Joint Ag Committee Hears CDA Budget Plans

This morning’s joint House and Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources meeting focused on a presentation from Ag Commissioner, John Stulp about the state of Colorado’s Ag Department resources and the potential for more costs being passed onto the farmers and ranchers of the state.  A survey conducted by the Department of Agriculture identified positive perceptions of agriculture in both the United State and in Colorado but one of the greatest concerns was over water and environmental policy.  Negative trends and issues identified in the survey identified fewer cattle and less livestock as an obstacle to the industry.  However, with the price of oil stabilizing and ethanol options increasing, the Commissioner cited the potential for reversal in the low livestock numbers.

Before closing out the session, budgetary cuts were discussed among the committee members.  Representative Curry heavily scrutinized a slated $1.3 million dollar cut to the Department.  Curry suggested the committee hear from producers on how this cut would affect their bottom line, as well as to look at alternative sources for accommodating the budget cut.  Both the commissioner and chairman were receptive to Representative Curry’s suggestions and agreed to work on it for the next joint session.

CFB members attending the 2010 Legislative Conference were on hand after the committee meeting to discuss with legislators how the cuts to CDA could potentially affect Colorado agriculture.

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