Legislative News

Western governors need to act now and find common ground for common sense solutions on Greater sage-grouse Next week, the Western Governors Association will meet in Colorado Springs, Colorado to talk through some pretty big issues facing the West. Not least among those are declining populations of the Greater sage-grouse, an iconic bird whose habitat covers 11 western states from Colorado to Montana and all the way to the West Coast. Unfortunately, as is often the case in politics, there’s been far too much chest puffing (like a male sage-grouse... Read More

RMFU Commends Farm Bill Compromise, Urges Passage

RMFU President Kent Peppler, a fourth-generation farmer in Mead, Colo., today endorsed the Farm Bill compromise and urged Congress to pass the bill. “A compromise never gives you everything you want,” Peppler said, “but this bill is good for farmers and good for consumers. The bill provides crop insurance and nearly $4 billion in livestock disaster relief, as well as increased funding for farmers markets and local foods. It established mandatory funding for renewable energy programs.” Peppler commended the Farm Bill conference committee for their hard work and urged Congress... Read More

Help Defend COOL Now

On May 23, 2013,  the USDA issued the final rules for implementing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) with changes to ensure WTO compliance. But the fight is still not over. Although Congress passed a law requiring that meats have their origins on their label in 2002, corporate interests have blocked the USDA from implementing the law for more than a decade. Finally in 2013 it looked like consumers would be informed about where the meat they buy is born, raised, and processed. But the meat packer industry is still trying... Read More

Striking a balance to protect landowners and the future of our farms and ranches

Balance. It’s a word that a lot folks like to use, but not too many people know what it means. It’s a word that farmers and ranchers do understand from firsthand experience. Making your living off the land means living in balance with that land. All too often, we don’t take a balanced approach and put the interests of some industries ahead of Colorado’s farms and ranches. And that is exactly what Colorado BLM was doing to landowners in southwestern Colorado. Thankfully, La Plata County commissioners stepped up on behalf... Read More

RMFU Says No to Splitting Farm Bill, No to Ripping up Permanent Legislation

In a letter to senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming,  RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, reiterated RMFU’s absolute opposition to removing the nutrition title from the Farm Bill and repealing the permanent legislation that farm policy is built on. “There is a faction in the House that seems to have no answer to any problem except to blow it up,” Peppler said with some exasperation. “Repealing the Agriculture Act of 1949 makes about as much sense as killing your dog because he won’t fetch your slippers.... Read More

RMFU Says No to Splitting Farm Bill

In a letter to Congressional representatives of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming,  RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, gave categorical opposition to removing the nutrition title from the Farm Bill. “Our organizational policy, which is set by grassroots members, recognizes the importance of nutrition programs to our nation’s future, security, and well-being,” Peppler said. “We are absolutely opposed to the cynical attempt to divide the interests of agricultural producers and America’s neediest citizens.” The letter points out that every nutrition dollar puts 20 cents in the pocket of... Read More

RMFU Supports AGI Caps in Farm Bill

In a letter to our six senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, urged them to support amendments to the Senate’s Farm Bill which will preserve the income limits on eligibility for crop insurance subsidies. “The Senate version of the Farm Bill has a tax bombshell hidden in a feel-good proposal about tying conservation compliance to crop subsidies, Peppler said. Buried in the “Compliance” proposal are a few sentences doing away with income caps for crop insurance. With no attempt to connect... Read More

RMFU Expresses Opposition to Tying Conservation to Crop Insurance

In a letter to our six senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, RMFU expressed strong opposition to a portion of the Senate draft of the farm bill that makes crop insurance dependent on complying with conservation requirements. “This provision makes no sense,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer. “It jeopardizes the farmer’s most valuable risk management tool. A farmer dealing with drought could suddenly find that his entire wheat crop is ruled uninsurable. That’s unfair and unreasonable. It ties two regulatory agencies together, both of them... Read More

Farmers to Gov: We’ll Back You Up on Water Conservation

Today Rocky Mountain Farmers Union delivered a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper with nearly 3,500 Colorado signatories supporting the Governor’s declaration in his State of the State address that “Every discussion about water should begin with conservation.” The letter arrived on the same day the Governor signed an executive order to develop a state water plan for Colorado. “Colorado farmers know firsthand that protecting our water resources is fundamental to our state’s economic future, so we welcome the Governor’s focus on this issue,” said Kent Peppler, RMFU President and a... Read More

“Shut Up and Eat”? Really?

Many years ago, when I first started in this business, one of my heroes was Morgan County’s Bob Eisenach. Bob always said, “Politics is pretty easy, all you have to do is count the votes.” What Bob was saying was that if you don’t have the votes, then you better be at the table negotiating to get the votes. Agriculture doesn’t have the votes. We need to be at the table. Consumers are the key to successful family farm and ranch agriculture because they have the votes. Agriculture has to... Read More