Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why I will vote NO ON 105. {2014 Colorado Ballot}

I don't typically discuss politics on my blog, but heck! I haven't been discussing much of anything on my blog lately. ;) I just can't stay quiet about Proposition 105, which will be on Colorado's ballot this year. 

Colorado's ballot will include Proposition 105 which, if passed, will require the labeling of some foods grown, produced, sold, and packaged in Colorado that were made from genetically engineered ingredients. The Proposition doesn't do what it claims to do, is poorly written and deserves a NO vote. To be upfront, this will not be a blog post on whether GMOs are good or bad - it's a post about how Proposition 105 is horribly written and why I will be voting NO on Prop 105

The official ballot question reads as follows:

Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning labeling of genetically modified food; and, in connection therewith, requiring food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, "Produced With Genetic Engineering" starting on July 1, 2016; exempting some foods including but not limited to food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food; requiring the Colorado department of public health and environment to regulate the labeling of genetically modified food; and specifying that no private right of action is created for failure to conform to the labeling requirements?
Source: Ballotpedia
Full Text Here. 

How can more labeling be a bad thing? Well, let's dive right in...
First of all, Proposition 105 exempts two-thirds of the food in our grocery store which is very misleading for consumers; Coloradans won't be able to trust these labels with all its inconsistencies. While your cereal package may have a "Produced With Genetic Engineering" label on it, your carton of eggs and meat (just to name a few) won't be required to have this label even if they are made with genetically engineered products. At the same time, many foods will have this label, even if they were not made with or contain GMO ingredients. Two great examples of how this will play out include sugar beets and cheese. 

Sugar from sugar beets. The genetically modified part of the sugar beet is a protein in the plant. When the sugar is extracted all protein is removed and there is no detectable GMOs in sugar. In this instance Prop 105 would require a label of a Colorado product that doesn’t contain GMOs.

Cheese. The vast majority of cheese (approximately 85%) is made with an enzyme derived from genetic engineering but would be exempt. This is just one example of many where products containing GMOs would be exempt from the mandatory labeling under Proposition 105.


Here's a diagram that lists exemptions:
No ON 105
Source: here.

Not only are there inconsistencies in the way the Proposition is written, it will increase food production costs for Colorado farmers and ranchers which will raise the annual cost of groceries several hundred dollars per family, per year. The zero threshold requirement written into this Proposition means farmers and ranchers that produce both genetically modified and non-genetically modified foods will need to implement two different farming practices to ensure these products do not touch or they will face large penalties. Not to mention the increase in cost farmers and food producers in Colorado and throughout the country will see as a result of having to separate, repackage, and re-label their products just for our state!  You can't change the food production process, force new practices on those in the food supply chain and not expect the cost to be passed on to consumers.
Source: Cornell Study and WA State Academy of Science

To many, the fact that farmer John has to buy new equipment, or build new infrastructure may not mean much, but let's take note that the Colorado food industry was praised for helping Colorado survive the recession - it's success is vital to our state. This proposition will put the Colorado food industry at a huge disadvantage, impacting farmers and ranchers, and potentially putting many out of business. Agriculture plays an important role in Colorado's economy, contributing more than $5 billion dollars a year. Do we really want to impose unnecessary regulations that won't do what they claim to do, but that will surely hurt an important Colorado industry by putting it at a huge disadvantage? All while we already have a national labeling process that works?
Source: Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

The proponents of Proposition 105 claim they just want to know what is in their food, and with the national labeling standards already in place, we DO KNOW and have the choice to buy USDA Certified Organic or foods with the “Non-GMO label” from the GMO Free Project.
The proposition will undoubtedly create more bureaucracies which will result in higher taxes. How? Someone has to implement these new laws and the money needs to come from somewhere.


Voting No on Proposition 105 doesn't mean you don't care about what is in your food, of course we care. 

Voting No on Proposition 105 doesn't mean there is anything to hide.

Voting NO on Proposition 105 simply means you care about Colorado's economy and call for a fair and consistent proposition to be passed. 

Proposition 105 is inaccurate, will hurt ALL Coloradans and our state's economy and will largely impact Colorado's second largest industry - Agriculture! Proposition 105 deserves a NO vote and I know I will give it that. 

Gubernatorial candidates, Bob Beauprez and Governor John Hicklenlooper both oppose Prop 105. If they are reaching across the aisle to stand united on this one, that should say something... 
You can watch the gubernatorial candidate debate here (43:40).

Ah...it's nice to be back. :) 


Please go to noon105.com to join the No on 105 coalition or use the "Let's Connect" button if you would like more information. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Colorado Sheep Day Event! [Western Slope, Colorado}

I remember my first time up on the mountain, it was the most beautiful of sights! This Sheep Day event is being organized by the US Forest Service. Sheep Day is a great opporunity for the public to receive more education on public lands grazing and the sheep ranching lifestyle.
 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Ag Day!
Help Fund Agriculture using Harvest Funders!

My husband and I proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow ranching and farming families world-wide. After just a few days on the ranch back when we moved here, I quickly realized I had stepped into unfamiliar territory – a whole new (ranching) world. After a few weeks on the ranch, I fell in love with the lifestyle and our passion for the industry was born.

I was amazed at the hard work and commitment that surrounded me on the ranch and throughout rural Colorado. One thing I love about the agriculture community is the friendship that is amoung us all - it's an unspoken bond and many are willing to share their ranching woes with those they know can relate. After becoming part of the Agriculture industry in 2009, we met several ranchers in our local community that were being denied agriculture loans and having a hard time getting funding for improvments for their ranch.

After discussing the need for funding in our industry, we realized this was not just a problem in our community, but a national problem and it was at that time that Harvest Funders, LLC was founded.
Welcome to the NEW funding!
Crowdfunding is the idea of having large amounts of people pledge small amounts of money to an idea or "campaign" of their choice making the idea a reality for the campaign creator.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are examples of crowdfunding and currently dominate the crowdfunding world by offering a great service and platform for individuals to get their idea, business, project, art and many other projects funded.
 

Why not Agriculture?
This is the question my husband asked just over a year ago when his cousin Ryan Hayes (who is one half of Midas Whale) got funding for their first music album using Kickstarter.com. You might have seen and heard (and very likely fell in love with) them on The Voice, too!

Crowdfunding has become very popular and is truly a great option for someone who has a unique idea, or a need for something that is important to their business. Most farmers and ranchers aren’t aware of this platform for funding – it’s a completely untapped resource for the agriculture community!

We all have causes we like to donate toward. Typically, you donate your money toward an organization that has had some sort of impact on your life; something that interests you. If you eat, then you are (or should be) interested in the future of farming. Once projects start going on Harvest Funders I am positive you will find a campaign on the site you want to contribute to,  that is if you aren't already running a project of your own! 

Harvest Funders is born.
Today, after lots of thought, research and surveying, late nights and testing, my husband Jesse has launched Harvest Funders, LLC and the site is now LIVE. This is a crowdfunding site specifically for the agricultural community! Any farmer or rancher can go to www.harvestfunders.com, create a project and begin raising money! The project does need to be related to the agricultural industry, but I know hundreds of farmers and ranchers that can use funds to improve their ranch or farm.

I would love to see my fellow blogger friends use this resource for a project on their operation! Please let me know if you have questions or would like more information.

Here is a quick and easy breakdown of how it all works. It's really as easy as 1-2-3-4.
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Update and a Gingerbread House

Hi, All!

We've been busy since my last post! Busy = good! Busy = moving forward. :)

We started our new journey with our first holiday gathering in our new home! In year's past, it's been quite busy with ranch responsibilities around this time of year and so, we were never really able to "get into" the holidays.

Our house was full of family, (food) and a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving day.

Our Thanksgiving was followed by a wonderful trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Talk about falling in love with the South.

We met our Kentucky friends while on a vacation in Mexico a few years ago. We traveled to Mexico together the next year and were really good about keeping in touch throughout the year and across the miles. They brought a precious baby into the world this year, so they had to pass on our annual Mexico trip, but Jesse and I decided to take Mexico to them! While we didn't greet them with sombreros and maracas, we sure did have a wonderful trip visiting the nearby tourist attractions including the Maker's Mark Distillery. We enjoyed their favorite places to shop; one place was called, Heartstrings and it blew my mind away! We had lunch at Chaney's Diary Barn and had dinner at a new spot named, Fetta Specialty Pizza.
I hope you have friendships in your life that you absolutely thrive on and that inspire you to be better people. I left Kentucky feeling full on life, friendship and energized to craft! My friend, Brit runs the Young Love Decor shop on Etsy and I forced her to let me lend a hand on a few orders.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/YoungLoveDecor
She makes the cutest wreaths; which brings me to my next thought...

The wreath presence in the south is insane. Wreaths on cars, wreaths on doors, wreaths in every window, wreaths on wreaths. I fell in love with these and it's safe to say I have a new obsession; came home and made myself a wreath.

We got back from Kentucky with about two weeks to prepare for our first Annual Holiday Gathering.
Since Jesse and I married I always wanted to have holiday parties and now that we have our beautiful home, I can make this a reality.

Our holiday party was complete with cookies, conversation and games! I probably sound a little biased when I say it was a blast, but really...I think it was!
Kleenex and Oreo Minute-To-Win-It Games were a blast. I also threw in a Christmas Quiz.

We've been keeping busy with friends and enjoying this holiday season and spent Christmas at home. We slept in, made a nice brunch and partook in our family Gingerbread building contest. Jesse and I thought we had the "win" in our pocket until we saw his sister's!  Our's didn't even come close to her's so I'll spare the picture of ours and just share with you, theirs.

From my corner of the blogosphere to yours - I hope you had the merriest of Christmas days and have a safe and fun new year celebration in store!