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Hello,

First, we’d like to thank all of you for sticking with us - for reading our emails, for writing letters of support, for donating to us, for coming to workshops, and for using your voice to speak up to injustice. We know this isn’t the content that you signed up for, but we are so grateful that you are here with us during this difficult process.

Our hearing with the Roaring Fork Regional Planning Commission is this Thursday, July 21st, at 2:30pm at the El Jebel County Clerk (20 Eagle County Rd # A, El Jebel, CO 81623). Despite many sudden changes from the commission over the past three months, we are looking forward to a chance to share our voice in support of local agriculture in the Roaring Fork Valley. Jerome Osentowski, founder of CRMPI and resident of the land for more than 40 years, has provided courses to aspiring agriculturalists within the Valley and around the world since 1987. The heartbeat of CRMPI is the education of young farmers and environmental stewards.

Throughout the years, Jerome and CRMPI have trained countless interns, students, and volunteers that have gone to establish themselves as agriculturalists at favored institutions within the Roaring Fork Valley such as Wild Mountain Seeds, Sustainable Settings, and Aces Rock Bottom Ranch. Without the Special Use Permit, CRMPI is not allowed to teach classes on site - a devastating hit for the institution and sustainable agriculture in the Roaring Fork Valley.

We’ve been advocating for a Special Use Permit since early 2020. We’ve pivoted operations in order to support the farm and its workers, we’ve complied with the application process and suggested improvements to the site, we’ve gathered community support, yet despite our efforts, the county continues to evade our application. But our voices will not be silenced, nor the voices of the many wonderful community representatives and farmers from the Roaring Fork Valley.

The rescheduled date has fallen right in the middle of CRMPI’s 36th annual Permaculture Design Certification course. We are continuing the course come hell or high water! Students from all over the United States have traveled to the Roaring Fork Valley to receive an education from world-renowned permaculture educators, in a world-renowned permaculture site. Our students will have the opportunity to stand with us and learn about the social systems they will have to dance with in order to operate agricultural facilities that do not fall into the neat little boxes that bureaucracy creates.

The fight is not finished. If you are available this Thursday, July 21st at 2:30pm, please come to our hearing and share the public’s support for CRMPI and agriculture in the valley!  You can view the meeting agenda online and learn more about our case. We need community support to get this permit approved. We hope to see you there.

Thank you,
Jerome Osentowski

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