Jay Fetcher herds cattle on his family's ranch in August 2006. Fetcher has won the William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities, which honors community leaders who can unify people and organizations around a common cause.

Fetcher family/courtesy

Jay Fetcher herds cattle on his family's ranch in August 2006. Fetcher has won the William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities, which honors community leaders who can unify people and organizations around a common cause.

Community Agriculture Alliance: Jay Fetcher wins William Funk Award

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Agriculture meets society's needs and wants with a variety of things: food, by-products, open space and wildlife habitat, just to name a few. There is one thing that agriculture provides that is rarely acknowledged: people. Agriculture provides people who are willing to share their passion, time, energy, knowledge, education, skills and talents. This article would like to introduce one such person from Routt County.

Jay Fetcher is a local in Routt County. He is an exceptional man from an exceptional family, and he and his wife, Gael, have raised an exceptional family. Those who know Fetcher know him as a quiet, thoughtful man who loves his family, community, state and country. He lives up in North Routt County on his longtime family ranch, where he has always been searching for ways to improve and preserve ranching, the environment and society.

In mid-March, Fetcher was presented with the William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities, sponsored by the Boettcher Foundation and presented by the Colorado Nonprofit Association. The award, established in 1991, honors acknowledged leaders who can unify people and organizations around a common cause.

Fetcher has brought his special skills to a broad arena, both at the local level and the state level. Within the community of Steamboat Springs, Fetcher has served on the Yampa Valley Medical Board, the Steamboat Springs School Board and the district's Education Fund Board. He also has been on the board of the North Routt Fire Protection District. Fetcher was one of the founding members of the Community Agricultural Alliance.

He is a member of the Routt County Cattlemen and the Colorado Cattlemen. At the state level, Fetcher has been on the Board of the Colorado Water Trust and the Colorado Environmental Coalition. Fetcher has worked diligently for land preservation as a founding member and past president of the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust. As Chris West, the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust's executive director, said at the presentation of the award, "Jay's dedication not only to the land trust, but also to ranching and conservation will make Colorado a better place for generations to come."

For those of you who know Fetcher, take the time to say congratulations the next time you see him. For those of you who don't, maybe you'll be lucky enough to get to know him sometime in the future.

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