Luke Matthews

Friend uses social media to save his farm

corn

My wife and I have a friend in Larry Cleverley. Larry has been a fixture at the Downtown Farmers Market since we began going years ago. Larry and his family have worked on their family farm for generations. We love to buy fresh produce from Larry and his family. Larry is infinitely knowledgeable about the produce he sells. He loves to talk about his St. Louis Cardinals and likes to tell stories about when he lived in Chicago.

Lately, Larry has had to talk about different topics. You may have seen on the news or read in the newspaper that Larry’s farm is in jeopardy of being decimated by a new road project by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The IDOT has created proposals to make the roads running next to the Cleverley Farms safer by redirecting some of the roads. However, the projects would not only destroy much of the Cleverley farmland, it would also take away three homes on the property.

Larry wasn’t going down without a fight and he has put together quite the campaign to help save his farm. He was already active on social media (Facebook and Twitter primarily) and has called upon his followers to pick up his cause. My wife and I gladly signed the petition to stop the IDOT from destroying Larry’s farm and livelihood. It’s been pretty incredible to see the outpouring of support via social media. The traditional media coverage has been great, but it’s the constant sharing over social media that has really given this campaign legs.

It’s how things are done these days and I personally, I hope it works.

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