To: Florida, UDC
I have spoken to one of the State people out at the Farm. All they have been told is that they will be open until June 30.
The Pres of the CSO, who has formed a separate group, SaveDudleyFarm, to work on petitions, contacts, etc. tells me that, when the Legislature reconvenes in March, it will start working on the 2009-2010 Budget. Director of the Park Service was told to cut his Dept by 10% which he did and Dudley was on his list of 15 parks to close down. Why Dudley was put on that list makes no sense. You can’t just shut down an operation like Dudley for the (proposed) one year and then start it up again just like that. An active operating farm cannot go on hiatus for that period of time without considerable loss and a lot of work to build it back to where it was. And that would cost even more money so where is the sense? As the Gov said, one year usually means permanent. That is the fear. If they close Dudley for one year, in all probability, that will be "all she wrote."
Therefore, I will post again the first of March with email addresses of Legislators and, I hope, others who may bring influence to bear. Your letters were very profound. I was most impressed with the caliber of the response of the women in the Organization. Women can be a mighty force.
In the meantime, PLOW DAY at Dudley is February 6 & 7, coming up soon – this weekend. That’s when they bring in the big draft horses and prepare the fields for Spring planting. School children will be making field trips out there on Friday. If any of you are within a reasonable distance, you might want to visit on Saturday. Admission is FREE! For some reason, that is a requirement. Part of the Educational responsibility of the Farm would be my guess.
So, Dear Daughters, thank you so very much for your tremendous response in sending those emails to the Governor. Next we work on the Legislature. Rumors tell us there is Hope but we need to keep the ball rolling.
Kirby Smith Chpt 202