Miller’s Gleonda Angus Farms serves as stop on U.S. Rep. Long agriculture tour

By Steve Chapman

Congressman Billy Long, accompanied by some 32 interested individuals, stopped to visit Gleonda Angus Farms near Miller during his agriculture tour on Thursday, Oct. 18. Gleonda Angus Farms, owned by Leon and Glenda Kleeman, was one of six stops Long made that day.
While visiting the farm, Long and his companions toured the recently opened The Farm Shop, a small retail place located on the farm where steaks, ground beef, roasts, meat snacks and other items are available for sale to the public. They also saw some of the Black Angus bulls being raised on the farm.
Long said he was making the tour because of the importance of agriculture not only to him, but to the 7th District as well.
“(Farms are) near and dear to the 7th District, which I represent,” he said. “If you take agriculture and manufacturing out of the 7th District, you don’t have a lot of industry left.”
 During Long’s stop, he listened while Leon Kleeman spoke to Long’s group as a whole about the history of the farm. Kleeman’s grandson, Traves Merrick, spoke about the Farm Shop, and Jim McCann, of Shining Cross Farms, spoke of work being done on a beef sustainability program.
While politicians are known for making speeches at public gatherings, Long chose not to speak to the group as a whole, instead speaking with individuals he met during his stop on the tour. He said that he chose not to speak during the tour so that people like Kleeman could be heard instead.
“This is for the farmers to explain what they do, and I don’t want to take up their time by giving a political stump speech every time we stop,” he said.


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