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Media Releases, Legislative News, Agricultural Updates


President’s Podium: Celebrating the Triangle

One of the traditional Farmers Union symbols is a triangle, with the three sides made up of cooperation, legislation, and education.  Each of these sides is important to our work to realize our vision of a society in which family farmers, ranchers, and their communities thrive. In this President’s Podium article, I wanted to take some time to address what each of these sides looks like in the work we do at RMFU.


This month, as we do every month, we have updates in this newsletter on the legislative work done by our Government Relations staff at both the state and federal levels. One of the reasons that RMFU has been and will continue to be successful across our three states and in Washington D.C. is that we are a true grassroots organization. Every fall delegates from across our three states come together to debate and adopt the policy that defines the position that RMFU takes legislatively. Our policy is always decided by our members.

One of the things that makes RMFU unique within the Farmers Union family is that we are a three-state organization, with separate and unique policies in each state, guided by the members of each state. For example, this year, in New Mexico, we advocated for full funding of the Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund and the E-Plus program. In Colorado, we advocated for a rural mental health program and fair and available compensation to those impacted by the wolf introduction. In Wyoming, we advocated for updating the state land lease system and a change in property tax law.  In each case, the advocacy and positions were due to the policy statements adopted by the delegates from those states, and the position we take in one state may be different from the position we take in another state because the needs and beliefs of the members in our three states may be different. We value our members and hold dear the grassroots way that our policy is decided.


Summer is a time for camps, and this year is no different. Although the dreaded COVID years had a negative effect on our camp program, Jennifer is quickly rebuilding it back to be better than ever just as she is doing with our Fellows program, a program designed to train upcoming leaders in the agricultural world. As a product of the camp and Fellows program at RMFU, I can attest to the valuable lessons learned, and the bonds built by these programs. The 2024 class of Fellows is in full gear and preparing for their summer farm tour session followed shortly thereafter by the DC Fly-In. These are fantastic opportunities to learn life skills and build lifelong bonds with others. I strongly encourage everyone to try to get their children to camp, and in the fall when applications open, to consider applying to be a Fellow. In the work that I do for our members, I still recognize the lessons learned decades ago and often come across those lifelong friends both within Farmers Union and in our work in communities.


The cooperation side of the triangle is also important to the work that RMFU does for its members. Within our Foundation, we have a Cooperative Development Center, where Sandra Baca and her staff continue decades of history of assisting with the creation of Cooperatives that benefit our members and their communities. Cooperation is also evident in the work that happens in other departments. Our Government Relations staff works hand in hand with other organizations when our policies align to provide a united rural voice. We are a non-partisan organization, with our positions driven by our policy, and thanks to the excellent staff we have, are known to be one of the organizations that work on both sides of the aisle, helping Democrats and Republicans cooperate to the benefit of our members. Our education programs partner with others to provide resources to our members, and support and information to those outside our organization. Each of our departments works with their counterparts in other Farmers Union states to share ideas and cooperate on events where possible. Our FUSA agents cooperate with their local chapters, helping to put on local events or meetings, educate our members and local communities, and are great supporters of RMFU and our members.

Every day, the leaders and staff within RMFU work hard to build a strong organization so we may fulfill our mission to strengthen our member voices through Education, Legislation, and Cooperation.

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