Since its beginning in 1907, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has been advocating for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. RMFU is a member-driven grassroots organization with a mission of achieving profitability for family farmers and ranchers, promoting stewardship of land and water resources, delivering safe, healthful food to consumers and strengthening rural communities through education, legislation, and cooperation. In 1991, to broaden its impact, RMFU established its Educational and Charitable Foundation. The mission of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Educational and Charitable Foundation is to foster activities that strengthen rural economies through its agricultural producers, families, and their communities.
We have come to you to ask for renewed investment in the future that RMFU Foundation strives to make real. Sustainable farming, parity of services and opportunity in our rural communities, a safe and secure food supply — these are the goals we share. Our tools are education, cooperative development, the willing hands of members across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, and your support.
Please take a few minutes to review who the Foundation is, what it stands for, and how you can help advance the goals we share.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union advocates for family farmers and ranchers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. For more than 110 years, RMFU has fought to see that rural and agricultural families have parity in education, representation, and economy with their fellow citizens in urban American.
RMFU was founded to ensure that individuals in rural communities can compete effectively and fairly in the market place. We have been at the center of our nation's development of cooperative businesses and instrumental in landmark legislation that protected the rights of family farmers, ranchers and our communities.
Farmers Union organizations across the nation led the movement that created the rural electric associations and rural telephone services. We helped create the economic safety net that protects America's vital agricultural economy, ensuring that progress would be shared by all. Today we continue our pioneering tradition by working alongside our farmers and ranchers in providing resources and being the voice of agriculture.
We are proud of our past and are committed to building successful futures for our producers, their communities, and family agriculture.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union believes education is vital to sustaining our way of life, maintaining leadership and service in rural communities, and ensuring that we have a safe, secure food supply. Through leadership camps, adult workshop programs, and community initiatives, the RMFU Foundation fosters education.
We educate the public so consumers and producers appreciate the history and value of independent, family-owned agriculture, cooperative enterprise, and viable rural communities. The RMFU Foundation is dedicated to protecting the sustainability of family agriculture and rural communities.
For over 75 years, RMFU Cooperative Leadership Camp has been nurturing our next generation of leaders by providing a fun and engaging educational platform.
Our camps offer team-building exercises such as cooperative games, real-life cooperative experience through operating a camp co-op store, and critical thinking exercises that look at local and global issues.
Camp activities are structured around an annual theme. Growing Good Taste, Planet Stewardship, Leading by Serving, and Fueling the Future are a few of the themes we have explored. Our goal is to send the camper's home with an expanded knowledge on an issue that impacts their life.
Camp creates future leaders with good character and important life skills: good citizenship, decision-making and problem solving skills, cooperative principles and knowledge, and a grasp of leadership through service.
Our Cooperative Leadership Camp program consists of both overnight camps and day classes. The overnight camps are held at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, while the day classes happen locally throughout our region.
The RMFU Foundation College Scholarship program provides financial help for students who are active in their community and Farmers Union, so they can pursue higher education. The program awards up to $10,000 annually in scholarships. The RMFU Foundation encourages life-long learning and rewards active participants in their schools and communities.
Achievement Program & Torchbearer Award
He who loves his country best, who strives to make it best.
The philosophy of our youth education program is to develop our young people's moral values, ethical quality, and sense of social responsibility. Leadership, activism, and good citizenship are the core elements of our program.
Our program emphasizes both the power of the individual and the power of groups to positively impact our world and bring about necessary change. Our program offers youth opportunities to develop their leadership capabilities, problem-solving, and cooperative consensus-building skills.
Youth involved in our education programs, personally benefit, by developing their skills and abilities, which can be used now and throughout their adulthood lives. RMFU is proud of its youth education program, which has trained multi-generations of young people to be effective and open-minded citizens and leaders for our organization and beyond.
The Foundation's Youth Achievement program offers an incentive to young people for taking an active role in the community and Farmers Union activities, building toward RMFU's highest educational honor, the Torchbearer Award. The Torchbearer is reserved for those young people who are emerging leaders with a history of dedication and accomplishment.
Youth receive achievement awards for being involved in Farmers Union. Each year that they complete a set of requirements they are eligible to receive an award. Achievement awards highlight the goals of our youth education program:
- To teach cooperative principles and the value of cooperation as a more rewarding way of life
- To teach the importance of tolerance, brotherhood and the peaceful settlement of differences; and to develop a sense of social responsibility among farmers and ranchers toward one another and the rest of society
- To teach the elements of good citizenship
- To teach the importance of a family farm structure of agriculture as the as the cornerstone of our democratic society and the ways in which we can preserve it
- To teach the importance of a strong family farm organization to help farmers accomplish together what cannot be accomplished alone
- To build a better world for all.
- To develop an understanding of the social and economic forces in our country and the world, to enable family farmers and ranchers to determine the best course of action to follow to achieve prosperity and a better rural way of life
- To teach the principles and values of economic democracy as the best way to safeguard political democracy, showing the importance of cooperative enterprises and legislative action in achieving this goal
- To teach the value of a strong Farmers Union which best serves the needs of family farmers and ranchers and how members can actively participate to insure that Farmers Union always remains a dynamic and effective organization
- To build a prosperous agriculture
- TORCHBEARER AWARD to transition from a participant in our your education program to an adult member within Farmers Union.
America’s greatest resource are individuals with leadership abilities and a commitment to influencing the future. At Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, we want to make sure that rural and urban communities, agricultural producers, and consumers have leaders who understand the complex system that connects producers to consumers to ensure agricultural prosperity and food security. RMFU is dedicated to making sure that our future leaders are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need.
Our Fellows Program addresses the need for strong leadership in agriculture and in communities throughout the region. It is an exciting year-long journey with positive results for lives, livelihoods, and communities.
The mission of the RMFU Fellows program is to create a network of trained leaders who will serve all aspects of agriculture and rural communities. The future of American agriculture and rural communities lies in the hands of local people trained and ready to lead. As the nature of family farming and the shape of our hometowns change, the RMFU Foundation works to ensure that those involved in decision-making understand and appreciate the role our rural communities play in the American economy and in our society as a whole.
To apply or learn more about joining the RMFU Fellows Program click the button below.
On behalf of the generations of people who have been assisted by the RMFU Foundation, the thousands of young people we have educated, the dozens of leaders we have helped to develop their skills and benefit their communities, and the consumers and producers who rely on us to keep the tradition of family farming vital and thriving, we thank you for your support.