Call to Convention
Review of Minutes
Welcome from President Dale McCall
Video from NFU President Rob Larew
Preliminary Report Credentials and Elections Committee
Report of Rules Committee
Proposed Bylaws Changes
Nominations of RMFU Directors for Districts V, VI, and Vice President ~ Jeni Lamb Rogers
Treasurer’s Report ~ John Field/Shelley Westphal
FUSA Report ~ Kyle Bradley, General Manager
Nominations for RMFU Delegates to 2021 NFU Convention ~ Jeni Lamb Rogers
San Francisco ~ February 28 – March 2, 2021 (likely virtual)
7:00 PM Harvest Moon Festivities
8:00 AM Candidate Speeches – Jeni Lamb Rogers
RMFU Board of Directors for Districts V, VI, Vice President and NFU Delegates
Final Election and Credentials Committee Report – Chair
Election opens – Jeni Lamb Rogers
RMFU Board of Directors for Districts V, VI, Vice President and NFU Delegates
9:00 AM State Policy
10:00 AM National Policy
12:30 PM Lunch Break
Cooperative Achievement Award – Scott Zimmerman
Look for information on a follow-up meeting to present Election Results.
Delegates to NFU Convention
RMFU Board of Directors
Installation of Officers – Jeni Lamb Rogers
Closing Remarks – RMFU President Dale McCall
Carbon Market Information Expo: As soil health, carbon sequestration, and ecosystem services have entered the mainstream ag. vocabulary, there are a handful of companies working hard to develop models for marketing and monetizing these ecological services for farmers and ranchers. Three of the leading companies - NORI, Indigo Ag., and The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) - will participate in this year’s RMFU Convention for a virtual panel about the present and future of carbon and ecosystem markets. The panel will be moderated by Jenny Hopkinson, National Farmers Union’s Senior Government Relations Representative.
Debbie Reed, Executive Director, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) a member-based organization launching a national scale ecosystem services market for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental practices. ESMC members, who represent the spectrum of the agricultural sector supply chain, are scaling sustainable agricultural sector outcomes, including increased soil carbon, reduced net greenhouse gases (GHG), and improved water quality and water use conservation. Debbie’s role in leading ESMC builds on decades of experience in agriculture climate change mitigation and sustainability efforts at the national and international level. Debbie previously led the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (C-AGG), a national multi-stakeholder coalition, supporting the development of tools, support systems, knowledge and programs to improve quantification of GHG from agriculture.
Laura Wood Peterson is the Senior Director of Government Affairs for Indigo Agriculture. Prior to this role, she served as head of Federal Government and Industry Relations for Syngenta, and Director of Federal Affairs for the National Association of Conservation Districts. She has experience in agriculture lobbying as well as multiple internships in the Kansas Legislature, United States Congress, and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. She is a member of the Kansas Bar and American Bar Associations and attended Kansas State University and George Washington University Law School. She taught American Politics as adjunct faculty in the GWU Undergraduate Political Science Department. Laura grew up on a family farm in Kansas and cooperates an angus cattle herd in Eastern Montana with her husband, Jess. She is a member of the United States Cattlemen’s Association and is on the policy committee of Montana Farmers Union, and on the board of the Montana Conservation Voters and the Conservation Technology Information Center.
Aldyen Donnelly, Director of Carbon Economics, NORI has been a small business developer and consultant for over 40 years. In the mid-1990s, Aldyen began working on market-driven strategies to reduce atmospheric carbon concentrations. Having gathered together an “emission reduction credit” or “ERC” buyers group, Aldyen developed and executed the world’s first major ERC purchase agreement to finance carbon sequestration in agricultural soils, as well as the first ERC sales-financed carbon capture and storage project.
We have seen during this COVID crisis that all Coloradans rely on food system workers, now called “essential workers” for our daily sustenance. And yet, many are not protected or compensated appropriately as they do the work that keeps us all fed. Project Protect Food System Workers was organized to ensure that this group of always-essential workers is adequately protected from COVID and appropriately compensated for their labor and for the risks they assume in service to the common good. This rapid response team of leaders from across the state is composed of immigrants, farmers, scholars, activists, unions, and workers responding both to the stresses COVID-19 has put on the food system and to mobilize support for the food system workers. Our agenda is simple: essential workers are not expendable workers. The security of our food systems depends on just laws and policies that care for and secure these workers and for the farmers who they work for. We know this is both good business and good for the workers. We can nurture the already existing resilience of vulnerable communities and our land and our economy by caring for and securing the rights of the workers in those communities. We strongly believe that farmers and ag workers are in this struggle together and that it is only through working on our collective security that the food system can come to benefit those who toil in the land.
Dr. Damien Thompson, PhD is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Criminal Justice at Regis University. In addition to his training in anthropology, Dr. Thompson also holds a certification in Permaculture Design, an Advanced Permaculture Design certification and a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Teaching Certification. His interests center on the building of community food systems, small scale urban food production, developing community and cultural practices related to food and medicine, teaching and learning in education and permaculture as one method related to how to pursue those interests. Specifically Dr. Thompson is interested in how communities can utilize traditional and modern information and practices to build food systems which uplift marginalized and oppressed peoples, restore ecosystems, build biodiversity, support cultural diversity as well as provide individuals and families with the highest level of access to the means to support their own health. Damien is a Mayor- appointed member of the Sustainable Food Council for the City of Denver, and a co-chair for the city’s Good Food Purchasing policy group.
Fatuma Emmad is the CO-Founder, Executive Director and Head Farmer of Front Line Farming. She is an affiliate professor at Regis University and lecturer in the Masters for Environmental Studies Program at CU Boulder. She is also the owner and operator of Bountiful by Design, a sustainable high-end landscape company. Fatuma was born in Denver and raised in Denver and Ethiopia. Fatuma has worked farming organic and heirloom vegetables on her own acreage as part of a land co-op, setting up farms for restaurants, and as farm manager for multi acre community farms in Milwaukee and Denver. Fatuma is currently entering her tenth year as a farm manager or farm operations director. Before becoming a farmer, Fatuma was a political scientist who engaged in issues affecting marginalized farming communities such as the push for genetically modified seeds across Sub-Saharan Africa. She believes in resistance by the world’s land caretakers to single solutions for crop productivity and seeks to work on re-framing ideas of food security. Fatuma has been certified and teaching yoga since 2004 and is a graduate of the Center for Agriculture and Ecology at the University of Santa Cruz. She currently serves as a Mayor appointed Member of the Sustainable Food Council for the City of Denver, a co-chair for the City’s Good Food Purchasing Policy Group, is a fellow at Transformational Leaders for Change promoting leaders of color in Colorado, is a 2020 Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Fellow for 2020 and was elected president of Mile High Farmers in 2020. Fatuma is also the recipient of the Kathy Underhill Inaugural scholarship recognizing a community member who is changing hearts and minds in the hunger space with advocacy, policy, and/or community engagement through the lens of health equity.
Mary Hendrickson is Associate Professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Missouri. She is a rural sociologist whose passion is making the world a better place through food. She studies the way food production and consumption has changed over the past few decades, and how farmers, eaters and communities can create more sustainable food systems. From January to June 2020, she was a Fulbright Scholar to Iceland, teaching sustainable agriculture. From 1997-2012, she worked to create local food systems in Missouri as an extension sociologist, gaining valuable on the ground experience in transforming food systems. During this time, she worked extensively with community groups to increase the amount of fresh, flavorful and nutritious food available by providing technical assistance on marketing, business planning, feasibility studies, policy, food safety and consumer preferences to farmers and community groups. As part of the Missouri School, she continues to document corporate concentration in the conventional food system, paying particular attention to its consequences on communities and ecologies. She has published articles in journals such as Journal of Rural Studies, Agriculture and Human Values, and Geoforum, along with numerous book chapters.