Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob Kjelland bob.kjelland@rmfu.org
Phone: 970-397-0039

RMFU Pushes Tri-State on High Electricity Rates & Lack of Flexibility

Denver, CO – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) is asking Tri-State Generation and Transmission (Tri-State) to address its high cost electrical rates by exploring other options including gathering input from farmers and ranchers who are member-owners of local rural electric cooperatives.

“Farmers and ranchers work within razor thin margins to make ends meet. We have to think strategically to reduce our cost-of-production, be flexible in how we invest inputs and constantly react to the demands of our customers – we think our energy providers should do the same,” said RMFU President Dale McCall.

The RMFU board of directors recently passed a resolution which calls on Tri-State to address these issues in its upcoming electric resource plan, which will be filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Tri-State’s electricity costs have continued to increase in recent years despite dramatic declines in the cost of new renewable sources of electric generation through advanced technology and shifting market conditions. At the same time, farmers and ranchers make up a good portion of Tri-State’s customer base and spend on average 7% of their budget on energy costs. RMFU urges Tri-State to make some important changes in how it produces and provides electricity across its territory and save its customers money and drive much needed economic growth in rural areas.

“There are cheaper energy resources that exist today and Tri-State needs to take advantage of the new market. We hope Tri-State will take this resolution by RMFU seriously and help Colorado’s farmers and ranchers sustainably grow the nation’s food supply.”

In the resolution, RMFU also indicates that other energy providers are adjusting to energy market changes and technologies. The resolution specifically cites Xcel Energy’s recently announced plan to provide 80% carbon free electricity by 2030, which the company believes can be achieved affordably with renewable energy and other technologies. The resolution also calls for Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and Tri-State to work out a fair exit charge that does not impact the other Tri-State members, and which allows DMEA to pursue more cost-effective, local renewable generation.

The RMFU resolution clearly states that we are ready and willing to partner with Tri-State to create proactive reform that will address their high energy rates and provide sustainable electric service to our members,” said McCall. “We look forward to their response.

Standing Strong for New Mexico Biofuels

By Dale McCall RMFU President America’s farming communities are facing an economic crisis. Not since the 1980s have farm incomes declined so far so fast. The Wall Street Journal called it the “next American farm bust” and noted that rural communities are grappling with the steepest economic slide since the Great Depression. Billions of bushels of surplus crops are pushing down the value of U.S. ag products and nations like China are working to shut out American farm exports. Agricultural communities are looking to leaders like Senator Tom Udall for... Read More

Applications Now Being Accepted for 2015 NFU Beginning Farmers Institute

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) is now accepting applications for the 2015 class of the Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI). The annual program is open to individuals who are new to farming, in the process of transferring an operation from a relative or non-relative to themselves, or contemplating a career in farming or ranching.   “The Beginning Farmers Institute underscores NFU’s commitment to growing a new generation of family agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “One unique feature of the Institute is that participants direct the agenda,... Read More

Training the Next Generation, Feb 21st

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Denver Botanic Gardens, and National Young Farmers Coalition present the second annual Front Range Beginning Farmers Conference! When: Saturday, Feb. 21, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., followed by social time from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Where: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, a working farm at Wadsworth and C-470 Why: The average age of U.S. farmers today is 57. Two acres of farmland are lost every minute. Many young people dream of starting a farm, but lack access to land, capital, education, and training. So let’s... Read More

Fehringers are RMFU Farm Family of the Year

Donald and Carolyn Fehringer are the 2014 Farm Family of the Year. The Fehringers are among the most actively involved families in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.   Don was born in Nebraska in 1924. In 1929 his family moved to Peetz, Colo., where Don attended and graduated from Peetz school system.  While growing up Donald went through the Farmers Union Youth program and was one of the first Torchbearer recipients. He passed away in February of last year.   Carolyn Westphalen was born in born in 1927 in Nebraska, where... Read More

Save the Date: Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum

Saturday, January 10, 2015 – 3rd Annual Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum at the Montrose Pavilion The conference has a wide array of breakout sessions which convey vital, regionally specific agricultural information in areas including maximizing crop and livestock production, innovative agricultural marketing and management strategies, and specialty crops. Please join us in working to improve the sustainable production, marketing and consumption of local food. This year’s theme is Unlocking the Secrets of Raising Great Food. Friday, January 9, 2015 – Seed Save the Rocky Mountains: Fundamentals of Regional Seed Production, a pre-conference workshop... Read More

Save the Date: Land Link Conference and Open Houses

SAVE THE DATE for Colorado Land Link events! 3rd Annual Land Link Forum March 5-7, 2015 in Southeast Colorado    Guidestone is thrilled to bring the 3rd Annual Land Link Forum to Southeast Colorado March 5-7! This year’s forum has three focus areas: 1) providing next generation farmers and ranchers with tools to access land and start or build upon successful agricultural ventures; 2) building the capacity of the Colorado Land Link program in Southeast Colorado; and 3) developing regional and  statewide leadership. Additional highlights of the forum will include:... Read More

Frankes of Roggen find success in raising hogs for Whole Foods

The view from the family farm of Chad and Carolyn Franke is breathtaking. The entire span of the snow-capped Front Range stands to the west, with Pikes Peak to the south, Longs Peak to the north, and Mount Evans in the middle. A glance to the north reveals the white grain elevator in Roggen, a community along I76. The farm is surrounded by a patchwork quilt of fields and farms. Living on the high plains is a way of life for the Frankes. Running a farm is a business, too.... Read More

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Supports Balanced National Monument Proposal

Denver, CO, December 4, 2014 – The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) today announced its support for the proposed national monument designation of Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River, located in Chaffee County in Central Colorado. According to the agricultural group, the increased protection and higher profile of a national monument designation would benefit local economies, local agriculture and natural resources. “By permanently protecting Browns Canyon as a national monument, we are protecting one of Colorado’s most precious natural resources while continuing with multiple uses, such as grazing, recreation and... Read More

Southwest Farm Fresh Co-op receives $70,000 USDA Grant

The Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative is pleased to announce receipt of a grant for $70,000 from the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program.  SWFF was the only Colorado recipient of LFPP money, and will use the grant to purchase much-needed refrigeration equipment to be used in the distribution of local farm products in this region.  The grant will fund three refrigerated cargo trailers that will be parked strategically throughout the SWFF collection and distribution area, and will function as drop sites for member farms.  The refrigerated SWFF delivery truck will collect... Read More