Steamboat Springs Routt County rancher Doc Daughenbaugh is helping to shape national farming policy.
Daughenbaugh, who operates the Rocking C Bar Ranch on Routt County Road 44 with his wife, Marsha, recently was appointed as one of seven members of the 2012 national policy committee for the National Farmers Union.
According to a National Farmers Union news release, policy committee members help create the grass-roots policy that the Farmers Union advocates for during the year. They spent several days last month in Washington, D.C., crafting that policy.
“It’s quite an honor to me,” Daughenbaugh said. “I really am humbled they asked me to serve on it. It was quite a big deal. I was proud to accept it.”
Daughenbaugh said each policy committee member brings a different expertise to the group. In addition to representing smaller ranching operations, Daughenbaugh said he would lend his knowledge about cattle ranching in the West as well as issues related to public lands and conservation.
He added that serving on the committee was an educational opportunity. Daughenbaugh said it has allowed him to learn about larger issues affecting farmers and ranchers across the country, such as international trade and renewable energy.
The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, which represents farmers and ranchers in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico, recommended Daughenbaugh for the appointment.
“He has served on what’s called the state policy committee for two years, and he’s done an extremely good job,” Rocky Mountain Farmers Union spokesman Mick McAllister said. “He’s very thoughtful and very knowledgeable. He has a broad range of interests. It’s very typical for someone who distinguishes themselves on state policy to become our representative on national policy.”
Daughenbaugh said he won’t be back in Washington this year, but the policy committee will meet again in March at the National Farmers Union’s 110th anniversary Convention in Omaha, Neb. At that time, the policy committee can suggest changes to the policy.
CJ Mucklow, western regional director for Colorado State University’s Extension Office, said Daughenbaugh serving on the national policy committee was like having an “inside man” in Washington, D.C., who could advocate for local farmers and ranchers.
“We have a voice locally who understands issues that affect agriculture in Northwest Colorado,” Mucklow said.
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com