The motto of the PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program is “Building Bridges”. Why did we choose that motto?
A bridge can be defined as:
- “a structure spanning and providing passage over a gap or barrier…”
- “a means of connection or transition”.
Beth and Shelly believe in creating connections that allow parties experiencing a conflict to find their common ground and work toward better relationships with each other. Beth and Shelly help entities move forward despite what was originally perceived as a gap or barrier.
For example, the Program hopes to provide passage over a gap or barrier between
- farmers and non-farm neighbors
- farmers and the municipal officials where they live
- farmers’ understanding of and compliance with the agricultural regulations
- Municipality’s understanding of agricultural regulations and right-to-farm law
The Program works to provide a connection between sometimes seemingly unrelated organizations or entities. Some examples include:
- the agricultural community and law enforcement and first responders (also known as all-hazards preparedness)
- agriculture and stormwater issues
- municipalities and the PA Department of Agriculture
- linking experts who can address questions or concerns with the person or agency who has the need, on a wide variety of topics