Last week was RCFC's annual Rural-Urban Day when we celebrate our rural roots in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado.  Our program moderator was Don Eversoll, who fondly recalled the benefits of growing up on a farm including stories and “farm jokes”.  Don introduced past Master Agriculturists in the Rotary audience and masterly cast the stage for the remainder of the program.

Awards were presented: Student Tyler Prebish received the Rotary 4H scholarship;  Loren Maxey received the Service to Agriculture Award and Frank Christensen was named Master Agriculturist.  Each recipient spoke briefly - Tyler thanked the club for this honor.  Loren recalled  his unique experience in the Marshall Islands as a witness to the hydrogen bomb detonation in 1954.  His extensive credentials in agriculture, the US Navy, civic activities and industry (Maxey Manufacturing Company) were detailed in his biography which was available to  members at the tables.  Frank spoke of his long history in, and contributions to, the local and national cattle industry, and seemed genuinely touched by the honor.
Our guest speaker, Zach Thode, spoke for the remaining 10-15 minutes.  Zach is an agricultural engineer, experienced water and irrigation manager, current ranch manager and chairmen of the Larimer County Agricultural Board.  Members will remember his presentation earlier this year detailing the Livermore Ranch history and the Ag Board’s role in the county.  On this occasion he mentioned the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use updates - highlighting issues of growth, impingement, traffic (tractors vs cars), land and water costs and the effects of dramatic changes in commodity prices as a result of tariffs, climate change and other factors.  The focus, surprisingly, of his brief presentation was the developing hemp (fiber, CBD and THC) agribusiness in Northern Colorado.  The promises for Northern Colorado growers and the current  realities (regulation, cost, purity and containment) were contrasted.