Community Ag Alliance: Preserving local heritage, putting food on the table

Food plays an important role during the holidays. Whether you enjoyed a banquet with family, a party with friends or are part of our community dinners, I hope you took a moment to reflect on where the meal started.

The American rancher and farmer are here for you every day. Regardless of the weather or the economy or presidential elections, our family producers continue to grow commodities that keep our bellies full and our bodies warm.

Community Agriculture Alliance has a commitment to recognize the value of agriculture. Since 1999, this organization has worked hard to preserve the agricultural heritage of the Yampa Valley by initiating, supporting and encouraging actions, programs and policies that mutually benefit and connect agricultural, business and resort interests.

We strive to enhance and promote local agriculture: food, fiber, products and services. We provide education about the critical importance of agriculture. We serve as an ag-resource connector between the community and other agriculture organizations.

But who are we? Who plans and implements? Who evaluates?

Meet our 2018 board of directors: Bill Badaracca, Greg Brown, Adele Carlson, Patrick Chrisman, Donna Mae Hoots, Jenna Keller, Lore Marvin, Kent Sandstedt, Ryan Wattles, Joella West and Shiloh Whaley. Our board of advisors: Shine Atha, Jody Camilletti, Jia Carroll, Becky Damon, Mark Goldman, Christina Gumbiner, Cari Hermacinski, Jeannie Maneotis, Ren Martyn, Kris Middledorf, Erika Murphy, Whitney Neelis, Raylene Olinger, Kelly Romero-Heaney, Erik Taylor and Rich Tremaine. Ryan and Lore will serve as our co-chairs, Kent as secretary and Bill as treasurer.

These 27 people come from all different vocations and interests, but they share one common passion: agriculture. All of them understand the importance of production agriculture and consumer relationships. They treasure the heritage of Routt County but understand that to succeed, we must adapt for the future. They provide planning and implementation for the variety of programs hosted by Community Agriculture Alliance — and true to the agriculture work ethic, you also find them carrying supplies, setting up chairs and taking registrations at our events.

As 2017 ends, we sadly said goodbye to Chris Hamilton, Karen Massey, Chayla Rowley, Brian Smith, Chad Stewart and Nadia Tereschenko. We will miss their wisdom and “can-do” attitudes but thank them for their service to Community Agriculture Alliance.

Now we look forward to a new year. In partnership with many organizations and businesses, we will continue moving the needle on local food issues, doing our best to connect local producers with local markets. The CAA online food market and Yampavore program are growing.

Education about water issues is a priority for us. During Ag Appreciation Week in March, we will be reminding everyone that without agriculture we would all be naked and hungry. The Cayuse Classic Horse Show Series will be in June and September. There will be ranch tours and ag-based events.

The future for Community Agriculture Alliance is bright. Feel free to stop by our office at 141 Ninth Street, call us at 970-879-4370 or visit our website at — we look forward to visiting with you.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance.



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