Weld farmers discuss state of agriculture in Colorado
GREELEY Growing up on a farm and having ran one of his own, Kevin Halferty of Ault knows very well the issues facing farmers in Weld County. So on Saturday, he sat amid many to see what could be done to resolve those issues.”What many people don’t understand is that farming affects every area of your life,” said Halferty, who used to farm east of Ault. “These seminars are basically calling attention to some of the problems farmers and ranchers are facing.”The seminar was hosted as part of the Good Neighbor Forum, created by Chuck and Roni Sylvester of La Salle, at the 4-H Building in Greeley’s Island Grove Regional Park, 14th Avenue and A Street. Close to 200 people attended and listened as speakers from across the country talked about property and water rights, as well as what they called the “ripple effect.” Every time new legislation is passed that affects farmers, they said it creates a chain reaction that manipulates farmers’ yields and in turn, what consumers pay at grocery stores for those products.”The future of farming is changing as we know it,” Halferty said. “We are concerned.”One of the main issues brought up during the meeting was water rights. Charles Leaf, a long-time hydrologic researcher on the Platte River, talked to people about what rights they have against governmental bodies and on the state’s current water situation. Leaf also talked about the continuous depletion of water wells across Weld, which in the future may no longer be accessible for farmers.”If this snowball keeps going then we’ll be dead,” Leaf said referring to decreasing amount of water rights the government allocates farmers. “There needs to be fair distribution of water for we who grow the crops.”The forum was not just aimed at farmers though, said Roni Sylvester. The meeting also was set for people who live in the city to attend and understand the issues farmers in the county face, she said.”It’s not just farmers, but consumers who are going to take the hits too,” Sylvester said. “We wanted to bring in the urban city residents who don’t understand what’s going on with their rural neighbors.”
For more informationThe focus of the Good Neighbor Forum was to discuss the issues facing farmers and consumers and inform them of their constitutional rights to protect their property. For information about the Good Neighbor Forum, go to www.goodneighborlaw.com.
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