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President’s Podium: Collective Voice Makes a Difference

Last year as the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Board of Directors worked to finalize the organization’s mission, one of the questions we wanted to answer was how we strengthen our members’ voices. As the percentage of the U.S. population living in rural areas decreases, the voice carried by our members risks decreasing as well. It is through organizations like RMFU that we can build on one another and strengthen our collective voice. 

Based on our delegates passing a Special Order of Business at the 2022 State Convention, RMFU has been working to increase awareness of the harm that further consolidation in the grocery market would cause to our rural communities, both as suppliers and consumers of the products. RMFU has been extremely active over the last year and a half, arranging listening sessions with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, having private meetings with Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, and organizing numerous meetings with employees of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. Each time RMFU members, staff, and board members have spoken at these meetings, our words have been strengthened by the 15,000 members we represent. The power of that collaborative strength demonstrated when Colorado recently announced a lawsuit to block the proposed merger, followed soon after by the FTC and DOJ announcing the same, and New Mexico and Wyoming signing onto the federal lawsuit. 

Being a member, and being an active member makes a difference. I can’t say that these lawsuits would not have been filed without our work, but I can say that the adoption of the Special Order of Business and our subsequent advocacy efforts made a difference. Farmers and ranchers face many challenges. Being a grassroots organization, the work we do at RMFU comes not from what we believe, but from what our active members believe, and our words and our actions are amplified by your participation. We are proud of the progress we have made this year, and we ask all of our members to help us further strengthen the rural voice. Be members, be active, and ask your friends and neighbors to be active members as well. Together, we can ensure that family farmers, ranchers, and their communities thrive. 

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