Commission to give voice to farmers, Chintalaphani expected to be mediator
WESTON, Mass. â€" Ramana Reddy Chintalaphani
, who was involved in several agriculture-based businesses in India, was chosen as a member of the newly formed Agriculture Commission of the Town of Weston
The commission also hopes to engage in activities to promote agriculture and farming, and increase awareness about agriculture within the town, said Chintalaphani
, 68. Chintalaphani
, who works at the town's high school as a lunch monitor and at the Weston Library
as a pager, was selected after an application and screening process.
Douglas Gillespie, selectman for the town of Weston, said Chintalaphani
brought something unique to the commission, which is mostly constituted of farmers â€" an ability to help find middle ground when problems arise between farmers and their neighbors.
"I think Ramana's
(Chintalaphani) an individual who can build bridges between the farmers and their neighbors," said Gillespie.
...Chintalaphani, who graduated with a degree in agriculture from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, in 1960, worked in the agriculture department of the government of Andhra Pradesh and later, was an independent seed producer and marketer. He
also started a sugar manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh
, and also co-owned a tractor dealership.
"The idea is to help in planning the farms and agriculture for the town of Weston," said Chintalaphani
, adding, "We try to help the farmers, and if they have any problems, we serve as a coordinator to solve the problems."
One of the commission's plans, said Chintalaphani
, is to make organic farming a popular trend in the town, and opening a farmer's market in the future.He
also said he
would like to increase awareness about farming among school children. Chintalaphani
, who said his interests lie in farm finances and rural development, saw many differences between farming practices in India and the United States.
The commission meets every week, and hopes to become more active in the winter months, when farmers have more time on their hands, said Chintalaphani
maintains a large kitchen garden, where he
grows several hundred pounds of vegetables that he
stores over the winter.He
garden yields about 100 pounds of tomatoes and nearly 150 pounds of cucumber every year.
"I almost never buy vegetables from outside, except for potatoes, mostly," he
Chintalaphani's daughter, Sridevi Ashutosh, also lives in Weston with her