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Harvest Moon Dinner with local food Oct. 1

Manitou Springs>>>The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Educational & Charitable Foundation (RMFU Foundation) invites you to a Harvest Moon Dinner, Sun., Oct. 1, 2006, 4:30-8:30 p.m. at the Briarhurst Manor, Manitou Springs, Colo. The dinner is a fresh, local foods dinner featuring Colorado grown ingredients prepared by renowned Chef Lawrence Johnson. The event honors Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s (RMFU) 100th Anniversary of serving family farms and ranches.

The evening’s program will include remarks from Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Ament and John Stencel, president, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with the RMFU Foundation to showcase some of the wonderful foods we have available to us right here locally,” said Chef Johnson of the Briarhurst Manor. “The Briarhurst Manor congratulates Rocky Mountain Farmers Union on this incredible milestone in keeping local agriculture vital.”

The Harvest Moon dinner menu will feature grass-fed buffalo from Buffalo Groves in Kiowa, Colo.; natural lamb from Prairie Natural Lamb in Strasburg, Colo.; natural beef from Mike Callicrate, through Ranch Foods Direct in Colorado Springs, Colo.; natural poultry from Wisdom Natural Poultry in Haxton, Colo.; potatoes from the Salazar Ranch in the San Luis Valley; a variety of fresh produce and other farm fresh products from Beneficial Farm and Ranch Collaborative and other local producers; and, bread from Gerard’s Bakery, a subsidiary of Mountain View Harvest Cooperative in Longmont, Colo. Colorado wines from The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey will be served to accompany the meal.

The program will feature one-time Century Awards honoring individuals who have made support of family agriculture and rural communities a central part of their lives and careers. Honorees include: Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.), Rural Advocacy Champion Award; Allan Savory, Conservation in Agriculture Award; Kirvin Knox, Agricultural Education Award; Peter Decker, Advancement of Agriculture Award; Jeff Pryor, Rural Development Award; and, Dawn Thilmany, Agriculture Enterprise Award.

“RMFU is honored to recognize these champions of agriculture and local food production during our Harvest Moon Dinner,” said Stencel. “What better opportunity to acknowledge and thank them than with a dinner of locally grown foods from producers who have benefited from their life’s work.”

“The Harvest Moon Dinner celebrates 100 years of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s commitment to family agriculture by featuring their harvests in a fine dining environment,” says Susann Mikkelson, director of fund development for the RMFU Foundation. “This is a tremendous opportunity for consumers, producers and agricultural advocates to come together to celebrate and enjoy!”

The RMFU Educational and Charitable Foundation was formed in August of 1991, and strives to foster initiatives that contribute to the health and sustainability of family-based agriculture and rural communities. The RMFU Foundation offers youth and adult education programs about agriculture and rural community development, highlighting the cooperative business model. The RMFU Foundation also houses the Rocky Mountain Cooperative and Economic Development Center, which provides financial and technical assistance to entrepreneurial businesses, cooperatives and other small business groups.