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July 22, 2006 – Farmers Union Day in Colorado

DENVER– Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) will be celebrating Colorado Farmers Union Day on Saturday, July 22, 2006 in Glenwood Springs, Colo. The organization will be holding a leadership meeting throughout the weekend to focus on goals and efforts for the future.

During the 2006 regular legislative session, lawmakers passed SJR06-017 (Sen. Isgar, D-Hesperus; Rep. McKinley, D-Walsh) proclaiming July 22, 2006 as Farmers Union Day in Colorado.

On May 17, 1907 a small group of men met in Crystola, Colo., to organize the first local branch of what became the Farmers’ Cooperative and Educational Union of Colorado. These founders, who included George B. Lang, Charles S. Simmons, John W. Vandeventer, Edwin Brown, W. H. Harris and meeting organizer, T. W. Woodrow, were reformers determined to address the interests and concerns of Colorado farmers and ranchers.

“RMFU’s proud history is only half of the reason we are celebrating our 100th anniversary,” said John Stencel, RMFU president. “Looking towards the next 100 years we realize that the successes we are making today are the very foundation of the future for our region’s agricultural communities.” Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a progressive, grassroots organization throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming dedicated to achieving profitability for family farmers and ranchers; promoting stewardship of land and water resources; delivering safe, healthy food to consumers; strengthening rural communities through education, legislation and cooperation; and, being the voice for family agriculture and rural communities.

As a family organization, there are activities and educational opportunities available for all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens. Multi-generational involvement is encouraged. The organization melds the value of experience with the importance of developing young leaders.

Standing firmly behind family producers and rural communities for nearly a century, RMFU is poised to continue to do battle for the independent producer for the next century.

“The philosophies of the last century of Farmers Union will become the conscience of the next generation,” said Lee Swenson, executive director of RMFU. “As RMFU members congregate at the Glenwood event they will build a plan for the next century as they reflect on the accomplishments of the past, such as cooperatives, social security for farmers, credit unions and farm programs.”