Colorado beginning farmer answers call to get involved

CONEJOS COUNTY — Miranda Sandoval grew up on her family’s operation, Sandoval Ranches, in Conejos County. Now as a fifth-generation farmer, Sandoval is carrying on the family tradition.

“Agriculture runs deep in my roots,” she said. “Growing up, I helped my dad on the ranch. It gave me such an appreciation for the industry because I got to see the hard work that goes into producing food.”

At Sandoval Ranches, they raise cattle and grow alfalfa. Aside from working on the ranch with her family, Sandoval is studying agribusiness at Adams State University.

“The values, work ethic and love of the land is why I chose to continue farming and ranching,” she said.

Sandoval learned about USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees in her local office and decided to run for the seat representing her Local Administrative Area (LAA). Each year, FSA accepts nominations for a certain LAA and the LAA up for election rotates each year.

County committee members are elected by their peers and are a direct link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers on the committee help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level, help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer and work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

Sandoval was elected into the position and she started her first term as a member of the Conejos County FSA County Committee in January 2018.

“Being a county committee member, I am able to be the voice for producers in the county I represent,” Sandoval said. “We are here to support other producers.”

Get Involved in your COC

Sandoval encourages other new and beginning farmers to get involved with their county committees.

“As a young farmer, I think it’s important for us to be involved. Just do it,” she said. “It’s been a great opportunity for me to learn about what’s available to producers in my area at FSA.”

Lauren Moores is a public affairs specialist for FSA.

Caption: Aside from working on the ranch with her family, Miranda Sandoval is studying agribusiness at Adams State University./Courtesy photo

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