Diane Prather: County ag organizations setting 2011 agendas

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Diane Prather

What 2011 will bring is anybody’s guess, but one thing’s for sure: Moffat County agriculture organizations are already busy planning their agendas for the year.

Take Moffat County Farm Bureau, for example.

Newly-elected president Stan Sjostrom said the organization is going to organize a membership drive. Indeed, it will take lots of members to carry out the organization’s goals.

For example, Farm Bureau has plans to take Ag in the Classroom into the county’s elementary schools. Also, according to Sjostrom, it’s necessary to have enough members so Farm Bureau can have a prominent voice at the state and national legislature.

Colorado Farm Bureau sponsors a program in which metropolitan high school seniors, usually from Denver, get first-hand experience as to what’s involved in ranching.

Ranchers volunteer as hosts for this program, and it is one of the projects for Moffat County Farm Bureau.

A new project planned by Farm Bureau involves putting up four signs this year.

Sjostrom said the signs are approximately 4-by-8 feet with a message that reads, “If you ate today, thank a rancher or farmer.”

The signs will be placed at the four main roads leading into Craig.

Farm Bureau sponsors up to two scholarships a year, too. More information about these scholarships is forthcoming.

It will be a busy year for the local Farm Bureau.

Enrollment in 4-H is also taking place this month, and leaders are lining up club projects for the year.

For example, Lorrae Moon, leader of the Elkhead Wranglers 4-H Club, said their members will carry out a club project that she’s been planning for about two years. Part of the planning has involved gathering tires, with help from the Craig Tire Distribution Center.

Each club member will plant potatoes in stacks of tires that are filled with compost.

Moon even has a compost pile for members who need it. Moon explained that one layer of potatoes will be planted on top of another so that lots of potatoes can be harvested from a small space.

The goal is for 4-H members to harvest potatoes for their families and give some to the community, too.

“It’s just one more step in learning self-sufficiency,” Moon said.

In addition to the club potato project, 4-H members will be working on individual projects as well. Monthly activities will be planned to help them. One night in January, for example, will be designated as Demonstration and Dessert Night for the approximately 40 Elkhead Wranglers. The members will get their required demonstrations out of the way for the year.

Other local 4-H clubs are also gearing up for 2011.

Moffat County CattleWomen’s president Betty Ann Duzik said her organization has lots of ideas for beef promotion that have not been finalized yet.

However, May 5 has been set for the annual fourth-grade Ag-Day, an annual agriculture awareness day for county fourth-grade students.

Plans are also being made by the CattleWomen to construct a Wall of Brands. Ranchers will pay to have their brands put on the wall that eventually will be moved around the community.

The Moffat County FFA Chapter and Moffat County Cattlemen are also active in projects throughout the year. However, advisors/officers of these organizations could not be reached concerning 2011 goals.

Moffat County 4-H and FFA members are busy grooming their animals with anticipation for events scheduled during the National Western Stock Show in January.

It appears 2011 will be a busy year for Moffat County’s agriculture organizations.

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