RMFU’s First Virtual Annual Convention Recap
The first virtual annual convention of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union allowed delegates from across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming to elect directors and adopt special orders of business to guide the general farm organization in 2021.
Either by paper or electronic ballot, delegates re-elected Chad Franke as the organization’s vice president. Jan Kochis was re-elected as a director representing District VI. She was challenged for this position by Meg Caley. Emily Brown successfully challenged incumbent District V Director Ken Anderson.
RMFU delegates chosen to represent the organization at the National Farmers Union convention set for next March will be Todd Hagenbuch, Steve Child, Mike Nolan, Roy Pfaltzgraff, Zachary Withers, Gillian Joyce, Julie Scholl, Kyler Brown, Liza Marron, Meg Caley, Cathy O’Neil, Fatuma Emmad, Patrick O’Neil, and Kyle Scholl.
“We saw a record number of delegates show up for this convention,” says McCall. “They also stepped up to run for leadership positions. I am proud of our members for wanting to make a difference in Colorado agriculture.”
The delegates adopted special orders of business on concentration in the meat industry, climate crisis mitigation, education on Covid-19, pandemic relief for farmers and food insecure communities, support for ag workers, and preservation of the American sheep industry.
The 2020 Cooperative Achievement Award was presented to Bill Stevenson in recognition for his 10 years leading the RMFU Co-op Center into a dynamic era during which he assisted hundreds of businesses, organizations, and individuals. Not only were the numbers of groups assisted impressive, but the quality of his work and the personable way he delivered it has facilitated a new generation of dedicated cooperators, both urban and rural, throughout our region.
The theme of this year’s convention was ReImagine, ReInvest, ReVitalize.
“This theme reflects what we believe is a course of action and opportunity in a year of disrupted food supply chains,” explains McCall. “As an individual farmer or rancher, as a farm organization, as an industry, and as a nation we need to reimagine our food supply chain, especially in livestock. We as a nation need to reinvest in the essential infrastructure producers need to capture additional value from their operations. And we need to enact policies at the state and national level to revitalize rural communities. The bottom line is, farmers and ranchers need to make a profit that allows them to make a living, and not from ad hoc government payments that are unsustainable.”
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a progressive, grassroots organization founded in 1907. RMFU represents family farmers and ranchers in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. RMFU is dedicated to sustaining our rural communities, to wise stewardship and use of natural resources, and to the protection of our safe, secure food supply. RMFU supports its goals through education and legislation, as well as by encouraging the cooperative model for mutual economic benefit. Learn more and become an RMFU member online at https://www.rmfu.org/