Stand in the Gap for Agriculture

If the assault on Colorado’s agriculture industry continues, we will lose the National Western Stock Show, $$$ SEVEN BILLION annually to Colorado’s economy and the rugged, individual spirit that built our state. Food will become more expensive and less abundant. In her Op-Ed, Stand in the Gap for Agriculture, assistant editor at The Fence Post Rachel Gabel introduces us to the consequences of a dangerous potential Colorado ballot initiative.

I squandered an opportunity several years ago and I think about it nearly every day.

I ran into Safeway to grab snacks to take to a jackpot livestock show- granola bars, apples, bananas, strawberries, pop, donuts, and finally, a box of ice cream sandwiches for my family waiting in the pickup.

The woman in front of me in line had four dirty little kids and one, the oldest boy, was being particularly ornery. I talked to the two youngest and they told me they were driving back to Missouri and had stopped at Safeway to get dinner. In the cart: two loaves of bread and an onion.

The mama dug in her pockets to pay for what she had while I talked to the kids.

The boy had spotted the ice cream sandwiches and was eying them. When the girl, who was maybe 8, saw them, we compared notes on our favorite flavors. She was pretending to eat an ice cream cone and she reached out and touched the cold box and ran her fingers through the frost as her mom pulled the cart toward the end of the register.

I watched her leave and realized what I had done. I should have paid the $50 for the groceries in my cart and run them out and put them in her van. I had more food meant for snacks than those kids had seen in a long time. Healthier food.

I didn’t.

Onions. And bread.

Can you imagine how that mama must feel, only being able to put those things in their little bellies?

I paid and left and when I walked by her van, the oldest and orneriest boy was jimmying the battery cables so the car would start. He must have been the man of the house.

Onions. And bread.

Misinformed legislation and ballot proposals driven by extremists and activists who move forward without regard for stakeholders takes food out of the mouths of people who need it most.

Onions and Bread.

A proposed Colorado ballot initiative is currently making its way to the signature gathering phase. It’s written by two young activists, hoping to make “dignity” of treatment the norm for all animals, including livestock. As written, the efficiencies and processes that producers use-artificial insemination and pregnancy palpation among them-would be criminalized. Additionally, cattle (and other livestock depending on their definition of lifespan length) could not be slaughtered until 60 months of age, rather than the industry standard 24 months. This is a huge drain on resources and would end the livestock industry in the state.

Aside from producer families like mine who would be forced out of business, small towns and schools would suffer.

But the stakeholder most overlooked by misinformed legislation and proposals is that woman in the store and others like her. We have the safest, most abundant, most affordable food supply in the world and activist-driven policies like this would put healthy food even further out of her reach.

Onions and bread.

Defending agriculture in this state, an industry that contributes $7 billion annually to Colorado’s economy, is going to take consumers who are willing to stand in the gap to defend their rural neighbors and their hungry neighbors. Without the votes for common sense and full bellies, neither will exist.



6 Responses

  1. First he destroyed the oil industry in this state, even after the voters supported it. Now his ego is running rampant again and going after ranching and farming. The next election cannot come soon enough. My fear is the sheep/voters will fall prey to his naive tactics. Keep up the good fight!

  2. JESUS! help us save us, our kids, & America! NEED n 41 States!!! & FREE Good News Clubs 4 Elementary & Middle Schools NOW! & a Holy Ghost Revival!
    Farm Boy, still have my 1938 Farmall F20 red tractor n Greeley 4th of July parade-r 10 & 8 yr old grand daughters drive it! USAF 66-70 & Pastor Mt Man Joe Meek, OR r famous relative!!

  3. A rural patriot watching rural America disintegrate . I have some ideas and am looking for interested parties for a discussion and possible action. I got an education in a rural school (Class of 42 students) of quality not available in a normal public school. Rural Counties and Communities have been foundational to our country and now are being pushed aside. It is past time to refocus on these valuable assets.
    I moved away for employment, however go back for family and school and family reunions. Many of these communities have 501(c)(4)s
    and are a place to start++++++) I would love to talk.

  4. Just one more reason that rural voters are leaving this screwed up state. I’m taking my business, jobs and money and leaving in a year.

  5. “Colorado covers 103,718 square miles, with a 2019 estimated population of 5,758,736 people – 715,485 living in rural Colorado (USDA-ERS)” according to Rural Health Information Hub. This means that so long as urban folks outnumber rural folks by more than 8 to 1, in order for agriculture in Colorado to remain healthy, those who live in our towns and cities MUST understand and be educated on the issues. This situation certainly puts families dependent on agriculture for their livelihood in jeopardy!

  6. Ag Commissioner Greenburg needs to step in BEFORE it gets to the ballot (if it does go that far). Everyone please plan to eat meat March 20 on the Gov.’s so called “MeatOut” day, a very ill advised call on his part, another bit of agricultural ignorance,

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