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Hay Bales
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Current Class Members


Class 16 Schedule

  • Seminar 1         Feb. 21 – Feb. 25, 2023 (Ag Forum, Feb. 23)                   
  • Seminar 2         April 23 – 25, 2023 - Pueblo/ Southeast Colorado               

  • Seminar 3         June 11 – 13, 2023 - Palisade/ Western Slope                     

  • Seminar 4         Sept. 17 – 24, 2023 - Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania   

  • Seminar 5         Nov. 12 – 14, 2023  - Fort Collins/ Northern Colorado                 

  • Seminar 6         Feb. 27 – Mar 1, 2024- Denver/ Westminster (Ag Forum, Feb. 29)

  • Seminar 7         April 21 – 23, 2024 - Fort Morgan/ Northeast Colorado

  • Seminar 8         June 9 – 11, 2024 - Cortez/ Southwest Colorado

  • Seminar 9         Sept. 22 - 24, 2024 - Alamosa/ San Luis Valley

  • Seminar 10      Nov. 6 - 15,  2024 - Cambodia & Thailand

  • Seminar 11       Feb. 18 – Feb. 21, 2025 (Ag Forum and Graduation)

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Nicole Uthmann is a cattle producer in Northern Colorado, who works alongside her family to run a cow/calf operation, feedlot, processing facility, and direct-to-consumer sales business. The sales and marketing of their finished beef is her primary focus and passion. Believing that customers want a greater level of transparency when it comes to the food they consume, Nicole hopes to use her position to become an advocate and educator for the agriculture industry. Besides being a wife and mother of two teenage boys, Nicole is a Colorado native and a 4-H project leader. She is part of Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program Class 16. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science from Colorado State University, and Associates Degree in Physical Therapy Assistant from Morgan Community College

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An Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor; Tawni Combs is passionate about working with students interested in the Colorado Agriculture Industry to develop their leadership skills, further career paths and create post-secondary opportunities. Tawni knows the importance of educating today’s youth on the vital role agriculture plays in the success of Colorado because they are tomorrow’s leaders. Tawni has experience with advocating for agriculture in her role as high school educator, 4-H Volunteer, and in working with the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys assisting with marketing. She had the privilege of participating on competitive collegiate livestock judging teams and has coached numerous FFA teams, public speakers and individuals to the chapter, district and state level. Tawni has dedicated
countless hours to the development of competitive youth programs and considers that her most distinguished accomplishment. Tawni obtained a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Communications, with an emphasis in western lifestyle photography and journalism, from Texas Tech University.

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Marcus Catlin is a business data analyst who provides financial modeling and analysis for a telecommunications tower company headquartered out of Fort Morgan, CO. Marcus takes great pride in being able to help rural communities have access to high quality telecom services. Rural broadband not only saves lives, but also creates thriving communities that can attract families and businesses. Marcus has presented in front of local and state jurisdictions about the need for more rural broadband. Marcus holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and economics from Regis University.

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Rachel Seedorf is the Agronomy Sales Representative at Aero Applicators, Inc., a family-owned aerial application and ag retail business in Sterling, CO. She works directly with local producers and landowners to assist them in their farming and land management practices through
field scouting and ag production management recommendations. As a rural Colorado native and through numerous years of being surrounded by the agriculture community, Rachel understands that effective, consistent
service and communication is necessary to help prosper the farmer and rancher. To better educate and serve those she works with daily, Rachel received her Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) license in 2022 and serves on the Colorado CCA board. She is also a member of the Western Society of Weed Science and has held several leadership roles throughout her educational career. Rachel holds a Master of Science in Weed Science and a bachelor’s degree in Soil and Crop Sciences from Colorado State University.

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Jessica, a fourth generation farmer, works along side her father on the family farm near Yuma Colorado. The farm is comprised of both irrigated and dry land acres: producing corn, wheat, and pinto beans. Jessica manages several day to day operations on the farm, from the irrigation schedule to marketing decisions. Jessica strives to exude leadership, to keep production ag and the family farm sustainable for many years to come. Jessica is currently a director for the Colorado Corn administrative committee and serves as the vice chair person for the Yuma County Farm Service Agency County Committee. Jessica holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Benedicktine
College and a Masters Degree in Gerontology from University of Northern Colorado.

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Jorgiea Raftopoulos is a third-generation sheep and cattle rancher working directly with the public to share her family’s story and educate about where our food comes from. Jorgiea believes that everyone is directly impacted by agriculture and she strives to connect producer and
consumer. Jorgiea has spearheaded numerous projects in her family’s operation including Conservation Stewardship Program, STAR+, Responsible Wool Standards/Nativa and many more. Jorgiea serves on multiple boards including Colorado First Conservation Board. Jorgiea holds a Masters in Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Oklahoma State University.

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Brandi Goodman is a compliance specialist for multiple regulatory programs administered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture Plants Division. Since 2007, Brandi has embraced compliance through cooperation and education to establish herself as common-sense resource for the agriculture industry she regularly inspects.
Brandi has served on the Morgan County Cattlemen’s Association for nearly two decades, promoting the cattle industry, supporting agricultural education in the classroom and providing scholarships to the next generation of agriculturists. Brandi is a Montana native and holds an AS in animal sciences from Northwest College in Powell, WY and a BS in Animal Agri-business from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

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Monica Bettencourt is a cattle feeder who works for Five Rivers Cattle Feeding at Yuma Feedlot in Northeastern Colorado. Monica currently is the Feed Manager, caring and feeding on average 90,000 head of cattle daily.
Monica always enjoyed being around cattle and the hard humbling work it takes to raise cattle. It wasn’t until she was given an opportunity to explore her desire for cattle feeding through an internship with Five Rivers Cattle Feeding that she found her passion for cattle and the rest
was history. She has been with Five Rivers since 2016 where she has been able to hold management positions in the four core production departments of Yard, Cattle, Feed Milling, and currently Feeding. Monica is Beef Quality Assurance certified in animal handling and feed
processing. Additionally, she is trained in heavy equipment operating, welding, and various other feed milling processes. Monica holds a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science with a Production emphasis from the University of Idaho. Monica is a member of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

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Tabor Kalcevic- Erker is the Research Innovation Organizer at Kalcevic Farms Inc, a 5th generation family farm and ranch in Eastern Colorado predominantly raising wheat, corn, grain sorghum, millet, and red angus. Tabor has a multifaceted role that revolves around tasks encompassing operations, administrative functions, and analysis of alternative business opportunities. Tabor’s strong passion for all aspects of agriculture has been a
driving factor in her evolving growth of the industry since a young age. Tabor strives to garner the tribal knowledge of previous generations to navigate the next generation to success, by diligently expanding her horizons. A variety of experiences such as studying abroad in New Zealand, an internship with Simplot Growers Solution, serving on the Weld Central FFA Advisory Board, a variety of industry training’s, and numerous leadership roles has broadened
her knowledge. Tabor achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business at Colorado State University

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Shelby Clark is the Executive Director of Yuma County Economic Development who works with diverse stakeholders to enhance economic stability in Yuma County. In addition, she is the owner of a multimedia marketing company, Shelby K Marketing, that partners with entities to provide cumulative brand management and successful strategic outreach. From working with businesses, nonprofit, and governmental entities in various capacities, Shelby knows the importance of strategic communication to produce quality results. Without the art of communication and focus on interpersonal relationships, projects do not progress. Shelby is a Boettcher Foundation Doers and Difference Makers Fellow, a recipient of the ColoradoBiz GenXYZ Most Influential Young Professionals Award (2023), a National Qualifier for American Farm Bureau Federation
YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet (2021) and is a current participant in the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP) Class 16. Shelby holds an AS in Agricultural Communications from Northeastern Junior College.

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Sarah Ehrlich is an administrative professional in the Agricultural Biology department at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins. She assists the department head and oversees the building operations,
events, recruiting, hiring and daily processes. As a Colorado native, Sarah is passionate about the state’s food and agriculture system, and teaching others about it. She has been in the CSU system since 2010 and has an abundance of knowledge about the history and programs of CSU and believes it is a vital resource to the state of Colorado. Sarah is currently in the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program Class 16 and regularly writes for Potato Grower Magazine. She has 9 years of administrative experience and earned her BA in Journalism and Agricultural Education 2018 from CSU.

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Brandon Schenk is a Precision Ag Agronomist who works with crop producers to help them understand how precision agriculture technologies such as GPS guidance on machinery can make their farming operations more efficient. Brandon has learned much of what he knows about precision agriculture from his experiences with the technology and practices on his family’s own farm, and has
seen first-hand how its adoption increases the productivity of crop farming. He believes his role is especially important in helping the older generation of farmers understand precision agriculture, as it is becoming a part of nearly every area of production agriculture a farmer encounters from equipment to agronomy. Brandon has been employed by both a John Deere and Case IH farm equipment dealership during his time in the industry, which has gained him valuable experience learning the precision ag technology platforms that each manufacturer
utilizes inside and out. This is especially useful in his most recent career with an independent precision ag consulting business, as he encounters many different brands of technology in his daily dealings with farmers. In addition to his extensive precision ag technology experience, Brandon is a certified small drone pilot and enjoys taking pictures and video of farming activities with his drone.
Brandon holds a BA in Soil and Crop Sciences and Agricultural Business from Colorado State University.

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Alyssa Green, Research Communications at Potatoes USA, has experience in a variety of communication agencies and corporations, including radio, healthcare communication strategy, community relations, and as an engagement specialist. If it involves writing, presenting, or strategy, it will peak Alyssa’s interest. Alyssa graduated
from Illinois State University with her Master’s in Communication where she served as the Student President of the Graduate School. At Potatoes USA, Alyssa helps run three production research programs including the National Chip Program, the National Fry Processors Trial, and Potato Research Advisory Committee. Her passion revolves around outreach,
and she loves engaging with the agricultural industry on how to reach a new audience.

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Andrew Holsten owns and operates G&V Lindstrom Farms LLC, and is a partner in H&S Hay Service LLC. He understands that whether it be farming or in the custom business that timing is critical, and he values his customers. He believes that farming and being a steward of the land are both equal and a big responsibility.
Andrew went to Southeast Community College in Milford, NE, where he went through the John Deere Ag Tech Program and received his associates of Applied Science Degree. He worked as a tech for MV Equipment and 21st Century Equipment, before he went into farming and
the custom hay business full time.

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