CALF gives and receives at Legend of Agriculture Dinner
Tim Lowell honored for longtime support of agriculture
for The Fence Post
The Castle Rock based Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation hosted its 12th Legend of Agriculture Dinner on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Held for the first time on the CALF grounds at the historic Lowell Ranch, it seemed appropriate the honoree was Tim Lowell, whose family has owned the ranch since 1906 and whose parents created CALF in 2002 by donating over 100 acres of their ranch into a trust to help preserve a piece of rural life within the suburbs and promote agricultural education.
Before the Friday night dinner and speech, Lowell took some time inside the renovated red barn to reflect on how his parents’ vision not only lived on, but appeared to be flourishing.
“It looks to me like in my lifetime anyway, that this is going to survive,” said Lowell about his family’s initial dream for CALF. “How much more can you ask then if you come up with an idea, you put something in it, you try to survive it, and it starts to work? I would say this is what (my parents) had hoped for and dreamed about. I really feel good about where (CALF is) at.”
Other family agreed.
“I think CALF has done a great job,” said Jamie Lowell who flew in from Montana to see her relative honored. Jamie is Jim Lowell’s daughter and spent “many, many years” of her childhood on the Lowell Ranch. “To come back to Douglas County and see (CALF) succeed is very impressive. It makes our family really proud to be able to come in here and see the ranch still be here.”
Under the direction of CEO Brooke Fox, CALF has grown from a fledgling nonprofit into a steady organization supported by its community and able to return that support by donating tons of CALF raised food and processed livestock to local food banks and the Denver Rescue Mission during the recent challenging times. Although projects and planning never stop, Fox believes in the importance of creating events like CALF’s Legend of Agriculture Dinner where supporters can take time out to honor those who have made a consistent difference in not only the field of agriculture, but in the lives of the next generations who will be working in the industry.
“Personally, I think it is important to honor those people who serve and really do give of themselves,” said Fox while CALF supporters arrived on site and began socializing inside the red barn and under a white tent set up to host the dinner and subsequent fundraising auction. “(We honor them) as an example for others. I think service is something that can be learned and emulated and demonstrated.”
Fox added to those thoughts when discussing why Tim Lowell was chosen by a committee of past honorees to be given the award in 2021.
“The thing I push is that it has to be continued service,” Fox said. “That is a really important criteria for us is people who have maintained their involvement in community and especially youth in agriculture. You probably read that Tim Lowell was determined this year to buy the Grand Champion Steer at the Douglas County Fair, (but) he has been buying in the sale for 40 years. He has done a lot (and) it was so great to hear his connection to his roots and how important agriculture was to him.”
Carla Holst, the president of CALF’s board of directors, contributed to the topic of why it is important to honor people in agriculture.
“(We do it) so this next generation can see what we expect them to be doing in their future,” Holst said. “We are building legacies. The kids that come through our program are going to be the next leaders in agriculture, so we want them to understand what people from years past have done to continue teaching people about where their food comes from and how it takes strong leaders to keep any industry going.”
The support of the community was evident on Friday night as close to 200 people, including a couple of Douglas County commissioners, gathered for the dinner and fundraising auction. Starting with the pledge of allegiance and continuing with a 4-H pledge as well as hearing from FFA leaders, attendees sampled CALF raised pork while learning about future CALF expansion projects as part of its recent $6,000,000 campaign.
The auction that followed dinner and honoree Tim Lowell’s speech further highlighted the generosity of CALF supporters. Enthusiastically bidding on items including a processed whole hog, a chuckwagon dinner for 20 people, a week in Breckenridge, original art, and even a mystery box; the auction raised just over $50,000 for the evening. Bolstered by a $50,000 matching donation by new supporters who recently moved to the area and heard about CALF’s mission, the evening’s total exceeded $100,000.
“I am so happy with how it turned out tonight,” said Fox afterwards. “We are thrilled and excited that we get to continue on with our vision and move forward. The fellowship here and just everyone in the community is amazing.”
For more information about CALF or to contact them, please use the following information:
Website with Social Media Links: http://www.thecalf.org; mailing address: CALF, P. O. Box 581, Castle Rock, CO 80104; telephone: (303) 688-1026.
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