By Jay Bushnell
I would like to briefly describe why I am seeking the opportunity to serve on the Levy County Soil & Water District. My research indicates that the S&WD offers a great deal of potential to enhance the interests of farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Clearly, as stewards of the land, they are vital to our way of life.
Those who work off the land face increased environmental challenges from climate change. They also face market challenges from globalization. As a former commercial bee keeper, I encountered and understand those pressures. As a retired college educator, I also understand the importance of educating and preparing our youth for the time when they take over the reins.
I believe volunteering is one of the most important contributions one can make to the community (in case you are wondering, serving on the Soil & Water Conservation District is unpaid, volunteer work). I have been a president of PTAs, environmental groups like the Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuges, the Cedar Keys Audubon, and Volusia Anthropological Society. Presently, I am also a Director on the Florida Wildlife Federation Board.
I have experience with strategic planning and grant writing. I have helped make things happen. For example, in Volusia County, Florida, I co-chaired a two-year project promoting ECHO, which stands for the Environment, Cultural, Heritage, Outdoor recreation. At the end of two years, over 70% of the public voted to tax themselves for ECHO projects. They also created a Volusia Forever fund to tap into Florida Forever. If you visit Volusia County today, you may discover many projects that have successfully been completed with ECHO funds.
I want to help Levy County thrive as a safe and prosperous rural part of Florida. If elected, I would dedicate my efforts to help make this happen.
It would be an honor to serve as a volunteer on the Levy County Soil and Water Conservation District. I would appreciate your vote on November 3.