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MEEKER I The Future Farmers of America (FFA) Agriculture Issues Team from Meeker recently received an invitation to present their project on multiple use of state lands at the Colorado State Capitol.
The group traveled to Denver on Monday in preparation for their Tuesday presentation to all Colorado legislators.
Team members are Kaylynn Dunham, Tristan Nielsen, Anna George, Jamie McLaughlin, Brittany Smith, Kaitlynn Dinwiddie and advisor Trina Smith.
The FFA members involved in this project have worked since January to prepare the presentation. Aside from Internet research and extensive reading on the topic, these members have also attended several local stockgrower association meetings, interviewed Kent Walter, the manager of the White River Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, visited with Bill de Vergie, the regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Rio Blanco County Planner Anna Smith, the Rio Blanco County commissioners and several other individuals and agencies with a vested interest in this issue.
As a result of their research, the members have created a dynamic, 15-minute presentation where they expose the many sides of public lands use and how difficult it is to manage a resource where such a wide variety of individuals and organizations are stakeholders.
They also gave their presentation to those in attendance at the After Birth Ball Saturday night, one of 11 public forums they have presented in the past two weeks, including the BLM/USFS, Meeker School Board, the county commissioners, several 4-H groups, the Rio Blanco County Fair Board and the Meeker Chamber of Commerce.
On April 19, the group was invited by State Sen. Randy Baumgardner to present at the Colorado State Capitol Building on Tuesday in a Senate committee room. In addition, the members presented their issue live on Corky Kyle’s radio broadcast “In the Lobby,” Meeker FFA advisor Trina Smith said.
“These students have worked exceptionally hard — and have learned a great deal about a very controversial issue within our county,” Smith said.