MANCOS, CO (May 25) – The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), which represents America’s next generation of farmers and ranchers, is hosting a Farmer Roundtable in Mancos with Senator Don Coram and Representative Barbara McLachlan. The Farmer Roundtable is co-hosted by local NYFC affiliate chapter the Four Corners Farmers and Ranchers Coalition, a joint chapter with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. Young farmer leaders from the chapter will discuss how the legislators can support the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Colorado currently does not have enough young farmers to take over family farm operations in the state. The average age of Colorado farmers is 58.9, above the national average. In Colorado, farmers over 55 outnumber farmers under 35 by 12:1. In addition, around two-thirds of Colorado’s agricultural lands will need a new manager in the next twenty years. If Colorado fails to recruit enough new farmers and ranchers, we risk increasing permanent losses of agricultural lands, undercutting rural economies, and losing a generation of land and water stewards.
Policy makers have a fundamental role to play to protect working farms and ranches and help young farmers succeed. NYFC brings legislators to the farm and farmers to Denver and D.C. to be sure that young farmers and ranchers have a seat at the table in deciding policy that will affect them for decades to come.
The farmer roundtable comes on the heels of a decision by the Colorado General Assembly to create an Interim Committee on Colorado Young and Beginning Farmers. The Interim Committee proposal was submitted by Colorado Senator Kerry Donovan, who worked closely with NYFC during the legislative session. The Interim Committee will host at least two listening sessions around the state over the summer to listen to the needs of farmers and ranchers, and recommend key legislation for the 2018 session.
Who: The National Young Farmers Coalition and Four Corners Farmers and Ranchers Coalition
When: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 1-2pm
Where: Burk Beef, 38359 Road H Mancos, CO 81328
Committed to building a viable future for American agriculture, the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is an advocacy network of farmers, ranchers, and consumers working to ensure that all young farmers have the chance to succeed. Visit NYFC on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook,YouTube and Instagram.