Community Agriculture Alliance: Keep eyes open for a fresh perspective

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This may sound strange, but take a moment and look up from the paper or computer. What do you see? What do you really take notice of? With time, we tend to take many things for granted. As someone new to the area, I have the chance to view things with fresh eyes and imagine the possibilities. I can easily lose myself in the rolling hills, valleys and wide open spaces. As my mind begins to wander, I think about the stories of the people who live and work here … the history and legacy of homesteading and ranching, the rewards and challenges of an agricultural lifestyle.

As I learn more about the area, my appreciation and understanding of just how special it is deepens. This comes from the people who live here. Their personal stories, history and family legacies make this community the caring, warm, special place it is. Each day reminds me that every person has a story to tell and that the opportunity to listen is a chance to learn. So as I go through my day, I continue to see things with my newcomer perspective. I hope I can keep those fresh eyes and an open mind. I would challenge you to question what you truly see and consider seeking out new people, places and stories.

Each person and family helps tell the story of the Western culture and heritage that we share. It is what makes our community so special: that unique combination of a world-class ski resort; working landscapes; warm, friendly people; and a very real, authentic Western culture. Without sustainable agriculture in our community, we would lose this crucial link and risk becoming just another mountain ski town.

If we value this heritage and want to sustain it, then as a community we need to find meaningful ways to support agriculture. That support is at the heart of the Community Agriculture Alliance’s mission. Whether it’s through a financial contribution or volunteering your time and talents, please consider joining us. I have learned that this community has a long history of rallying to support worthy causes and individuals. Let’s continue that tradition and support agriculture through the Community Agriculture Alliance.

I recently had the opportunity to write another column for the Community Ag Alliance about the recent Challenge Grant. As a brief update, we still are seeking contributions toward this matching grant and working hard to meet the Feb. 28 deadline. If you are interested in joining this effort, please call 970-879-4370 or mail your contribution to Community Agriculture Alliance at PO Box 774134, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Thank you for your consideration, and keep your eyes open to new possibilities.

Michele Meyer is fundraising and public relations coordinator for the Community Agriculture Alliance.

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