In October, before the Presidential election, Michael Pollan, a champion of small farming and local foods, wrote a letter to the future President-elect, asking him to appoint a "Farmer in Chief" at the White House. This White House Farmer, advised Pollan, would be responsible for turning five acres of the White House lawn into fruit and vegetable gardens to feed the First Family and their guests.
Sounds great, right? Well, although the Obama administration has not yet hired a White House Farmer, they have hired a White House chef who is a strong proponent of local, sustainable food - Sam Kass.
An Illinois family has taken up Pollan's call for a White House Farmer, creating a website where they collected nominations for the potential position. Visitors can vote for their favorite farmer from among the nominees. The website says that the names of the top three vote-getters will be forwarded to an Obama staffer.
Will the White House lawn be transformed into a small farm? It remains to be seen, but the hiring of Sam Kass looks like a promising step forward.