Executive Vice President
Chad Vorthmann was born and raised on a fourth generation row crop and cattle farm in southwest Iowa. He attended the University of Nebraska, competed on the livestock judging team and studied journalism and diversified agriculture. After college, he worked as a beef nutrition specialist. Two years later, he joined the staff of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Beef Association and was eventually hired to run the national Beef Quality Assurance program for NCBA. Wanting to work more closely with grassroots members, Vorthmann went back to the state level, joining Colorado Farm Bureau in 2002 as the Director of Communications. He was promoted to Vice President of Organization in 2007 and Executive Vice President in 2012. Chad’s wife, Garin, works for Colorado Legislative Services, who provides contract advocacy services for Colorado Farm Bureau. The couple has two daughters. Chad enjoys cycling, and hunting elk, deer and black bear on the family's cattle ranch in Southwest Colorado.
Vice President of Advocacy
As the Vice President of Advocacy for the Colorado Farm Bureau, Shawn works to cultivate relationships with community, political and business leaders to achieve CFB's public policy goals. Shawn previously worked as a consultant in communications and issue advocacy for oil and gas industry clients, ranging from large multinationals to family-owned firms both in Houston, TX and in Denver, CO. He worked on projects related to the Keystone XL pipeline, offshore and Arctic energy production in Alaska, and directed campaigns on hydraulic fracturing and public lands energy production in the Mountain West. Prior to his work in the energy industry, Shawn served as the Communications Director for the Colorado Farm Bureau from 2008 to 2012. He comes from a diversified ag background and graduated from both Northeastern Junior College and Metropolitan State University in Denver.
Vice President of Organization, Training & Development
Richard Connell currently serves as the Vice President of Organization, Training and Development with Colorado Farm Bureau. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in Agricultural Economics and spent 13 years owning and operating a diverse crop and livestock farm. In 1983 he joined the CFB team as Regional Manager for Districts 8, 9 and 10. As VP of Training & Development, he oversees the training and development opportunities for CFB staff, the state board, county farm bureaus, county boards, program areas, and the general membership. Richard is a fifth-generation farmer and currently operates a livestock farm in Mesa County and enjoys having weddings in his sunken arena and gardening.
Director of Public Policy, National Affairs
Zach Riley is the Director of Public Policy, National Affairs, for the Colorado Farm Bureau. His family has raised cattle for three generations in eastern New Mexico where he grew up. Zach joined the Colorado Farm Bureau after working in various policy positions including time at the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and the Cattle Growers. He also spent time at a non-profit in Lubbock, Texas while he was completing his degree at Wayland Baptist University. Prior to his return to industry and advocacy, Zach worked for U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico’s 2nd District. While with the Congressman, he worked on many special projects including regulatory, fire, water and wildlife. Zach has expansive hands-on experience in many different facets affecting small business and industry. He very much enjoys working with CFB members who are so much like his own family, while also working to ensure the long-term success of the industry he holds dear. He has a passion and a drive for digging into issues and finding the solutions to many of the obstacles the agriculture industry faces.
Associate Director of Membership and County Development
Jayde Van Cleave was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to Douglas County, Colorado, when he was 3 years old. He graduated from Northeastern Junior College with an associate’s degree in ag science and later finished his higher education at Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. Jayde has been involved in agriculture all his life with his family working on ranches in Colorado and Nebraska. He now runs his own small ranch in Rush, Colorado, and loves ranching, fly-fishing and restoring motorcycles. Jayde started working for Colorado Farm Bureau in 2002 and is currently serving as the Regional Manager for Districts 3 and 6.
Director of Public Policy, State Affairs
Emily Ibach grew up in Nebraska as the sixth generation on her family’s farm and ranch where they raise mostly corn and black Angus cattle. Emily attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has a bachelor’s in Agricultural Economics and a master’s degree in Integrated Media Communications. While in college Emily completed summer internships with Dupont Pioneer, Monsanto Company, and Merck Animal Health. Emily has enjoyed following politics from an early age. Emily joined the CFB Staff in January 2016 as the Director of Public Policy, State Affairs. Emily enjoys attending any Husker sporting event (especially football!), traveling, snow skiing, reading, and cooking.
Associate Director of Technology and Membership
Rebecca Edlund is a Colorado native. The granddaughter of a dairy farmer in Maryland, she was raised a city girl with a love and curiosity for creation. She came to us from Colorado Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and brings with her more than ten years of experience in office management and customer service. She is married to Hans and they live in northwest Denver where she favors her rapidly growing indoor garden. Together, they are active in their church and community.
Director of Policy Communications
From a cattle ranch in the San Luis Valley, Taylor’s family has been in Colorado since 1765. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in strategic communications and public policy from the University of Denver. Taylor then honed her communications skills at a Denver communications firm focused on public issues. At CFB, Taylor loves telling a good story -- especially when it comes to sharing the great work members are doing for agriculture and Colorado as a whole.
Jane joined the Colorado Farm Bureau in October 2016 with a background in non-profit development, public relations, communications and events management. She’s worked for Hospice, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and assists her husband, Jerry, with his Corporate Communications/Design business, Lundwall Creative, Inc. Family farms are owned and operated in Lake Preston, SD and Prairie City, IA. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling and spending time with Jerry and their 3 daughters and son-in-law.
Associate Director of Leadership Development
Kacie Burns is a native Coloradan who lives in Paonia, Colorado where she is involved in the family cattle ranch. Kacie attended the University of Wyoming where she received a B.S. in Agriculture Communications. She joined the CFB team after completing a fellowship with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. Kacie focuses on offering support to county farm bureaus and the young farmer and rancher programs and leads the execution of the Elite Leadership Academy.
District 1Adams, Boulder, Larimer, and Weld
District 2Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma
Ditrict 3Cheyenne, Kiowa, Kit Carson, and Lincoln
District 4Baca, Bent, Crowley, Otero, and Prowers
District 5Mid-Mountain, Fremont/Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas, and Pueblo
District 6Douglas, Elbert, and El Paso
District 9Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, and Montrose
District 10Eagle, Garfield, Middle Park, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt
State Women's Leadership CommitteeStatewide
State Young Farmer & Rancher ChairStatewide