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Observations from the Field

By Dale McCall
RMFU Field Representative

I am pleased to have this opportunity to reflect on my experience as the new field representative for Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

Since July of 2007, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of county officers and insurance agents. I have found that the agents appreciate my visits to their offices to share information and strengthen the relationship between Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and FUSA. I am pleased to report that communication between the two organizations is improving dramatically.

During my meetings with county officers, I have found all the officers and members were very interested in and supportive of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and its current initiatives. Interest is very high in the new federal farm bill and the leadership of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and National Farmers Union. Everyone recognizes that this new bill will have a significant impact on all of our members and all of the agriculture industry.

Other priority areas for our members are:
• State legislation impacting agriculture and rural Colorado.
• Availability of rural health insurance. Protecting agricultural water interests and finding ways to conserve water and provide for more in-state storage.
• Continuing the expansion of cooperative ventures to provide for direct marketing of agricultural products – farmers to consumers, as well as other cooperative ventures.
• Continuing the expansion of renewable energy projects and production to serve as a catalyst to promote rural economic development and improve the quality of life in rural Colorado.

Membership recruitment needs everyone’s immediate attention and hard work. To stop the decline in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union membership over the last several years, all staff, county officers and, most importantly, individual members need to make membership recruitment a top priority.

I urge all members and county officers to recruit and renew members in their local communities, especially between now and the end of the year.

We are asking that each county officer recruit or renew at least 10 members, and we are asking that all members individually recruit additional members. Increasing our membership is a must in order to continue as a healthy, proactive organization that represents agricultural families of Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico at the county, state and national levels.

It is important for all of us to recognize that membership recruitment and renewal is not easy. There are many activities and organizations that we are competing with.

However; I believe that Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has the right policy and direction, and with a proactive “grass roots” effort, we will increase our membership. Local officers and members are the best people to recruit members. You are known and respected by your neighbors and by prospective members in your local community and county. We are asking that each county officer team develop a membership plan to be carried out from now through December, 2007.

Benjamin Waters, Jennifer Luitjens Bahr and I are working with individual county organizations to assist with membership development and other county officer duties and responsibilities. We are looking forward to continuing our work in the field to assist you.

Contact me at 970.381.0720 or dale.mccall@rmfu.org.