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Opinion: Sour grapes over attention to tart cherries?


Jul 28, 2021

Despite giving a thorough interview to a Record-Eagle reporter and being featured on the cover of your paper, you dismissed my presence and interaction with President Joe Biden entirely, along with the sincere interactions he had with hundreds of people from the community.

I had the great honor of leading the president around our farm(King Orchards) and I spoke about challenges facing our economy and our community, including: the current cherry crop failure and other effects of climate change that we are facing on the farm; struggles in the tart cherry industry with price depression from imports; the future of family farms; roadway and clean energy infrastructure investments needed in rural communities; immigration and the protection of our water, including the Line 5 oil pipeline.

My conversation with the president was informed by a life immersed in agriculture and my current involvement with the Cherry Industry Administrative Board, the Michigan Cherry Committee, the executive board of the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance and serving as co-chair of the Great Lakes Business Network.

Regardless of your attempt to degrade the value to our region, I hope residents of northern Michigan realize the gravity of the president landing at our regional airport, driving over our county roads and seeing our small towns.

He listened patiently and sincerely to the hundreds of people who gathered to see him on our farm, and he did not leave until he had gone through the entire crowd of people.

He was at our farm for more than three hours. Believe me when I say that his staff was not prepared for such a long event.

Apparently “Your View”(July 9 editorial) is that press conferences are more important than true engagement with common people and that tart cherries are not deserving of attention. President Biden said that he would be president to all Americans. To come to ground zero of political controversy to hear from his constituents without making statements speaks volumes to his character.

As for your character: you would rather cast shade and fan the flames of division instead of relishing in this incredible opportunity that was granted to our community.

I was told that due to the pandemic, this was his first face-to-face interaction with a large crowd as president. I hope that it was as memorable for him as it was for us.

About the author: Juliette King McAvoy is the vice president of marketing and sales at King Orchards.

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