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Convention Delegates Re-elect Peppler, Board

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union delegates gathered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on November 21-22 to elect a president and two board members, debate legislative policy for the coming year, and discuss two important topics in agriculture: energy and livestock production.

President Kent Peppler won re-election to his second term. Board members Jan Kochis, who chairs the board, and Ken Anderson, the board’s secretary, were unopposed for re-election. “This election was an endorsement of an important decision Rocky made two years ago, when we agreed that the organization would be best served by a president who is also a producer. As a farmer, I have firsthand knowledge of the challenges agriculture faces, and I’m honored that our members have given me the opportunity to serve them for two more years.”

The Saturday program featured two presentations on important issues facing 21st century agriculture: addressing America’s energy needs and facing the problems created by factory meat production. A morning panel featured speakers from RMFU’s directory of renewable energy, Tony Frank, Bob Mailander from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, and Mac McLellan, a senior vice president at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The three led a lively discussion of energy needs and solutions.

After balloting, the delegates filled the afternoon with a discussion of the Pew Commission report on industrial meat production. The executive director of the commission, Bob Martin, gave the audience background and a summary of the commission’s findings. Then commission member Bernie Rollin, Professor of Bioethics at Colorado State University, gave his own perspective on the report. After these presentations, four livestock producers responded to the report. On the panel were pork producer John Long, and beef producers Taylor Haynes, Charles Klaseen, and Reed Kelley.

The program concluded with a simple question from the audience: “What should we do?” Martin’s answer was equally simple. “A startling thing we learned was that many consumers don’t even know alternatives to factory meat production exist. You can change that.”