The “rural/urban divide” is not new. It has long been used to describe the differences in lifestyle, circumstances and perspectives that exist throughout the two communities. Right here in Colorado, that phrase highlights the tension between Colorado’s populous Front Range and the rest of the state. It is also a phrase that has been front and center after recent comments made by Governor Jared Polis’ most recent appointment to the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
“4-H clubs teach children that animal lives don’t matter,” – wrote Ellen Kessler, the new appointee, on her personal social media account.
Not surprisingly, these words struck the heart of rural Coloradans, the agriculture industry in particular, and fired them up. A new #ShowingUp campaign was created by CFB’s own and Fence Post contributor Rachel Gabel. The campaign is asking for signatures that will be sent to the Governor requesting Kessler’s appointment be retracted.
Kessler’s comments have brought attention to a very real problem: Rural Colorado voices must be heard on state boards and commissions. It is vital for farmers, ranchers and rural Coloradans to apply for seats at the table. State boards and commissions turn over all the time and seats open up consistently throughout the year. While the governor will make the ultimate decision, rural Colorado can guarantee to be ignored if no one applies.
Don’t make it easy for them.
Please note: There is no set deadline for applications. Once submitted, your application is valid for two years and will be re-evaluated each time a seat is available on that board or commission.