Press Releases

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

For Immediate Release Contact: Bob Kjelland bob.kjelland@rmfu.org

RMFU Commends Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan, Offers To Work Collaboratively

Denver, CO – In response to Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s (Tri-State) announcement of its Responsible Energy Plan, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU), a general farm organization comprised of farm and ranch families across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, renewed a request to provide meaningful input in Tri-State’s initiative.

“Farmers and ranchers work within razor-thin margins to make ends meet. We need to think strategically to reduce our cost-of-production, be flexible in how we plan for and manage input costs, and constantly react to the demands of our own customers. We believe our energy providers should do the same,” says RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall. “We do commend Tri-State for mapping out this strategy for the future and we look forward to continuing to work together.”

RMFU’s farm and ranch families make up a significant portion of Tri-State’s customer base and spend on average of seven percent of their budget on energy costs. RMFU seeks to strengthen access to reliable and affordable forms of energy and urges Tri-State to make meaningful important changes in how it produces and provides electricity across its territory in order to save its customers money and encourage much-needed economic growth in rural areas.

In a resolution adopted last year, RMFU asked Tri-State to address its high cost electrical rates by exploring other options and by gathering insights from farmers and ranchers who are member-owners of local rural electric cooperatives. “As introduced today, the Responsible Energy Plan does go a long way toward looking to future needs and possibilities. To assure success, Tri-State needs to implement this plan in a way that both addresses how it handles shutting down some forms of electric generation while also giving locally-owned rural electric associations flexibility in how each one also respond to their respective members,” explains McCall. “Ultimately, this plan will need to work for farmers and ranchers in terms of delivering affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity.”

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution in response to the Tri-State announcement of the Responsible Energy Plan. The resolution reads: “RMFU commends Tri-State for announcing the transformative Responsible Energy Plan and desires to partner with Tri-State and former Governor Bill Ritter and CSU’s Center for the New Energy Economy in the collaborative stakeholder process that will contribute to and help define and implement Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan.”

“What this means is our farm organization does not want Tri-State to go it alone in this process. We want the end users – farmers and ranchers and residents of rural communities – to have their concerns and their recommendations heard and considered,” adds McCall. “We encourage Tri-State to welcome their local cooperative members and local ratepayers, including many of our farm and ranch family members, to be at the table in a transparent and public process during next steps.”

RMFU is hopeful Tri-State’s recent actions ensure proactive reform inclusive of diversification and modernization to take advantage of fast-changing market opportunities to expand the renewable portfolio. “Working together, we can maximize local economic benefits and sustainable electric service for our members and ultimately keep agriculture in business,” says McCall.

2014 Farm Bill Trainings this December around CO

Colorado producers will be able to learn the details of two key programs in the 2014 Farm Bill at a series of meetings to be held by the Colorado Farm Service Agency and sponsored by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Farmers Union Service Association, county Farmers Union chapters, and local agents.   Farmers will be able to make a choice between Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). This will be a one-time decision that will affect them through the length of the Farm Bill. Both programs are intended... Read More

RMFU Convention featured Justice Hobbs and the history of water in the West

  The cooperative use of water for the common good helped build communities in the west long before the American Revolution, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs explained to delegates, members and guests attending Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s annual convention. For 19 states and the Republic of Mexico, western water comes from Colorado. Of Colorado’s 158 rivers, all but two have their headwaters in the state. The only two that do not – the Green and the Cimarron ­– barley pass through Colorado at opposite corners of the state. Colorado... Read More

Farm Bill meetings will explain ARC & PLC selections

Colorado producers will be able to learn the details of two key programs in the 2014 Farm Bill at a series of meetings to be held by the Colorado Farm Service Agency and sponsored by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Farmers Union Service Association, county Farmers Union chapters, and local agents. Farmers will be able to make a choice between Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). This will be a one-time decision that will affect them through the length of the Farm Bill. Both programs are intended to... Read More

Farm Bill meetings will explain ARC & PLC selections

Colorado producers will be able to learn the details of two key programs in the 2014 Farm Bill at a series of meetings to be held by the Colorado Farm Service Agency and sponsored by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Farmers Union Service Association, county Farmers Union chapters, and local agents. Tuesday, November 18 Sterling, 8-11 a.m. at the Northeastern Junior College, Hay Student Center Ballroom Burlington, 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the Community Center, 340 S. 14th St. Wednesday, November, 19 Lamar, 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community College Auditorium,... Read More

You are invited to show up, stand up, and speak out

Follow This Link to Register for Convention! http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rocky-mountain-farmers-union-convention-tickets-13913007179 By Kent Peppler It has been said the world is run by those who show up. That’s not quite true. Showing up is important, but it is not enough. The world is run by those who show up, stand up, and speak out. Trust me, if you don’t say what’s on your mind someone else will do it for you. You cannot expect them to have your best interests as their priority. In just a few days farmers and ranchers will get... Read More

Colorado Farmer, R.E.M. Song Featured in Waters of the U.S. Video

DENVER, Colo.) – In advance of the October 18 anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) today released a new video in support of the proposed Waters of the U.S. clean water rule. The video stars fifth-generation San Luis Valley rancher and farmer Alfonso Abeyta, and uses with permission of the band R.E.M., their song, “Cuyahoga,” about the Ohio river that caught fire (although not the first time) in 1969. The fire and subsequent Time magazine coverage motivated Congress to pass the Clean Water Act... Read More

Re:Vision Refined

A simple name change from Re:Vision International to Re:Vision reflects the commitment of cofounders Eric Kornacki and Joseph Teipel to cultivate a thriving community from the ground up. They are enthusiastically encouraging residents of this urban neighborhood southwest of downtown Denver to create their own economic opportunities by using their own hands. Today, Re:Vision (revision.coop/) is focusing on building a community food system, empowering residents to discover and develop their own leadership abilities, and creating community-owned cooperatives. “The co-op model really is the way of imparting community ownership and sustainability,”... Read More

Farmers Union Votes to Withdraw from Beef Checkoff Working Group

 National Farmers Union board of directors voted to withdraw from the beef checkoff working group, effective immediately. NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement: “After three years of pushing for real reforms in the beef check-off program, NFU has decided that the process has become a bridge to nowhere and a waste of time and resources. The working group was designed to bring together vested parties from across the beef industry and to attempt to reach a consensus on substantial reforms that would make the check-off a stronger, more... Read More