DENVER – Kent Peppler, Mead, Colo., was elected to lead the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) at the organization’s 100th anniversary convention, Nov. 17-18, in Denver.
Peppler was selected from among four candidates to serve as the organization’s 21st president. He was elected to succeed John Stencel, Aurora, Colo., who retired after 30 years of employment with RMFU, beginning in 1963 and including two terms as president, first from 1970-1983 and again from 2001-2006.
Peppler and his wife, Colleen, grow corn, wheat, alfalfa and sunflowers. The Pepplers have two children.
A third generation farmer, Peppler has been a member of RMFU for more than 12 years. He has served on the Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) Committee and as an interim executive director for Colo. FSA. Peppler is a past president of the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association. He currently serves on the Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee at U.S. Department of Agriculture on behalf of National Farmers Union. Upon being elected, Peppler said his immediate goal will be to help the organization move forward. “We have a tremendous amount of work to do and I promise to give you everything I have. You are all top notch and I am proud to serve you!”
He also commended Stencel, saying, “He’s given everything he’s had to this organization. I have some size 22 irrigating boots at home, but they are not big enough to fill his shoes.”
As he passed the gavel, Stencel thanked members for the many accolades offered throughout the convention saying, “For 30 years you have made me a part of the Farmers Union family, thank you so much.”
Peppler said his vision for a stronger rural America prompted him to run for office in the RMFU. “We love this industry. Colleen and I have been in it for quite a while. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has been good to me, and there comes a time in your life that you need to pay back.”
As president, he will lead the organization’s efforts to implement change using policy positions set by the grassroots members. Peppler said members have done a great job establishing policy, giving him something to share with lawmakers in an effort to get Farmers Union positions in the next farm bill.
“It’s an honor and pleasure to work for members and I can’t wait to get going,” concluded Peppler.
“I’ve very proud of Kent. Agriculture is our life,” said Colleen Peppler, the new first lady of RMFU. “We’ve both grown up in agriculture and our parents were involved in it. He doesn’t do anything unless he does it one hundred percent.”
RMFU incumbent board member Charles Petty, Clovis, N.M. was re-elected, along with new board member, Barb Marty, Henderson, Colo.
“I am looking forward to getting our name out and to continue to build active membership,” said Marty. “Celebrating our 100th Anniversary inspires me to keep the organization moving forward.”