Legislative News

RMFU Thanks Secretary Salazar for Protecting Water from Oil Shale Speculation

Today, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union launched an ad campaign thanking outgoing Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar for his smart approach to protecting western water and Colorado farms and ranches from costly oil shale speculation. In the ad, RMFU says, “Thank you Secretary Salazar for not gambling our water away on oil shale!” (View the ad here.) The ad will run in seven newspapers across the state, including the Denver Post, Boulder Daily Camera, Longmont Daily Times-Call, Loveland Daily Reporter Herald, Canon City Daily Record, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and Pueblo... Read More

RMFU Joins in Westerner Praise for Salazar Oil Shale Plan

Westerners praised the Salazar oil shale plan released by the Interior Department. “It’s a thoughtful approach to protecting water and local communities from costly oil shale speculation,” said RMFU Director of External Affairs Bill Midcap. The plan requires that companies conduct successful research operations on oil shale and prove oil shale’s economic viability before the Bureau of Land Management will consider commercial development. Companies will also be required to put proper safeguards in place to protect water supplies, land, wildlife, air quality and local economies. “Secretary Salazar has brought common... Read More

RMFU Delegates Urge Immediate Extension of Production Tax Credit

As part of policy debate at the RMFU convention in Loveland, delegates from county Farmers Unions across Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming adopted a special order of business urging Congress to reauthorize the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy resources during the current session. The failure to extend the PTC has had a devastating impact on the wind energy industry in Colorado, which was thriving and expanding. Uncertainty about the costs of renewables has driven both customers and investors away. By failing to extend the PTC, Congress has caused... Read More

RMFU Delegates Adopt Position on Farm Bill

As part of policy debate at the RMFU convention in Loveland, delegates from county Farmers Unions across Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming adopted a special order of business urging Congress to act on the stalled 2012 Food and Farm Bill and offering direction for completing Congressional action. The special order of business reminds congressional leadership that agricultural producers must make decisions about the coming crop year in the midst of huge uncertainties and national food security depends on those decisions, that with the expiration of the 2008 Food and Farm... Read More

RMFU Opposes Kicking the Farm Bill to the Next Congress

News that the House will attempt to pass a three-month extension to the 2008 Farm Bill was greeted with disgust by RMFU President Kent Peppler, a fourth-generation Mead, Colo., farmer. “This is another round of obstructionism,” Peppler said. “Passing a three-month extension means passing the buck to the next Congress. And they are trying to defuse the agricultural crisis as an election issue. It ain’t gonna fly.” The U.S. House of Representatives has refused to take up a 2012 Farm Bill proposed by the House Ag Committee two months ago,... Read More

Food Prices Are Not Driven by Drought

Google “drought” and “food prices,” and you will get pages of dire warnings about how the drought is going to drive up food prices. The connection seems obvious, but it’s not as simple as the news stories make it sound. The cost of growing food is only a small percentage (on the average, less than 20 percent) of the price you pay for it. “Rocky Mountain Farmers Union promotes local foods because direct sales eliminate so many of the hidden costs,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer.... Read More

RMFU Board Demands Action on Approaching Agriculture Disaster

In session Thursday afternoon, July 19, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Board of Directors passed a resolution to demand that Congress act promptly and effectively to provide emergency disaster relief to farmers and ranchers who are being destroyed financially by drought. In a letter sent to Senators and Representatives for Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, as well as USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, RMFU President Kent Peppler warned, “Crop harvests may be the worst since the Dust Bowl, and without a decent harvest, high prices are both inevitable and meaningless for... Read More

RMFU President Reflects on Wildfires

In a statement today, RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, urged Coloradoans to reflect on our disastrous summer wildfires. The hearts of all good people ache for the folks who lost homes, property, and loved ones in these terrible fires, and for the firefighters who gave their lives. But we can honor those lives by addressing the serious problems that led to the fires and allowed them to rage uncontrolled for so long. We’ve been told for about a decade that beetle kill in the mountains was a... Read More

RMFU Supports Biofuels for Defense

The Department of Defense has recognized that domestic biofuels can help reduce our military’s dependence on foreign oil. Converting a portion of its energy use to advanced biofuels improves our national security and military readiness. Unfortunately, Congress is moving to prevent the Department of Defense from purchasing biofuels. Reducing foreign oil consumption through increased use of biofuels makes sense, but fossil fuel interests are mustering their Congressional clout to prevent it. Congress should not put our men and women who serve in uniform at risk to benefit special interests. The... Read More

RMFU Applauds Investigation of Wyoming Premium Farms

In a statement today,  RMFU President Kent Peppler, a fourth-generation farmer in Mead, Colorado, commended Wyoming authorities for acting swiftly to investigate claims of animal abuse at a factory farm north of Wheatland, Wyoming. “Wyoming Premium Farms came into Wheatland over the protests of local citizens concerned about the conditions typical of factory farms. The community fought for environmental protections and won. But factory farms present other abuses harder to prevent. If the incidents on the video showing abuse at the plant are verified, we urge the State of Wyoming... Read More