The succulence of the lambs

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Actress makes fresh, back-to-the-land pitch for local agriculture

Amy House (right) speaks with farm owner Dick Whitaker at Rushmere Farms sheep farm in Whitbourne. Photo courtesy of Dory Advertising

Local actress and comedienne Amy House is used to being stopped in the street by fans - what she's getting used to now is being stopped by fans and asked about meat, eggs and veggies.
"Someone I know came up to me and said, 'Hey, when did you start liking lamb?'" House said with a laugh. "I love talking to people, and if it encourages them to buy fresh, buy local and support our own, I think it's great."
House is the star of a set of 18 television and 10 print advertisements aimed at stimulating interest in the agriculture and agrifoods industry in this province.
The first half of the campaign was launched last June, and the second launched in September. The TV ads ran on CBC and NTV, while the print ads have run in The Telegram, The Western Star, and the province's weekly newspapers.
To do the ads, House travelled around the province, visiting nine farms that deal in produce, eggs, milk, lamb, beef, pork, berries and sod, as well as a jam-making operation in Pasadena. She was brought on a tour and interviewed farmers in each location.
"It was totally enlightening to me, because I had no idea of the amount of things that are grown here, how big an industry it is," House said.
House said she was astounded by the number of young, fifth- and sixth-generation farmers she met, and their knowledge.
"They're very open-minded and well-learned," she said. "The farmers' sense of humour and sense of reality - they're dealing with the earth, so you can't get more real than that - was amazing."
House - who grows her own herbs and tomatoes in her garden in Salmon Cove - hopes the ads encourage people in Newfoundland and Labrador to buy local food wherever possible. From what she's heard from those who've seen the ads, people don't mind paying a few cents extra for fresh food when they know the money is helping fellow Newfoundlanders make a living.
Because local meat and produce is often free of chemicals, it's often the healthier way to go as well, she said.
"The only way to go is back to the land, buying fresh and knowing exactly what's in what you're eating."

tbm@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Amy House, CBC

Geographic location: Western Star, Pasadena, Salmon Cove Newfoundland and Labrador

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