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RMFU presents awards at its 94th annual convention

AURORA—Dave Carter, of Westminster, Colo., was presented with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s (RMFU) Meritorious Service Award, here Nov. 23, during RMFU’s 94th Annual Convention. Carter joined RMFU in 1978 as communications director, served as National Farmers Union secretary from 1987 to 1993, and was then elected president of RMFU, a position he held until 2001.

Among Carter’s accomplishments for RMFU are establishment of the RMFU Cooperative Development Center in 1995, greater marketing opportunities for organic producers and enhanced consumer-producers relationships.

“Dave has been and continues to be a knowledgeable and passionate spokesman for family farmers and ranchers and the rural communities they support,” said current RMFU President John Stencel.

Tributes for service were presented to Jean Coleman, wife of the recently deceased Charles Coleman, Wheatland, Wyo., who served as RMFU District III board member from 1990 to 2001. Coleman was a cattle rancher, journalist, school board member and county commissioner. He passed away Aug. 28, 2002, after battling cancer for several years.

Tom Lauridson, holder of a doctorate in plant physiology, was honored for his service as vice president of RMFU from 1999 to 2001. Lauridson has farmed on the family operation just east of Broomfield, Colo. He left farming last year to become a high school science teacher.

RMFU’s Legislator of the Year Award was presented to Colorado Sen. Jim Isgar for his support of legislation that is positive to family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. Among the initiatives receiving help from Isgar in 2002 are a bill authorizing the Colorado Department of Agriculture to certify Colorado’s agricultural producers. Without this authorization, Colorado organic producers would have to pay more and go out-of-state for their certification.

Lorrie Boyer, farm news reporter for KVAY in Lamar, Colo., received RMFU’s 2002 Excellence in News Media Award. Originally from Longmont, Colo., Boyer was chosen for her ability to help producers and consumers see how events and developments in other parts of the country or the globe affect them. At age 28, she is the youngest recipient of this award.

Lonie Hoffman, also of Lamar, Colo., was recognized as RMFU’s Agent of the Year. The award was given for her involvement in issues affecting farmers and ranchers, as well as for her willingness to work with RMFU.

RMFU, which has a membership of 22,000, in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico, holds an annual convention to adopt a policy program for the coming year, to elect board members and officers, and to conduct other business necessary to the operation of the organization.