by Carol Dunn
LA VETA- The Huerfano County Farm Bureau (HCFB) held its annual meeting on Sat. Nov. 15 at Sammie’s restaurant in La Veta.
Noting the low attendance, HCFB president John Stroh lamented that Huerfano County’s Farm Bureau membership has dropped by 25% over the past five years. He observed that in recent years the Farm Bureau, Huerfano Basin Stockgrowers Association and Upper Huerfano Conservation District had held a joint annual meeting. He expressed his hopes that the tradition can be continued in coming years.
Stroh described legislative efforts the Farm Bureau has been active in, including protection of water rights, conservation easements, irrigation efficiency rules, private property rights, and opposing the Pinon Canyon military expansion. Stroh gave a rundown of forces in society that are gaining momentum against the agricultural way of life, among them organizations which seek to buy up land and water rights, and also animal rights groups which want to dictate how agricultural producers can manage their animals. Ron Brink, southwest district manager for the State Farm Bureau, announced that Colorado Farm and Ranch Future, a new coalition of ag producers, will have a booth at the National Western Stock Show to reach thousands of people with the ag perspective of the animal welfare issue. Stroh encouraged the annual meeting audience – a sampling of Huerfano County’s dwindling ag community – to participate in the legislative process. “If you’re not,” he said, “and your neighbors are not, then you are missing the boat.”
The group held an election to fill four vacancies on the HCFB Board of Directors. The new directors, who will serve two-year terms, are Larry Fuller, Frank Martin, Paul Coe and Dave Stroh. Also on the Board are John Stroh, Keith Tatman, Marvin Davis and Maurice Heikes.