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Gwen Graham churns ice cream, packs containers for latest Work Day

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gwen Graham’s latest “Work Day” had the congresswoman as far from Capitol Hill as one can get.

The Democrat from North Florida’s 2nd Congressional District spent a work shift mixing ingredients, churning ice cream and packing containers at Southern Craft Creamery in Marianna.

Citing a long family history in the dairy industry, Graham used the semi-regular event to promote a highly regarded, family-owned agriculture business.

“My family started a Florida dairy farm in 1932,” Graham told reporters afterwards. “My uncle helped build up the state’s industry, so today’s Work Day was like coming home for me.

“Making ice cream is hard work,” she added, “and Southern Craft Creamery makes the very best you can buy.”

Ernest R. Graham, Gwen’s grandfather, started the family dairy, with her uncle, Bill Graham, who also played a leading role in organizing the Independent Diary Farmers Association. He also served as the Association’s first president, and helped to create a federal milk marketing order for Florida, which gave local dairies a competitive edge.

Carrying on her family’s passion for agriculture, Gwen Graham is one of two Florida members serving on the House Agriculture Committee.

“We appreciate Representative Graham coming to our creamery and her attention to small agriculture businesses,” said Southern Craft owner Dale Eade. “She doesn’t shy away from hard work.”

Acknowledged by numerous publications for excellence, Southern Craft Creamery won the 2013 Garden & Gun Magazine “Made in the South” award for best overall food.

“Family agriculture businesses like the Eade’s dairy and creamery are what make North Florida great,” Graham said. “It’s an honor to sit on the Agriculture Committee and support them in Congress.”

Over more than a dozen “Work Days,” Graham has worked a variety of jobs in the Second District, including sweeping hair at a Tallahassee barber shop, on a construction site, patrolling with the Gretna Police Department and working a 68-acre goat ranch outside of Monticello.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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