Letter: Gov. Polis’ appointee Ellen Kessler should rethink her comments about ranchers
Imagine you walked into the DMV to get your license renewed. As you waited in line, the employees began a loud conversation about you, as if you weren’t there, calling you names like “lazy and greedy.” Then they served you normally and helped you complete your paperwork, gave you your license and sent you on your way. Confused, you went to their boss to make sure he was aware, and he answered, “I want people of all perspectives, including those who believe in climate action on my staff. They choose not to drive cars; that’s all.”
This is how ranchers have been treated by Ellen Kessler and her boss Gov. Jared Polis for the past two years. At the recent Voices of Rural Colorado event, agricultural leaders asked Polis why Kessler has made so many disparaging and untrue comments about ranchers and still been encouraged to serve them. Polis responded to us that he has no issue with her job performance, and he wants people of the vegan perspective on the Colorado State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Everyone makes different choices for their diet, and we have no issues with Kessler’s veganism. The real issue is that she is a government employee who openly disdains the people she is meant to help. Kessler name-calls 4-H kids, calls ranchers lazy and more. This is unprofessional. Because of her, there is no trust left between agriculture and the board.
Let’s heal the rural and urban divide. Many in the city are foodies who want to support local agriculture, and ranchers and farmers want to feed them. Kessler furthers the divide instead of healing it, and Polis is leaving many of us to wonder, again, if he wants to support agriculture in this state. We still remember the sting of his call to boycott meat producers for a day last year.
Whether you are a rancher or not, please write to his office at Colorado.gov/governor/contact-us and educate your circles on this issue. You can also sign a petition to remove Kessler from The Colorado Board of Veterinary Medicine on Change.org, publicly joining the fight to keep agriculture secure in Colorado.
Finally, elected officials and unelected bureaucrats are public servants. Disparaging their constituents is a reversal of government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Eli Pace is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Reach him at email@example.com or 970-871-4221.
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