Editor’s Note: This is a draft of a hypothetical letter to new billionaire Mr. John H. Tyson, Chairman Tyson Foods by Wendy Martin. It was read into the record at the Northampton Board of Supervisors meeting.
In contrast we Northamptonites are privileged to live in a priceless ecosystem, comprised of at least a billion worth I’d wager of natural assets, often foregoing monetary benefits in order to enjoy & sustain them.
Dear Chairman Tyson –
Due to 1) the ongoing attempt to rezone our bicoastal county which is almost an island at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula–not landlocked like you in Arkansas, and more recently due to 2) learning you’re eager to expand here, we became curious about you. Ancestry.com informs that your English surname is a nickname for someone with a fiery temperament, from Old French tison ‘firebrand’.
Since your self admitted dramatic rebirth 25 years ago (after your wild years!) you’ve made incredible strides growing the family business while returning much to your community educationally and spiritually in the workplace. You rank among America’s most prominent business men.
You are so successful that one wonders if you need to enlarge the empire. There are concerns. For cost cutting and to counteract high employee turnover you endorse increased automation, hence fewer jobs. In spite of your company’s success many contract growers for years have experienced declining or no profits. Will you be shifting focus upon quality rather than quantity which can command a premium similar to our one-of-a-kind ecosystem?
Especially when the world seems increasingly at risk for unexpected contagion & contamination?
Northampton’s persistent erratic winds. the ever present threat of hurricanes, occasional tornado, easily can propel your aromas pathogens & particulates – like gossip – in a jiffy. Why risk spoiling your image and ours by mucking up such an idyllic landscape, one encompassed by a spectacular aquaculture and thriving tourism industry?
Among your diverse interests are travel, music, art, golf, deep sea fishing, philanthropy — with service on numerous boards including Mr. Thoreau’s hangout the Walden Woods Project. Your bird’s-eye view of he world must be jaw dropping. Have you visited Northampton? Thoreau would’ve craved it.
Are you attracted to Virginia’s history of regulatory leniency? Fortunately Northampton is too small and fragile to satisfy your disposal needs. With your extraordinary track record of awards and service it boggles the mind that you’d contemplate expanding industrial contract farming and manure shoveling onto our narrow paradise which averages 6 miles width, if that. Fourteen years ago it was reported “contract farming…turns farmers into tractor drivers and manure shovelers. Tyson has a long history of doing this in the poultry industry.”
In closing we suggest you pause for the late Dr. Wayne Dyer’s (1940-2015) creation, his favorite film ‘The Shift’ – is free to watch since his recent passing – through yesterday. Hopefully the link might still work for you: http://www.drwaynedyer.com/the-shift-movie-watch-now utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email_Dyer_the_shift&utm_source=10026843&utm_id=6379WS&utm_content=6379
Please also refer to the 6/15/2003 Northampton County Sensitive Natural Resource Areas Report and Recommendations along with the most critical document: designation of our SSA (1997) http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/drinking/ssa/columbiayorktown.htm which spells out the acute vulnerability of our ground water for which there is no alternative source. Nearly everyone — approximately 85% of our population — relies upon private wells.