Farmers depend on electricity, and we all depend on farmers
April 18, 2019
We have the privilege to work in an industry that people count on, are invested in and talk about regularly. It’s because electricity is so essential to our daily lives that many people have passionate views about how it should be provided and how much it should cost. And lately we’re seeing these perspectives discussed more and more frequently in public forums and the media.
Personally, I welcome these discussions, as each one is an opportunity for us to look at the full picture of what it means to generate, transmit and distribute the power our communities need. And the public deserves that full picture—including the inherent challenges, opportunities and the way we look at planning for the future.
One area of continued opportunity is the strong growth in Tri-State’s renewable resources. Nearly a third of the electricity consumed in our association comes from renewable resources.
Farmers and ranchers are close to our heart, and are well represented among Tri-State’s board of directors as well as our member systems’ boards of directors. We work regularly with the agricultural community to promote energy efficiency and the ways they can make the best use of the portion of their budget that goes toward powering their operations. We see the connection clearly—electricity costs are a significant budget item for farmers, and lower costs to operate a farm or ranch make for successful operations and a stronger agricultural economy.
I recently took the opportunity to respond to Dale McCall of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, who emphasized the importance of affordable energy in a letter to the editor published in the Greeley Tribune. I wanted to share that response here, as a part of our effort to tell the complete story of what it takes to keep the lights on.