Inside RMFU: Ag Topics Of The Day

Building Ag Production Resilience To Survive Severe Weather Events

Weather extremes cause financial stress that can break farm and ranch operations. Widespread flooding or drought on any given year robs producers of crops to sell while pushing up prices for livestock feed, if it’s even available.

Dr. Laura Lengnick, author of “Resilient Agriculture, Cultivating Food Systems For a Changing Climate,” says agricultural practices and policies are adapting to address severe weather events. Regardless of the debate over what is driving climate change – or whether it is even occurring – many industries are looking at ways to remain viable during and following extreme weather, she explains. Agriculture is an industry that is at high risk when drought and flooding become more frequent and intense.

As a soil scientist, Lengnick has traveled the world to find out what is, and what isn’t, working for farmers and ranchers who manage all types and sizes of operations. She has shared her knowledge with businesses, higher education, government entities, and farmers.

Lengnick spoke at three RMFU-sponsored events held in Colorado this past week. She focused on the topics of weather extremes, building resilience into agricultural production at all levels and in all sectors, and growing a food system that uses local and regional strengths. In addition to using economic and technology tools, communities can build assets using social and natural tools that are often overlooked yet readily at hand, she notes.

She says key resilience practices are already being employed by some Colorado producers. These include building soil health, improving water management, tapping diverse high-value markets, and embracing biodiversity such as cover crops in rotational use.

Western governors need to act now and find common ground for common sense solutions on Greater sage-grouse

This 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 courting females) and talks of delay and not enough action. Western governors can change that. With their... Read More

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 courting females) and talks of delay and not enough action. Western governors can change that. With their... Read More

It’s time to put summer camp on your calendar

Parents looking for fun, affordable and meaningful summer camps may want to check out the education programs offered by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “These camps focus on leadership and teamwork building activities,”  says Jennifer Luitjens Bahr, director of education for the organization. “Campers will use engaging and sometimes challenging lessons to learn how to excel in their own lives and hometown communities.” Junior camps for youth who have completed grades 2-4 will be held June 6-9. Middle camps for students who have completed grades 5-7 will be held June 9-13.... Read More

It’s time to put summer camp on your calendar

It’s time to put summer camp on your calendar Parents looking for fun, affordable and meaningful summer camps may want to check out the education programs offered by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “These camps focus on leadership and teamwork building activities,”  says Jennifer Luitjens Bahr, director of education for the organization. “Campers will use engaging and sometimes challenging lessons to learn how to excel in their own lives and hometown communities.” Junior camps for youth who have completed grades 2-4 will be held June 6-9. Middle camps for students who... Read More

It’s time to put summer camp on your calendar

It’s time to put summer camp on your calendar Parents looking for fun, affordable and meaningful summer camps may want to check out the education programs offered by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “These camps focus on leadership and teamwork building activities,”  says Jennifer Luitjens Bahr, director of education for the organization. “Campers will use engaging and sometimes challenging lessons to learn how to excel in their own lives and hometown communities.” Junior camps for youth who have completed grades 2-4 will be held June 6-9. Middle camps for students who... Read More

New Faces and Familiar Ones on the RMFU Board

Delegates to the RMFU convention re-elected Kent Peppler of Mead, Colo. as president and Ken Macy, of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., as board member for Wyoming. District 1 board member Monty Neibur and District 4 board member Charles Klaseen retired this year. Steve Nein, of Ovid, Colo., and John Field, of Montrose, were elected to fill their places on the board.

RMFU Convention Is just around the Corner

Most Farmers Union chapters have selected their state delegates, policy review is under way, and the annual RMFU convention begins on Friday morning, November 22, with a welcome from former Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture (and long-time RMFU member) John Stulp. In addition to electing board members to represent Districts 1, 3, and 4, there will be an election for president. On Saturday, delegates will debate and ratify policy for 2014. Each day will feature honors, awards and recognitions, and of course, Friday will be capped with the RMFU Foundation’s annual... Read More

Colorado Farm Flood Relief

Rocky Mountain farmers Union and the Boulder County Farmers Market have been asked to assist is distributing Farm Aid payments to farmers in the South Platte basin who suffered agricultural losses in September flooding. This funding is intended to function as emergency relief and to assist farmers and farm families with non-business, household expenses. If you meet the eligibility requirements, please submit your application by November 1, 2013, for review. Application Deadline and Process Applications for Colorado Farm Flood Relief must be received by November 1, 2013.  {Click here (Word... 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