Colorado Meat Products Matter, Says RMFU
Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently issued a proclamation naming March 20 as “MeatOut Day,” a concept that fails to work for Colorado agriculture. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is disappointed in this proclamation, as it does not celebrate the nutrient and protein dense selection of meats that family farmers and ranchers produce across the state.
“Meat production dominates Colorado agriculture, the state’s second largest industry. It provides invaluable nutrition, sustains our rural economies and, when managed properly, improves the environment,” says Dr. Dale McCall, president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.
McCall says ranchers want what is best for their livestock for the simple reason that prioritizing animal welfare is good for business and is in keeping with what consumers are asking for from producers. Meats from cattle, lambs, hogs, and chickens are consumer favorites at home and in restaurants.
“We need to celebrate the efforts of Colorado producers that grow food and we need to encourage consumers to know where their food comes from,” continues McCall.
“We strongly oppose the rhetoric that livestock, especially cattle, have negative impacts on soil erosion, water and air pollution, or that they compete with wildlife populations and have a negative impact on our climate,” adds McCall.
There is no other business sector more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than production agriculture, and no other sector has more promising ability to mitigate the effects of climate change than responsible farming and ranching. Much of the land across the west is grassland that will never be suitable for farming, meaning livestock production is essential to maintain the environment.
With best practices and management, raising cows and sheep can improve grassland quality and store carbon. Currently, livestock accounts for well under five percent of greenhouse gas emissions I the U.S, and that amount could be less by using recognized practices that contribute to greenhouse gas reductions.
“We support the empirical, scientific data that shows we can use our lands to combat climate change by supporting our local farmers and ranchers who are providing the ecosystem services that we desperately need. We see meat production as no less essential to Colorado’s ag economy as row crops, vegetables, and fruit,” concludes McCall.
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a general farm organization whose 20,000 member families live and work in hometown communities across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Learn more online and become a member at www.rmfu.org.