Kretsinger announces for Commission District 1

In response to the Coronavirus and the scramble to stockpile supplies, Dylan R. Brown with Farmers Insurance in Alamosa set up on the corner of State and Sixth with a trailer full of free potatoes. He estimated he started with around 2,000 pounds of russets grown on his parents’ farm near Monte Vista, Randy and Laura Brown. Depending on demand, Dylan said he would make a similar offer later this week. (Courier photo).

ALAMOSA – Trudi Kretsinger is proud to announce she is representing the Alamosa County Democratic Party as a candidate for Alamosa County Commissioner, District 1. 

“Darius Allen, my good neighbor, has announced he will not seek reelection as District 1 Commissioner,” Kretsinger said.  “He has been in office for a long time and I appreciate his excellent service to our county.”

Trudi and her husband and business partner, John Kretsinger, formed KW Farms and began farming in the San Luis Valley in 1990 when they moved from Galveston Bay, Texas.  “We chose the valley because it was part of one of the country’s only aquifer systems with the potential to naturally replenish each year.  Compare that to the Ogallala, which I think could take another Ice Age to refill,” she remembers.

Besides the water, however, was that Trudi Kretsinger felt she had returned – to a place she had never been before. 

“It doesn’t really make any sense, but you hear that from certain people who’ve chosen to live here, or can’t seem to stay away.  In fact, there is lore associated with it:  the Legend of the Frog Spirits.  That’s an indicator of the valley’s intense magic and spiritual significance.  It sounds woo-woo, but it sure seems real. 

“The ground John and I bought had been in back to back wheat production for years, rendering the soil virtually dead, devoid of organic matter and microbiological life.  Dealing with this led us down a serendipitous path that was unconventional for SLV ag.

“It was uncomfortable at times.  No doubt our neighbors thought we should be certified insane instead of certified organic.

And grazing sheep and cattle on our crops was the ultimate faux pas, mixing farming and ranching in the American West.

“But, we were often in the right place at the right time, in terms of market trends - organics, grass-fed beef, direct marketing, local food.  The whole grass-fed thing was dicey because no one knew what we were talking about back then, and it took a gigantic economic leap of faith.

“But, we were driven by a quest for soil health, and even that is now becoming a trend, which is great for all of us, in terms of water conservation and nutrient density of crops.”

Trudi’s work in the family business, aside from day to day farming operations and caring for animals, has been financial management, administration, project management, and running a direct and regional direct market. 

She also volunteered in their son’s schools, sports, and scout troop, as well as at KRZA community radio, where she was on the board, produced news and stories, and for ten years was fundraising director. She served on the boards of the Alamosa County Ambulance Special District, USDA RC&D, and was a founding member of the SLV Local Foods Coalition.

She was a founding investor and member of Sweet Grass Coop, a regional grass-fed beef producer group that sells to Whole Foods and La Montanita Coop.

She was an initial investor in the Narrow Gauge Book Coop, where she continues to volunteer.

She is active in the Alamosa County Democratic Party, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, serves on the board of the Alamosa Farmers Market, and has been part of the Colorado Work Force’s Value-Added Ag Sector Partnership, supported by ASU, TSJC, and several other community entities and members. This spring she will begin serving on the board of the Mosca-Hooper Conservation District.

“Over the last year, John and I have reduced our farming activity, redirecting much of our ground and surface water resources to the restoration of the aquifer through the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, SubDistrict 1, in collaboration with many of our neighbors. 

“Because I won’t be cleaning a bazillion sprinkler nozzles now, I am poised to serve the community in a greater capacity.  I view the County Commissioner’s job as a perfect medium for dealing with our issues that are typical for rural communities while honoring our extraordinary resources.

“My dream for the county is to continue building a food, fuel, and fiber web to revitalize our local agricultural economy. Increasing our reliance on local sources of food, fuel, and fiber makes the community more resilient and secure in dealing with such threats as COVID-19.”

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