Former State Rep. and MA Commissioner of Agriculture Pens Letter in Support of Natalie Blais

I first met Natalie Blais when she worked for Congressman John Olver. At the time, I was the State Director for USDA Rural Development. Natalie met with me often to talk about the challenges facing my agency and how we could better serve local farmers. I'm now enjoying retirement working at our family sawmill: Hall Tavern Farm.
I was surprised to hear from Natalie last fall, long before she announced her candidacy for State Representative. She wondered if she and her two boys could swing by the mill to check out some wood. I obliged and was grateful when she drove up my dirt driveway… with some plums from Clarkdale Fruit Farm.
She exited the car with the boys and explained that she wanted to build her husband a coffee table for his birthday. She needed some wood to top it off. Natalie followed me and her boys through my barn, as I explained to them the different kinds of wood, how they were harvested, and how they might look on a coffee table. The boys settled on ash because of the way the wood grain shimmered and the unique knots. Natalie settled the bill, took a photo of me and the boys on the threshold of my barn with a piece of wood, gave me a hug and was on the way. 
A few months later, I received a text message from Natalie with a few photos of her boys drilling the boards together to make the table. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the end product!
I tell you this story because there are a few things you should know about Natalie Blais: what you see is what you get. Natalie cares deeply about his region. She understands, better than any other candidate, the connection between the land and our economy. She believes in the power of buying local. But perhaps most importantly, Natalie will show up on your doorstep. She will ask for your thoughts. She may even bring you plums from a local orchard. But she will show up. I don’t know about you – but that’s what I want in my State Representative. 
In the statehouse, you are assigned a seat. The seat that Representative Steve Kulik sits in was the seat that I sat in. It is the same seat that my father sat in before me. I believe it is high time for a woman to take this seat in the House chamber and I believe the best person to take that seat is Natalie Blais. I hope you will join me in supporting Natalie Blais with your vote on September 4th.
Jay Healy
Former State Representative and MA Commisioner of Agriculture