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.

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

RMFU Says No to Splitting Farm Bill, No to Ripping up Permanent Legislation

In a letter to senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming,  RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, reiterated RMFU’s absolute opposition to removing the nutrition title from the Farm Bill and repealing the permanent legislation that farm policy is built on. “There is a faction in the House that seems to have no answer to any problem except to blow it up,” Peppler said with some exasperation. “Repealing the Agriculture Act of 1949 makes about as much sense as killing your dog because he won’t fetch your slippers.... Read More

RMFU Says No to Splitting Farm Bill

In a letter to Congressional representatives of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming,  RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, gave categorical opposition to removing the nutrition title from the Farm Bill. “Our organizational policy, which is set by grassroots members, recognizes the importance of nutrition programs to our nation’s future, security, and well-being,” Peppler said. “We are absolutely opposed to the cynical attempt to divide the interests of agricultural producers and America’s neediest citizens.” The letter points out that every nutrition dollar puts 20 cents in the pocket of... Read More

RMFU Supports AGI Caps in Farm Bill

In a letter to our six senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, urged them to support amendments to the Senate’s Farm Bill which will preserve the income limits on eligibility for crop insurance subsidies. “The Senate version of the Farm Bill has a tax bombshell hidden in a feel-good proposal about tying conservation compliance to crop subsidies, Peppler said. Buried in the “Compliance” proposal are a few sentences doing away with income caps for crop insurance. With no attempt to connect... Read More

RMFU Expresses Opposition to Tying Conservation to Crop Insurance

In a letter to our six senators representing Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, RMFU expressed strong opposition to a portion of the Senate draft of the farm bill that makes crop insurance dependent on complying with conservation requirements. “This provision makes no sense,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer. “It jeopardizes the farmer’s most valuable risk management tool. A farmer dealing with drought could suddenly find that his entire wheat crop is ruled uninsurable. That’s unfair and unreasonable. It ties two regulatory agencies together, both of them... Read More

Farmers to Gov: We’ll Back You Up on Water Conservation

Today Rocky Mountain Farmers Union delivered a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper with nearly 3,500 Colorado signatories supporting the Governor’s declaration in his State of the State address that “Every discussion about water should begin with conservation.” The letter arrived on the same day the Governor signed an executive order to develop a state water plan for Colorado. “Colorado farmers know firsthand that protecting our water resources is fundamental to our state’s economic future, so we welcome the Governor’s focus on this issue,” said Kent Peppler, RMFU President and a... Read More

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Awards Scholarships to Nine Outstanding Applicants

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Foundation today announced the recipients of nine scholarships. The scholarships are funded by RMFU, FUSA Insurance Agency, and memorials to historic members of Farmers Union. They are given to students with outstanding scholastic achievements and community service, to recognize their gifts and assist them in pursuing their education. “These recipients are bright young people who are the future leaders of our communities. The RMFU Foundation is proud to present scholarships to nine outstanding young leaders, to help them achieve their career goals,” said RMFU Education... Read More