Honoring farmers and ranchers is a tradition done at the Colorado State Capitol every year. Legislators, farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture supporters make their way under the dome to celebrate how agriculture makes this state great.
Yesterday, the Colorado legislature celebrated Colorado Ag at the state Capitol. In partnership with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, agriculture groups from around the state hosted a luncheon and discussion panel to educate legislators on the importance of the state’s agriculture industry. Governor Polis opened the event with a proclamation, where he declared his support for the industry and his commitment to agriculture’s future in Colorado: “I’m excited to be supportive of the continued work to support ag production and supply chains here in Colorado, and to help make Colorado a leader in agriculture to make sure that agriculture is not just a part of where we are today and a part of our storied past, but a vibrant and growing part of Colorado’s future.”
Following the Governor’s remarks, members of the discussion panel addressed the legislature. Colorado Farm Bureau President, Carlyle Currier, spoke of the struggles that rural Coloradans face in accessing mental health care and CFB’s new Good Neighbor Project that was created to address these health concerns. Additionally, President Currier spoke of the importance of protecting private property rights. In his closing remarks, President Currier addressed the legislators: “whatever you do, do no harm. Don’t make policies that are going to hurt agriculture – they affect our ability to produce food.”
Today, the state Senate passed a joint resolution to make March 24 “Colorado Ag Day”. Colorado Ag Day celebrates the farmers and ranchers of Colorado for their contributions to the economy and livelihood of the state. Senator Sonnenberg addressed the Senate crowd, reminding them that “our farmers are the ultimate conservationist, [and] the livestock producers are the ultimate animal rights people.”
“Agriculturists were the earliest creators and earliest innovators,” added Senator Kerry Donovan. She spoke about how “ag is a remarkable industry, legacy, and group of people,” ending her speech in a call to welcome those who don’t understand agriculture to visit farms and ranches and see the origins of their food.
Senator Cleave Simpson rounded out the discussion on the joint resolution.
“The resolution strikes a chord with me… and describes my family to a tee,” he said. He spoke about how lucky he is to work every day with his dad, son, and now grandson on the family farm. The Senate joint resolution passed without a single no vote.