Cattlemen's convention winds down

Land trust working on easements in region


Global outlook

Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, said Wednesday that he sees opportunity for the state beef producers in the global economy.

He observed that half of the world's population suffers from malnutrition.

"That's a huge opportunity for us," Fankhauser said. "We provide a safe, affordable product."

Fankhauser said the various committees under the umbrella of the Cattlemen's Association would work toward strengthening the place of beef in the global economy and seek an "equitable trade arena."

The convention, based at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel, adjourned Wednesday afternoon.

— The director of the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust told a statewide gathering of ranchers here Wednesday that his organization is increasingly active in the Yampa Valley.

"We have quite a bit of new activity in Northwest Colorado," said Chris West, the Land Trust's executive director. He was speaking before the annual convention of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association and Colorado CattleWomen's Association at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel.

The Land Trust seeks to help Colorado's ranchers and farmers protect their agricultural lands and businesses through conservation easements. It was formed in 1995 by the Cattlemen's Association, which became the nation's first livestock association to establish a land trust.

Following his talk, West confirmed that his staff is talking with a half-dozen property owners in Routt County about new agricultural conservation easements and a total of about two dozen property owners in Northwest Colorado. The Land Trust has already established four easements covering about 2,200 acres in Routt County.

West said his organization's outlook is to approach conservation easements with an understanding of what is required to go forward with a viable agriculture business.

"We work exclusively for (agriculture) landowners and are governed by (agriculture) landowners," West said. "Our document is designed to accommodate and recognize the basis of people's businesses, many of which have been passed down for generations."

The Land Trust has strong ties to Routt County. West was named to succeed former Elk River Valley rancher Lynne Sherrod last year. And CSU extension agent C.J. Mucklow was recently named to the board of directors, replacing another Elk River Valley Rancher, Jay Fetcher. The latter became a founding member of the board 12 years ago.

West said he admires Routt County and its "purchase of development rights" tax that generates funds to help conserve agricultural open space.

"It's impressive how this community values agriculture," West said.

- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail


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