Last Sunday Kathy Ozer died. That may not mean much to most of you but this woman was a towering giant in the world of the small family farm all across this nation. In the 1980’s farm crisis she was one of the core authors of the farm credit bill that kept family farms in the hands of family farmers for a bit longer.
And she was my friend. The incredible sadness that envelopes me every-time I think of her passing is way out of proportion to the actual space she occupied in my life. We worked together at the National Family Farm Coalition, she was the executive director and I am a member of the board. But it just rips my guts out to think of the hole she is leaving in the movement to protect family farms at this time when all working folks, and especially farmers, are so vulnerable to what is coming our way from this new administration in DC. Perhaps she is best out of it but I know that is not how she would have reacted. She was a fighter. A crusader. A heavy weight.
The Washington Post wrote a lovely obituary about Kathy. Please go read it.
There will be a couple of memorials for Kathy. Probably more than a couple. There has already been an outpouring of grief and shock on the interwebs from those who knew, worked with, admired and loved her. I will be attending one in Boston put on my the North Atlantic Marine Alliance on February 17th.
There will be a celebration of Kathy’s life in DC a little earlier in the month. February 11th at 3pm at the Sitwell Friends School, 3825 Wisconsin Ave. NW.
Cards can be sent to her husband and family: David Battey, 1921 Kalorama Rd. NW. Washington, DC 20009.
There is also a fundraising page in Kathy’s memory (she was a tireless fundraiser) on the National Family Farm Coalition page.