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Benjamin Way appointed executive director for RMFU

Benjamin Way appointed executive director for RMFU DENVER –Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s (RMFU) board of directors has announced the appointment of Benjamin Way, Fort Collins, Colo., as the organization’s executive director, effective Nov. 1, 2003.

“The RMFU board is pleased to welcome Ben as our executive director,” said Jan Kochis, RMFU board chair. “He was selected from a highly competitive field of applicants, and we believe his experience, knowledge of agriculture and concern for family agriculture will be a tremendous asset to our membership.”

In his capacity as executive director, Way will be responsible for running RMFU’s day-to-day operations, including supervising staff and programs of both Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the Cooperative Development Center. John Stencel remains in his position as RMFU president. He will devote more of his time to lobbying and member relations, rather than administration.

“I am very excited to be named executive director of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union at this critical time when family farmers and ranchers are striving to make a living from their operations and to sustain the quality of life in their rural communities,” said Way. “I hope to use my education, management abilities and creativity to assist RMFU in maximizing its activities and programs to best serve our members.”

Way brings to RMFU a wealth of agricultural, rural development and community outreach experience. Since 1999, he worked for the Rocky Mountain regional office of the American Farmland Trust (AFT). For the last year, he served as director of this office. His responsibilities included educating communities, agricultural landowners, and local officials about the benefits of farm and ranch land protection. In this capacity, he also was in charge of AFT research projects, policy initiatives and land projects in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and New Mexico.

Prior to his work with AFT, Way worked with the Colorado office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Before that, he worked in international agricultural and rural development for nearly 20 years. His most recent international assignment was as the U.S. Peace Corps country director in Chad, where he managed a program of 40–50 volunteers engaged in several rural development projects. He also worked in the Central African Republic for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Way holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental resources management and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, both from Pennsylvania State University. He and his family live in Fort Collins.