Press Releases

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

RMFU Supports 6 Ballot Measures; Opposes 3
DENVER, Colo. — The board of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is advocating for “Yes” votes on six ballot measures and “No” votes on three others, based on how the impact of each measure will help or hurt farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

“These proposed changes to Colorado’s Constitution and laws are now in the hands of voters,” said RMFU Board Chairwoman Jan Kochis. “We’ve learned the hard way that every vote counts when it comes to making sure rural Colorado has a voice in its future.”

The RMFU Board, made up of active farmers and ranchers from across the state, is opposed to Proposition 112, which seeks to expand the setback requirement for oil and gas development. “As written, the proposition will simply strangle oil and gas development, while not achieving any measurable increase in safety. This ‘all-or-nothing’ approach isn’t the way to move forward,” says Kochis.

The board voiced support for Proposition 73 and its goal of improving funding for education. “For various reasons, funding for education is not matching real-world needs. We’re losing ground, and that’s not fair to our students, our schools, or our future workforce,” adds Kochis.
The state’s second largest farm organization also supports the following ballot items:

Amendment X: Change in Definition of Industrial Hemp
Amendment Y: Congressional Redistricting
Amendment Z: Legislative Redistricting
Proposition 110: Authorize Sales Tax and Bonds for Transportation Projects
Proposition 111 (Initiative 126): Limitations on Payday Lenders
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union opposes the following ballot items:
Amendment 74: Just Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law/Regulation
Proposition 109: Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects

On Amendment 74, RMFU President Dale McCall stated, “We feel the amendment was poorly and vaguely written and has the potential to go too far. Our research into the matter shows possible devastating economic effects from a similar initiative passed in Oregon that saddled taxpayers with billions of dollars in legal fees. This is not the path Colorado should follow. There must be a better way to resolve our issues, together, and we believe Amendment 74 is not the answer.”
The board took no positions on the balance of the ballot items.

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

Election Year Partisan Posturing Hurts Ag

By Kent Peppler, President Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a busy farm organization. We have a lot of irons in the fire requiring our attention 24/7, 365 days a year. We are a diverse organization with many interests and responsibilities including youth camps, our Young Fellows program, food policy, development of cooperatives, insurance operations, and a ton more. When I decide to write my opinion on a subject it is not uncommon for me to intellectually throw a “make believe” dart at a target full of different subjects that Rocky... Read More

“They Don’t Speak for Me” Campaign Launches

Denver, CO, July 9, 2014 — In an effort to dispel erroneous information about the proposed Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule and false perceptions that Washington, DC lobby groups speak for all farmers on the rule, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) is launching the “They Don’t Speak For Me” campaign today, by running advertisements in several Colorado newspapers.   The goal of the campaign is to make it clear that many farmers and ranchers in Colorado support the new common-sense protections for clean water as proposed by the EPA.... Read More