Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Innovation Fair, Convention Nov. 16-18
October 26, 2017
DENVER – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union delegates, members and guests will get together at the farm organization's annual convention set for Nov. 17-18, at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center in Denver. As with last year, an Innovation Fair will be held Thursday afternoon, Nov. 16, at the same location. On-line registration may be found at https://www.rmfu.org/upcoming-events/.
The Innovation Fair is free to RMFU members and open to anyone who wants to learn more about the latest trends and technology in agriculture. Innovation Fair registration will open at noon Thursday. The event itself will begin at 1 p.m. with a panel of experts who will share their insights on the industrial hemp industry. Panelists will offer the latest on regulations, research results, processing and marketing opportunities, and growing hemp in Colorado. Another presentation will focus on precision agriculture practices and technology. Innovative and cooperative labor solutions will be the topic of a separate workshop and forum. At 3 p.m., a variety of presenters will share their experiences and observations on topics ranging from aquaponics and cover crops to using UAV technology to monitor irrigation systems. Presenters will have time to meet with anyone in the audience who wants to learn more about the respective topics.
The convention registration will open at 7 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Following a welcome and call to order by RMFU President Dale McCall, members will nominate candidates for RMFU officers and directors, as well as RMFU delegates to the National Farmers Union convention. Later in the morning, a marketing panel will discuss how to work with buyers who are in the business of sourcing local foods for their customers.
Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is tentatively set to speak Friday at the convention. Vilsack will update RMFU members on his role in working with Colorado State University to convert the National Western Center complex into a year-round destination for entertainment, research and educational opportunities, and agricultural business innovation and incubation. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson will open the afternoon session with his look at the national legislative scene, especially as it relates to Congressional priorities and progress on writing the 2018 farm bill.
The main event for Friday night is the Harvest Moon Gala, a "fun'raiser" which is packed with games, music, prizes, a silent auction and special recognitions, including the announcement of the Farm Family of the Year.
Saturday attractions will include a community organizing panel that will share actual stories of how farmers and ranchers are working together to protect agricultural resources. Following the education luncheon, RMFU President McCall will look back on the organization's accomplishments of the past year and consider how to address the challenges of 2018.
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As a grassroots organization, RMFU members will introduce, debate, and ultimately adopt policy priorities for the farm organization. The policy development will begin on Friday afternoon and continue Saturday.