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.

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

Colo., N.M. Lawmakers get Golden Triangle awards

National Farmers Union awarded the Golden Triangle Award to 40 members of Congress who have demonstrated leadership and support policies that benefit America’s family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.   This year’s Golden Triangle recipients were selected for their leadership on a variety of issues, including votes on the farm bill and related amendments. It is the organization’s highest award. The Golden Triangle Award is based on NFU’s symbol – a triangle with “legislation” and “cooperation” forming the sides and “education” at the base. The Golden Triangle Awards have been... Read More

September fly-in focused on COOL,Renewable Fuel Standard

More than 250 Farmers Union members from across America participated in the 2014 legislative fly-in to Washington, D.C. The fly-in focused on four priority issues: opposing any legislative changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and rejecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed proposal for 2014 blending targets; stopping any effort to undermine Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL); bringing attention to rail issues in the Midwest; and ensuring the Trade-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the U.S. and 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region is not supported in its current form.   Vilsack, McCarthy... Read More

Register for the 2014 Community Wealth Building Conference!

REGISTER TODAY! Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from two nationally recognized leaders in community wealth building during two keynote speeches and from many local leaders during fourteen breakout sessions.  You can read full session descriptions on the conference website here.  We will start the day with Ed Whitfield, co-managing director of the Fund 4 Democratic Communities based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ed will launch our day by laying the foundation for why community wealth building strategies are key to a healthy democracy and share examples of communities that are making tangible progress with... Read More

Bradley named General Manager of Farmers Union Service Association

Kyle Bradley has been appointed as General Manager of Farmers Union Service Association (FUSA) by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union board of directors. He will succeed Beckie Harkey, who will retire at the end of the year. Bradley has been FUSA’s production manager for the last two years. “Bradley will use his experience and vision to continue strengthening FUSA’s reputation as a leading insurance company in our region,” says Jan Kochis, who chairs the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) board of directors. “We are happy to have someone with such... Read More

COLORADO FOOD PRODUCERS WANT BALANCE IN OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT

AUSTIN, CO, July 31, 2014– A GROUP OF Colorado farmers, ranchers, brewers and restaurant-owners have joined forces to share a simple and important message: If you care about good quality food and drink then you need to pay attention to oil and gas drilling and fracking in Colorado. The Colorado Farm and Food Alliance for Resource Balance is a network of Colorado family farms, winemakers, brewers, food producers, chefs and restaurateurs, working together to ensure a balanced approach to energy development that protects our farms, foods, and drink.  The Alliancelaunched... Read More

August 3-9 National Farmers Market Week

  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week” to celebrate our nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.   “Farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms, and help grow rural economies. They bring communities together, connecting cities with the farms that support them and provide Americans across the country with fresh, healthy food,” says Secretary Vilsack.   Thousands of farmers markets across the... Read More

Thinking of Getting Into Farming?

Here are a few things to think about What does a verimiculture operation in Hawaii, a cow-calf ranch in Montana, a wheat farm in South Dakota, and the owner of a CSA venture in Colorado have in common? A lot, it turns out, once they get around a table and begin sharing their concerns. National Farmers Union’s Beginning Farmer Institute has brought together an amazing variety of producers from coast to coast, from across the nation’s heartland, and from vast ranches to urban gardens. The transition from one generation of farmers... Read More

Land Link is Helping Beginning Farmers Get Grounded in Ag

Beginning farmers and ranchers want to view agriculture as a professional career, one that delivers an income and a way of life connected to the land. Too often, beginning farmers feel like agriculture is like entering a maze with lots of dead ends to go down in a quest to find the their way to success.   For beginning farmers who are trying to negotiate the maze, three leading area of focus top their list: one is access to land; two is access to capital; and three access to guidance... Read More