Medora Fralick: Agriculture Alliance celebrates 10 years

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How can any of us put a price on agriculture? Is it simply producing food for the world we live in? Is it a stabilizing force in our economy in turbulent times? Is it a source of stewarding the land for the rest of us to enjoy?

Agriculture in Routt County is all of the above and so much more. Whether we are talking about raising livestock or other crops, stewarding the land, producing clothing or providing habitat for wildlife, every one of us reaps the benefits of the farmers and ranchers among us.

The Community Agriculture Alliance, or CAAI, is a nonprofit organization celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. This organization has worked diligently for the past 10 years to support the agricultural industry in the Yampa Valley through education, advocacy and programs that help to sustain production agriculture in this valley. Although not always in the forefront, this organization successfully has completed the majority of its goals that were set into a development plan in the early years of the organization.

The purpose of this article is to point out that the alliance has been responsible for advocating for agriculture at the local, state and national levels. The alliance works on the Northwest Colorado Bull Sale, puts on water forums, provides land stewardship classes and supports the Deep Roots local food organization, Northwest Colorado Products Program and cultural heritage tourism. The Cayuse Classic, Ranch Rendezvous, Cow Town Tours Ranch and horseshoe pitching also are activities of the alliance.

This organization is helping to bridge the agricultural community with the business, resort and non-agricultural communities for the mutual benefit of all - what a gift to all of us, whether producers, consumers or residents.

The difficult economy has affected the organization, which depends on memberships for its financial support. Giving back is easier than ever.

Every donation is used to help all of us enjoy the working landscapes, Western heritage and food provided by farmers and ranchers in the valley.

For more information about giving programs, call 879-4370.

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