Former South Royalton Rep. David Ainsworth died Friday at age 64. He was one of the last few dairy farmers to serve in the Vermont Legislature.
The Republican representative served in the Vermont House for three terms — first from 2007 to 2010, and then again from 2017 to 2018.
John Gregg, news editor of the Valley News, wrote a remembrance of Ainsworth for the paper.
"He could be gruff to people who might not have known him," Gregg told VPR on Monday, "but as one legislator told me, you know, underneath he had really a heart of gold and he cared very much about farm issues."
John Gregg of the Valley News spoke to VPR's Henry Epp. Listen to their conversation above.
As an active dairy farmer, Ainsworth brought a perspective to the Vermont Legislature that few others had, Gregg said.
"Ainsworth was someone who could get up there and talk about, 'OK, here are issues that farmers are dealing with when it comes to water quality' or, you know, 'There are complicated issues when dairy prices fall,'" Gregg said.
In addition to his farming and work in the Statehouse, Ainsworth also served as town moderator of South Royalton for 25 years, Gregg reported.
In a statement issued Saturday, Gov. Phil Scott praised Ainsworth's public service and community involvement:
"I’m saddened to hear of the passing of former state Representative David Ainsworth. David was an exceptional public servant and showed it in every regard.
“His commitment to community, family - and, of course, his farming - was unmatched. He will be deeply missed by those who knew him, and I send my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues."