Of voters and farmers

This legislative session has left farmers, ranchers, and rural Coloradans battered and bruised. The drought has crippled many, forcing the hand of cow calf producers to sell and, in many cases, leave the state or even the business.

Crops are failing and the heat of summer is not yet upon us. To add insult to injury, and despite the efforts of several common sense representatives, legislation has left us the walking wounded.

The passage of SB 252 stands to cost some producers over $100,000. This is not merely an inconvenience. This is a move that will put families out of business and take locally grown foods off many family’s dinner tables.

The sequester of funds owed to farmers and ranchers placed a huge strain on families. This means more than cutting back on daughter’s dance lessons and son’s new shoes to farm and ranch families.

Bills legislating ag practices are opening the door for families to take their operations to other states that recognize their importance and welcome them with open arms and financial opportunity.

Oil and gas restrictions will lead companies to pack up their rigs and leave eastern Colorado, taking with them the revenue that has become vital to the small communities, families, and schools.

On the western slope, the now quieted debate about the possible addition of the sage grouse to the endangered species list would have crippled 2.4 million acres and with it, ranchers’ ability to produce their product, resulting in less food and higher prices passed to your family.

Please pray for the farm and ranch families who are your neighbors. Think of them because they are the people who make your food, fuel, and fiber possible and affordable. Then, please do not vote for the people who vote to cripple Colorado agriculture while their bellies are full compliments of agriculture.

Advertisements

MIA

I’ve been missing in action lately but I have a good excuse.

What a great opportunity it was to speak at the Colorado FFA Convention to unveil the video linked above and to remind them that “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

Chuffy

Bill the hairdresser called to tell us the dream was shattered. His wife had left him. She said it was the hogs.

Because Jason is too nice, we went to Bill’s Sunday morning to retrieve the hogs he said he would purchase from Bill. A last ditch effort to tempt his wife to return, perhaps? At any rate, at least we had the good sense to take a few panels with us. Bill made an attempt at calling the pigs…by name…to hop in the trailer like some kind of trained circus pigs. It may have worked had the bluebutt not been in the bunch.

The bluebutt (referred to only as such because I can neither remember, nor do I care to remember her name) jumped in the trailer only long enough for me to look away for a nanosecond. That was apparently plenty of time for her to make a dash for the exit. Gentle readers, Sunday was not the first time I have been but a speed bump on the road to glory and freedom for a renegade sow, nor will it be the last. However, it was Mother’s Day and I had no intention of losing any teeth Read more…

Liquid Gold

It rained. I stood with all the boys in the high school on the front entrance to the school during lunch. We breathed the air washed clean in the gulps of people too dry, too long.
Little girls spun and danced in the drops like the fairy princess mermaids in their imaginations. Rough and tumble boys ran and slid and jumped in the parking lot pools.
In a classroom, a clap of thunder left kindergarten kids in tears and a teacher with tears in hers once she realized the five year old didn’t recognize the noise. It’s been dry that long.
Community folks came and went, smiles on their faces and an unbelievable relief that was undeniable.
The drought isn’t over and we know that but it’s so good to know that the desperate prayers from eastern Colorado were heard.

20130509-203752.jpg

20130509-203814.jpg

A Farmer’s Wife

Thanks to Kaity for sharing on her blog. She’s married to a farmer and they’re raising three boys under three years old at http://www.shessomartha.com.
This is a good one though the laundry load count is a bit low…

http://sierrashea.com/farmerswifepoem/

20130509-184627.jpg

CFB representation of ag is great value

Centennial, Colo. – May 8, 2013 – The 2013 Colorado legislative session has finally come to a close, and the Colorado Farm Bureau has been working throughout the session to protect agriculture and rural Colorado. “This session has kept us busy, and we feel that we have been successful representing agriculture, our farmers and ranchers, and the rural way of life,” said Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau.

Prior to the general assembly convening, the Colorado Farm Bureau set priority areas including water, energy, fiscal policy/budget, property rights, animal welfare and wildlife. Bills were introduced that affected all of these areas, and with the guidance of the policy implementation committee and the board of directors, Colorado Farm Bureau staff have worked diligently through these bills.

On May 8, Colorado Farm Bureau member leaders met with Governor Hickenlooper to ask for him to veto SB13-252, which would mandate that 20 percent of electricity in the state come from renewable sources. “This requirement will undoubtedly increase the cost of energy for family farmers, ranchers, and residents of rural Colorado. Sadly, this was done without the voice of agriculture being heard Read more…

Ooh! Pick me!

There is a state correctional facility in the rural county where we live. The bottom line about what this means for residents is frequent jury summonses.
I bet I’ve been called for jury duty twice per year since I moved here but I’ve never had to actually report but I did last week.
I am a nerd about a number of things and the law is one of those things. If online law school were a viable option, I would sign up despite my students’ claims that it will suck my soul from my body. The legal system is interesting and I was happy to perhaps be chosen to serve during a trial.
I was methodical while filling out my paperwork. I remained more neutral than Switzerland in hopes of being chosen. As the selection process wore on, I was more like the slow kid while the softball captains are choosing their teams.
I was surprised to see how many good folks were opposed to serving. Otherwise reputable people were going to great lengths to prove themselves unsuitable jurors. It reflected poorly on these people whether or not they realized it. Every lame excuse and every “damn” muttered when they were called to the jury box was noted. The most disappointing, albeit entertaining, way to avoid service was to begin all sentences with, “according to the prophesy…”
At the end of the day I was not chosen. It was probably not a terribly exciting trial; one of the many contraband trials for the Department of Corrections. But, the defendant is still a citizen deserving of a fair trial by a jury of his peers. Thank goodness we were all on the jury service side of the jury box rather than in his chair.