dayton might be one, but we need more Don Fraziers and even Arne Carlsons who place a higher emphasis on our community and future than on shortsighted ego-driven bucket lists.