Media Releases, Legislative News, Agricultural Updates
(GREELEY, CO) – Chad Franke will lead Rocky Mountain Farmers Union following his election at the general farm organization’s annual convention. Franke will succeed Dr. Dale McCall, who announced he would retire earlier this year. RMFU members also re-elected District Directors Danny Wood and John Field, as well as electing newcomer Hana Fancher to the board.
Franke was the fifth generation to own and operate his family farm near Akron, Colorado. He has raised Berkshire hogs for Whole Foods and set up and operated a feed mill for small producers. He and his wife, Carolyn, now live near Lander, Wyoming. They have an extensive history of involvement in Farmers Union events. Their adult children, Tim and Brooke, completed the RMFU summer camp programs and were recognized at this convention for earning their Torchbearer’s Awards.
“It has been a privilege to serve as vice president under Dale McCall and learn from one of the great advocates for education and family agriculture in our three states,” says Franke. “I thank him for his service as our president as well as his many years of support for family agriculture throughout his storied career and for the knowledge and guidance he has given to me. I look forward to continuing RMFU’s history of effectively advocating for family farmers and ranchers through the policy adopted at this convention, providing educational opportunities for our youth, producers, and the public, and moving our organization and agriculture forward into the future to the best of my abilities.”
Director Danny Wood and his wife, Lorrie, operate a fourth-generation farm near Peetz in northeastern Colorado. Director John Field and his wife, Linda, operate a ranch near Montrose, Colorado. Director Hana Fancher lives in Wyoming where she is beginning a career as a market stewardship coordinator with the Land Institute.
Delegates and members to the convention heard from National Farmers Union President Rob Larew, whose comments focused on several leading topics including the initial work on the next farm bill, the need to address the anticompetitive environment caused by consolidation among agribusinesses, and the challenge farmers and ranchers face in maintaining an effective voice for rural communities and production agriculture while working with lawmakers, regulators, and consumers.
Dawn Thilmany, a professor of ag economics at Colorado State University, provided a serious look into the rapidly changing food supply chain. She said on-line sales of food are here to stay. The trend toward on-line sales began before the impact of Covid in 2019, yet the event caused consumers to demand curbside sales from retailers much quicker than was expected.
Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg updated Farmers Union members on a variety of topics from ag labor availability to branding and marketing Colorado ag products.
Farmers Union members attending the convention selected delegates to the 2023 National Farmers Union convention. They also debated and adopted policy priorities for the upcoming year.
Members Recognized for Achievements
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union annually presents awards to members and others who have excelled at being advocates for farm and ranch families across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Awards went to the following individuals.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a general farm organization whose 20,000 member families have an interest in production agriculture in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
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