Community Agriculture Alliance: History in the making

Marsha Daughenbaugh/For the Steamboat Today

The year is 1715 and war rages across Europe. In 1815, war still is being fought in Europe — different players but same scenarios. The world’s first commercial cheese factory is established in Switzerland and the War of 1812 ends. In 1915, much of the world is engaged in World War I, a hurricane claims 275 lives in the Mississippi Delta, Thomas Edison invents a telescribe to record phone conversations, Ford Motor Co. hits the 1 million mark for Model T production and Dinosaur National Park is established.

Three hundred years later and already it is 2015. Wars continue to ravage the world, natural disasters kill people and destroy livelihoods, entrepreneurs change lives, preservation efforts assure the future and the world continues to spin on its axis.

Do we have an impact on what will happen this year? Being the eternal optimist, I say “yes.” Each of us is capable of making an affirmative difference in our world. Our region is proof-positive that good things happen every day because of the vision, determination and labors of our people.

Look at the number of nonprofits and their employees, check out our local libraries and museums, watch our police officers and fire crews, wander onto our college campus, eat at our local restaurants, attend a church service or listen to a conversation between locals. We are fortunate to live in the Yampa Valley where we care about one another and our future.

Community Agriculture Alliance is starting Year 17 and we will be led by a dynamo group of community-minded citizens. Serving on our board of directors in 2015 are Shine Atha (secretary), Bill Badaracca, Greg Brown, Kelly Heaney, Diane Holly, Steve Ivancie, Jenna Keller, Ren Martyn (treasurer), Erika Murphy (co-chair), Heather McLaughlin-Sloop, Wayne Shoemaker, Brian Smith (co-chair), Rich Tremaine, Liz Wahl and Ryan Wattles. Our board of advisors is Adonna Allen, Casey Earp, Karen Massey, Kyle Monger, Brandon Moore, Chayla Rowley, Chad Stewart and Shiloh Whaley. The staff consists of Michele Meyer, Nancy Kramer, Lindsey Hall and yours truly.

Our boards and staff have backgrounds in ranching, farming, small businesses, large corporations, law, energy, construction, real estate, banking, government, fitness, recreation, agri-tourism, conservation, preservation and sustainability.

All geographical areas of the county are represented. Everyone agreed to serve CAA because they believe in our organizational goals to enhance and promote local agriculture, to educate about the critical importance of agriculture and to serve as an agriculture resource connector in Northwest Colorado.

Where will you find us this year? The obvious place is at the CAA office in the Sequoyah Building at 141 Ninth St. in downtown Steamboat. Stop in, visit with us and ask questions.

Check out our website to become a part of our online marketplace where you can find locally raised meats, seasonal produce, honey, fresh baked bread and pastries and more. Ride in Cayuse Classic Horse Show Series. Participate in one of our water forums. Dine at a restaurant that supports National Ag Week. Bicycle with the Moots Ranch Rally Ride.

Join us and we will continue to make history together.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is the executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance.

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