Marsha Daughenbaugh: Farmers Union hard at work

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To learn more about Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, visit http://RMFU.org.

— If you wear clothing or eat food, you are actively involved in agriculture. And you have a responsibility and opportunity to be involved with people and organizations that are preserving the agricultural heritage and economy.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, an affiliate of the National Farmers Union, is an active advocate for agricultural producers and consumers. Recognizing that effective farm policy is important for safe, abundant and healthy food, RMFU has developed programs to protect the consumer's right to a secure food supply and to combat world hunger.

The offices for RMFU are in Colorado, but the staff is working with state legislatures in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming to promote use of local farm-fresh food in schools and other public facilities. Civic organizations have joined the efforts to promote local food production and usage, develop cooperative markets between local consumers and producers, and help protect consumers from corporate monopolies and market manipulation.

Throughout the tri-state region, RMFU is a leader with renewable energy, energy efficiency and biofuels development. Local input is encouraged so that our rural communities can protect the environment and thrive economically.

Farmers Union's Carbon Credit Program allows agricultural producers and landowners to earn income by storing carbon in their soil through no-till crop production, long-term grass seeding practices, native rangeland enhancement, forestry and methane capture projects. The Farmers Union has earned approval from the Chicago Climate Exchange to aggregate carbon credits to allow smaller units of acreages to combine together into blocks of credit that can be traded on the Exchange. Once the credits are sold, producers earn income based on the acres they have enrolled. Check out the carbon credit program at www.nfu.org.

At the national level, Farmers Union has been involved with the discussions and development of farm bills, country of origin labeling policies, fair trade agreements, genetic engineering policies, conservation programs and estate management tools.

Policy for RMFU is created at the local level and adopted at the annual convention held in November each year. Staff members and the board of directors take their direction from the membership to develop workable programs with local, regional, state and national governments, organizations and individuals. RMFU is truly a grass-roots organization that works for the producer and the consumer.

The members and insured of Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties are represented by the regional organization, Northwest Colorado Farmers Union. The current officers are President Marsha Daughenbaugh, of Steamboat Springs; vice-presidents Reed Kelly, of Meeker, and Bob McKune Sr., of Rangely; and Secretary-Treasurer Christy Belton, of Steamboat. Each of these officers brings a different perspective and interest to the organization and would be interested in visiting with you about current agriculture issues, programs and membership opportunities. Other local members serve on regional, state and national task forces providing great opportunities for area input on a variety of agricultural subjects.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is president of the Northwest Colorado Farmers Union.

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