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RMFU announces winners of speech contest

DENVER—Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) has announced the winners of its tri-state (Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming) speech contest as follows:

The first place winner and recipient of a $500 savings bond from Pine Bluffs, Wyo., is Laura Nelson. She is the daughter of Jeff and Kim Nelson and winner of the Laramie County Farmers Union Speech Contest. A senior at Pine Bluffs High School, she is a Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter president, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) secretary and a member of the drama department. It is the second year Nelson has won the RMFU speech contest.

Runner up in the 2004 contest was Vanessa Farnik, New Raymer, Colo., who was the winner of the Weld County Farmers Union Speech Contest. She is the daughter of Steve and Lanette Farnik. A senior at Prairie High School, Farnik was involved in FFA, FBLA and a member of the National Honor Society. She won a savings bond for $300.

Placing third in the contest and winning a $200 savings bond was Jessica Schumacher of Peetz, Colo. She is the daughter of Gary and Kristy Schumacher and a senior at Peetz High School. She has participated in RMFU speech contests, summer camps and county youth programs. School activities include Student Council, FBLA and National Honor Society.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for young leaders to present what they have learned about the history and relevancy of cooperatives in today’s society,” said RMFU Education Director Amy Meyer. “I commend this year’s three winners for the excellent job in researching and creatively presenting this valuable information on cooperatives.”

Nelson and Farnik will be invited to present their speeches to RMFU’s Annual Convention in Denver, this November.

The 2004 RMFU Speech Contest, which is made possible by a grant from the Cenex Harvest States (CHS) Foundation, had the theme Cooperating for Success. Contestants had to present a prepared speech on the value of cooperatives under the specific theme. The purpose of the contest is to encourage young people to develop public speaking skills and to educate them on the history and important role of cooperatives in U.S. society.

To advance to the tri-state contest, held June 24, in Bailey, Colo., contestants had already won at their county level. A minimum of $225 in prizes was distributed in each county holding the contest. For more information on the RMFU speech program, contact Meyer at 303-752-5800 or amy.meyer@rmfu.org.