Rocky Mountain Farmers Union to hold 101st convention

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Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is more than a century old and still going strong with its efforts to represent agriculture at the local, state, regional and national levels. An affiliate of National Farmers Union, this progressive, grassroots organization is dedicated to achieving profitability for family farmers and ranchers; promoting stewardship of land and water resources; delivering safe, healthy food to consumers; and strengthening rural communities through education, legislation and cooperation.

To help achieve its goal of serving as one of the voices for family agriculture and rural communities throughout Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico, RMFU hosts a convention each fall. The location varies among the three states to promote a wide attendance from the membership. A great amount of time is spent at each convention discussing and voting on policy issues, which then formulates the direction that RMFU staff must focus its time during the next year.

RMFU members and employees are active in legislative efforts across the three-state region plus Washington. Issues include national food and farm policies, tax regulations, international trade and relations, production technologies, livestock health, animal identification, endangered species, animal welfare, vertical integration and price fixing, conservation, rural utilities, nutrition programs, water quality and greenhouse mitigation. The issues are complex, requiring constant research and dedication of the RMFU staff. It is an exciting and never-ending cycle of information and thought.

The 101st annual Rocky Mountain Farmers Union convention will be hosted by Colorado from Nov. 19 to 21 in Lakewood. The three-day event includes workshops, election of officers and board of directors, policy discussions and networking. Delegates from all areas of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico will join for discussions and decision-making efforts to help preserve family farming and ranching operations that are important to the economy and heritage of the United States. All RMFU members are invited and encouraged to attend and participate.

The agenda and registration information is at www.rmfu.org

Our local affiliate, Northwest Colorado Farmers Union, will send three delegates to participate in this year's convention. These representatives will be elected at our annual organizational meeting Nov. 8. If you are a member of Farmers Union or if you would like to know more, please mark your calendar and plan to attend at 1 p.m. Nov. 8 at Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Northwest Colorado Farmers Union is one of the hosts for the Annual Ag Fall Gathering, and we encourage all members of the participating agriculture organizations to attend. Farmers Union, Farm Bureau, Routt County Cattlemen, Routt County CattleWomen, Routt County Conservation District, Habitat Protection Program and Deep Roots Local Food Trust will hold meetings staggered throughout the afternoon. Supper is at 4 p.m., awards are at 5:30 and toe-tappin' entertainment is at 6. Members of these organizations, as well as Community Agriculture Alliance, will receive their invitations in the mail and are asked to RSVP to CSU Routt County Extension by Nov. 2.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is the president of the Northwest Colorado Farmers Union.

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