By Natalie House
I just recently completed a video project on GMC’s biomass plant – I was lucky enough to be able to interview Ken and Joe Gagnon (pronounced “Gone-Yah”) at their lumber mill in Pittsford, VT. The Gagnon family has been in the lumber industry since 1858, when Joe’s grandfather, who had traveled to the US from Canada some years prior, started a hobby saw mill on his farm property. For a long time, there was no use for the scrap wood produced by the logging process, but thanks to the partnership Gagnon has with Green Mountain College and other schools in the area, they can make a profit from selling woodchips. Gagnon Lumber has been the colleges’ #1 supplier for the chips since the biomass plant opened in 2010.
I’m so glad to be a Communications major to have the opportunity to work on projects like this one. It’s an honor to be able to talk to people in Rutland County and transform stories into videos for community members to view. Since I’m also an Environmental Studies major, I find it especially meaningful to tell stories about sustainability and energy efficiency like this one. Environmental issues go hand in hand with social justice issues, and a great way to raise awareness about issues is to make content to post on social media sites. Film can resonate with people in deeply touching ways, build community, and inspire. I really think I have a social responsibility to capture stories through media and make them available and engaging to a greater online audience.